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After your certificate has been issued

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How will I know when my certificate is ready?

Your technical contact will receive an email telling them that the certificate is ready and that they should come to the Thawte site to download it.

You can also watch the status page for the certificate - you'll need your order number and any password that may have been set when the request was placed. You will have been sent the link to your status page when you enrolled for the certificate; if you cannot find it, please contact us.

On the status page, the 'Overall Status' is your indication of whether the certificate has been issued or not.

How do I download my certificate?

Again, you should go to the status page. Once your certificate has been issued, there will be a link on that page that will allow you to download the issued certificate.

If the status page is password-protected, and you have forgotten the password concerned, there is an option to email the password out to the corporate or technical contacts. Unfortunately we cannot send it out to anyone else, so if you are not one of the contacts, you will need to get in touch with them and ask them to pass it on to you.

How do I install my certificate?

If someone else - for instance, an ISP - supplied your certificate signing request (CSR) to you, then the chances are good that they will be the ones who need to install your certificate; best to get in touch with them and ask first.

Otherwise you will probably need to install the certificate yourself. Installation instructions differ a great deal between servers - some servers use a Web-based interface, some servers use a local graphical interface, some servers do everything from the command line. If you are not sure how to install certificates on your server, you should look at Thawte's list of key generation instructions and select your software from it; there are generally installation instructions, or a link to the installation instructions, towards the bottom of the page relating to each type of software.

Can I move my certificate from server to server?

It depends what software you're running on each server.

If you are running the same software on each server, then you can usually move the certificate from one server to the other. Again, the actual procedures vary depending on what server software you are running, but it is usually very much like making a backup of your keys and certificates and then restoring them from that backup.

If you are running different software on each server, it may technically be possible to move the certificate from one server to another but it will almost certainly be more trouble than it is worth. It will usually be easier to request a free reissue, which will let you keep all of the other details the same and just change the software. (If details other than the software are changing, you will most likely need to buy a new certificate instead.)

Can I move my certificate to a different ISP?

Yes, though it may not be an entirely simple process.

In an ideal world, all of these things would be true:

  • your old ISP and new ISP would be running the same server software
  • your old ISP would be willing to give you the private key which matches your certificate
  • your old ISP would be willing to give you any password which protects your private key.

We recognise that this is not necessarily an ideal world!

If any of the three points above do not apply, then trying to move the existing certificate from one to the other will probably not be worth it. We suggest that you request a reissue, via your new ISP. You may need to check whether your old ISP requested your certificate through Thawte's reseller program or not; if you are not sure, please contact us to discuss this.

If all of the above points do apply, congratulations! Ask your old ISP to give you a copy of the private key for your server, any password that might go with it, and a copy of the certificate for your server (you can download a new copy of the certificate if you cannot get it from your old ISP, but you do need the key and the password). Give those to your new ISP, and you should be up and running again shortly.

Does it matter if the IP address of my server changes?

No, it doesn't. Certificates are tied to the name of a server, not to its IP address (we don't issue certificates to public IP addresses); if you switch ISPs, hosting providers or otherwise have to renumber your network, it won't affect the functioning of your server certificate.

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Last updated: March 24th 2008
Last checked: October 14th 2009

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