Supported DCV methods for domain validation on pending orders in your CertCentral account

Before DigiCert can issue a certificate, you must prove control over the domains and any SANs (Subject Alternative Names) on the order. We refer to this process as the Domain Control Validation (DCV) process.

CertCentral features a domain pre-validation process that allows you to pre-validate your domains before you begin ordering certificates for them (see Domain Pre-Validation: Domain Control Validation (DCV) Methods). However, sometimes certificates are needed for domains that haven't been pre-validated.

CertCentral allows you to submit orders for non-validated domains. After your order has been placed, you will need to complete domain validation on pending orders for non-validated domains submitted during the order process.

Note: Certificates will not be issued until domain validation is completed. Taking care of the validation ahead of time means certificates can be issued immediately.

In CertCentral, DigiCert currently supports the following DCV Methods: WHOIS-based Email, Constructed Email, DNS CNAME, DNS TXT, and HTTP Practical Demonstration.

Email Validation

With this validation method, DigiCert sends two sets of DCV emails: WHOIS-based and Constructed. To demonstrate control over the domain, an email recipient follows the instructions in a confirmation email sent for the domain. The confirmation process consists of visiting the link provided in the email and following the instructions on the page.

WHOIS-based Email validation

For the WHOIS-based method, DigiCert sends an authorization email to the registered owners of the public domain as shown in the domain's WHOIS record.

Note: Are you expecting to receive an email at an address published in your domain's WHOIS record? Please verify that your registrar/WHOIS provider is not masking or removing that information. If they are, find out if they provide a way (e.g., anonymized email address, web form) for you to allow CAs to access your domain's WHOIS data.

Constructed Email Validation

For the Constructed Email method, DigiCert sends the authorization email to five constructed email addresses for the domain: admin, administrator, webmaster, hostmaster, and postmaster @[domain_name].

Note: When you register a domain, you must provide identifying and contact information (e.g., administrative and technical contacts). Instead of using a personal email address, you can also use one of the constructed email addresses for your domain (e.g., webmaster@yourdomain.com). Using one of the constructed email addresses allows you to create a "non-expiring" email address that you can add or remove people from when necessary.

If we can't find an MX record for [domain_name], you must use one of the other supported DCV methods to demonstrate your control over the domain.

MX Records (Mail Exchanger Records)

Before we can successfully send an authentication email (DCV Email) to the domain owner (or domain controller), we must verify that an MX record (a resource record in the Domain Name System [DNS]) exists in the DNS records of the recipient's domain name. The presence of valid MX records enables us to send the authentication email.

For example, you want to receive your DCV email at one of the constructed email addresses for example.com, admin@example.com. To successfully send a DCV Email to admin@example.com, we must first find an MX record for said address that identifies the server (e.g., mailhost.example.com) set up to receive the emails destined for admin@example.com.

If we find an MX record, we can successfully send a DCV email to admin@example.com. If we don't find an MX record, no DCV email is sent because we cannot identify the proper mail server.

DNS CNAME Validation

With this validation method, you add a DigiCert generated token (provided for the domain in your CertCentral account) to the domain’s DNS as a CNAME record. Then you add dcv.digicert.com as the CNAME target.

See Domain Validation (Pending Order): Use the DNS CNAME Record DCV Method.

DNS TXT Validation

With this validation method, you add a DigiCert generated token (provided for the domain in your CertCentral account) to the domain’s DNS as a TXT record. When DigiCert does a search for DNS TXT records associated with the domain, we can find a record where the record's value includes the DigiCert verification token.

See Domain Validation (Pending Order): Use the DNS TXT DCV Method.

HTTP Practical Demonstration Validation

With this validation method, you host a file containing a DigiCert generated token (provided for the domain in your CertCentral account) at a predetermined location on your website ([domain]/.well-know/pki-validation/[filename].txt. Once the file is created and placed on your site, DigiCert visits the specified URL to confirm the presence of your verification token.

See Domain Validation (Pending Order): Use the HTTP Practical Demonstration DCV Method.