How to Apply for an SSL Certificate–and What to Expect
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Your Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate is among the most important tools you have for protecting customers' sensitive data and convincing customers that your Web site is trustworthy and reputable and your business is legitimate. So what's involved in getting that SSL Certificate?
The first step is to decide what type of SSL Certificate is right for your business. Both Organizationally Validated (OV) Certificates and Extended Validation (EV) Certificates require the certificate issuer to verify independently the information concerning the applicant's business. EV Certificates demand exactly what their name indicates: more extensive validation of the applicant's business credentials to help ensure that the applicant isn't a phisher, spoofer, or other type of online criminal. In contrast to OV and EV Certificates, issuers of Domain Validated Certificates verify only that the applicant is the registrant of the domain name with which the certificate will be associated and cannot ensure that the web site is reputable.
When you apply for a certificate from a Certificate Authority (CA) such as Network Solutions, you will be asked to provide certain types of information about your business and your ownership of it. Depending upon the type of certificate you are seeking, this information may include:
- Dun & Bradstreet registration numbers
- Proof of physical address via database listings
- Opinion letter from legal counsel or public accountant
- Other corporate, financial, and government documents such as Articles of Incorporation, bank accounts, and business licenses
- Government-issued photo IDs
As a Certificate
Authority, Network Solutions® undertakes a comprehensive validation process to verify your business credentials and to ensure proper issuance of SSL Certificates or Site Confirm Seal.
- Network Solutions verifies the account holder information provided in your application.
- We match the account holder information to the registrant information in the WHOIS database for the domain name you associate with the SSL Certificate or Site Confirm S.
- We review your business credentials, such as your Dun & Bradstreet listing, articles of incorporation, business licenses, etc. If other documentation or information is required during this step, we will contact you.
- We telephone your organization to confirm that an order was placed for your SSL Certificate and that the person who placed the order is authorized to do so.
We strive for prompt issuance of your SSL Certificate and provide one-day turnaround (after receiving all validation documentation) on our SiteSafe™ SSL Pro and SSL Wildcard services. For more detailed instructions, please visit SiteSafe™ SSL Help.
The CA will review and verify the accuracy of these documents. Depending on the type of certificate, it may also perform additional checks before issuing the SSL Certificate. If the applicant's credentials can't be verified, then the CA will not issue the Certificate.
Due to the rigorous validation measures, issuing an OV certificate generally takes one business day, although in some cases the process may take two or three days.
EV Certificates require far more detailed documentation and validation procedures, which in turn take more time to verify before issuance. EV validation typically takes 5 – 7 days to complete.