39 Month Limit to New Certificates – What You Need to Know

There are changes afoot regarding SSL certificate renewal periods. However, as always, SSL.com is here to explain and assist. Here’s what you need to know:

What’s Changing?

Starting April 1st, 2015, the maximum renewal period for digital security certificates will be limited to 39 months. This is actually linked to verification policy changes. A given set of verification documents will only be accepted as valid for 39 months – thus, the certificate those documents serve to verify is likewise time-limited. A shorter term for validation documents is generally considered a move towards greater security, and SSL.com does believe a safer internet is a better internet.

These changes are per the CA/Browser Forum, the group that sets guidelines for best practices for the security certificate industry. For complete information, see their Baseline Requirements document here (warning: 46 page PDF) – the relevant sections are 9.4 (for the validity period for certificates) and 11.3 (for the validation data age limit).

How Will This Affect Me?

While there will be some adjustments, SSL.com will be happy to make sure you get the coverage you need for any period you request. SSL.com can take your order to provide coverage for your website for up to ten years (with of course significant discounts for longer-term orders) – the only change will be in the renewal/revalidation somewhere within that 39 month window. The table below breaks down how you will be affected:

ScenarioResultNeed to resubmit validation documents?
Current customer
48 month or longer certificate
ORDERED BEFORE March 31 2015
Full termNot until end of term.*
New customer
48 month or longer cert
ORDERED BEFORE March 31 2015
Full termNot until end of term.**
New customer
48 month or longer cert
ORDERED AFTER March 31 2015
Full term***Revalidation required
(39 months or sooner)
New customer
36 month or less cert
ORDERED AFTER March 31 2015
Full term***Revalidation required at renewal.
*Revalidation will follow 39 month guidelines thereafter.
**Validation must occur before March 31 2015. Revalidation follows 39 month guidelines thereafter.
***SSL.com discount applicable.

As always, contact us at SSL.com if you have any questions.