Instructions for authorizing a domain using File as the DCV method

This validation method requires you demonstrate control over the website content for the domain by making a file—provided by your support representative—available at a public URL. You must then host the random value verification token—provided by your support representative—on the exact URL specified. When DigiCert does a search for the specified URL on that domain, we can look for and confirm the presence of the verification token.

  • eCommerce Note:
    For eCommerce customers (Symantec Trust Center, Thawte Certificate Center, GeoTrust Security Center, and RapidSSL Security Center), you can sign in to your account to use the File Auth DCV method. You can opt to use the File Auth DCV method during certificate enrollment, certificate renewal, or from the Order Status page.

  • CertCentral Note:
    For customers using our CertCentral platform, see our Domain Pre-Validation: Use HTTP Practical Demonstration as the DCV Method instructions.

How to Use File as the DCV Method for a Domain

Use these instructions if you need us to validate a domain using the File DCV method.

  1. Contact Support.

  2. Provide the Support representative with this information:

    1. Domain Name

    2. Company Name

    3. Order Number or Support ID number

  3. Your Support representative will provide you with these items:

    1. The location (URL) where you need to make the file available (e.g., [domain name]/.well-known/pki-validation/fileauth.txt)

    2. A generated token (e.g., randomnumbersandletters) that you need to add to the fileauth.txt file on the web page

  4. Upload the file to your website at the specified location (e.g., http://example.com/.well-known/pki-validation/fileauth.txt).

  5. Add the token to the fileauth.txt file on the web page.

    Note: Make sure to avoid some of the more Common Mistakes.

  6. Contact Support.

  7. Provide the Support representative with this information:

    1. Domain Name

    2. Company Name

    3. Order Number or Support ID number

  8. Ask them to check your DCV File.

    If everything is set up correctly, your DCV will be completed.

  9. Congratulations!

Common Mistakes

To validate your domain using the File Auth DCV method, DigiCert provides you with a URL and a token value. The URL does two things:

  • It contains the FQDN (fully qualified domain name) of the domain you want us to validate.

  • It tells us where to look so that we can find the fileauth.txt you add the generated random value to.

Below are some of the more common issues we run into when troubleshooting the reason File Auth checks fail. The File Auth DCV process was designed to keep an unauthorized individual from using a domain they do control to validate and get a certificate for a domain they don't control, such as one of yours.

Don't Modify the URL Provided

If you modify the URL in any way (change to the FQDN, capitalize a lowercase letter, forget to add a period, etc.), we won't find the fileauth.txt file with our generated random value in it.

For example, if we provide you with this URL: [http://yourdomain.com]/.well-known/pki-validation/fileauth.txt, don't add www to it ([http://www.yourdomain.com]/.well-known/pki-validation/fileauth.txt) or capitalize a letter that wasn't capitalized in the original URL ([http://yourdomain.com]/.well-known/PKI-validation/fileauth.txt).

Don't Place It on a Different Domain or Subdomain

To complete domain control validation for yourdomain.com, place the fileauth.txt file on the exact domain you want validated; the one we generate the URL for. We won't look at a different domain or subdomain to find our random token. We only look at the domain you want validated (such as the domain on your certificate order).

For example, if you need yourdomain.com validated so that you can request SSL/TLS certificates for it, we generate a URL for this domain - [http://yourdomain.com]/.well-known/pki-validation/fileauth.txt. Don't place the fileauth.txt file on sub.yourdomain.com or modify the URL and place it on yourotherdomain.com - it won't work. We can't find the fileauth.txt file on these domains - only on yourdomain.com.

yourdomain.com and www.yourdomain.com

If you want us to validate www.yourdomain.com and yourdomain.com, place the fileauth.txt file on yourdomain.com. This validates both yourdomain.com and www.yourdomain.com. We won't look at www.yourdomain.com to find the fileauth.txt file.

Free Base Domain SAN

If you received a free base domain SAN on your SSL certificate, make sure to place the fileauth.txt file on the base domain. We need to validate the domain on the SSL certificate order.

Don't Include Any Additional Content in the fileauth.txt File

When you create the fileauth.txt file, copy the DigiCert provided token value and paste it in the file. Don't add the word "token" or any other text.

Because we only read the first 2kb of the fileauth.txt file, additional text blocks us from validating your control over the domain.

Don't Place the fileauth.txt File on a Page with Multiple Redirects

When using the File Auth method for domain validation, the fileauth.txt file may be placed on a page that contains up to one redirect. With a single redirect, we are still able to locate the fileauth.txt file and verify your control over the domain.

For example, you need a certificate for http://example.com, but the page redirects to https://www.example.com. That's okay. You can place the fileauth.txt file on the http://example.com page. We will still be able to follow the single redirect to validate your control over http://example.com.

However, if you place the fileauth.txt file on a page with multiple redirects, we won't be able to locate the file. Multiple redirects block us from locating the fileauth.txt file and validating your control over the domain.

For example, you need a certificate for http://multiple-redirect.com, but the page redirects to https://www.multiple-redirect.com and then redirects again to https://www.single-redirect.com. In this case, you must still place the fileauth.txt file on the http://multiple-redirect.com page. However, you will need to disable the second redirect (https://www.single-redirect.com) long enough for us to locate the fileauth.txt and validate your control over http://multiple-redirect.com.