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DigiCert: What is the DCV challenge DCV?

The DCV challenge -standing for Domain Control Validation- is a procedure to let us know that the person requesting a certificate is dully authorized to do so by the domain's technical manager. It is an additional vetting.

The different kinds of DCV challenge

You can choose among several kinds of DCV challenge when placing your certificate orders:

The DCV E-mail

The principle is simple: an e-mail is sent to all the addresses present in domain ownership title (whois) and at the following generic addresses:

  • admin@dom.ain
  • administrator@dom.ain
  • hostmaster@dom.ain
  • webmaster@dom.ain
  • postmaster@dom.ain

The e-mail addresses list depends on the requested FQDN (Internet address to be secured and provided in the CSR) of the order form (test it here now).
If none of those e-mail addresses is valid you can edit the contact information of your domain name's registration data via your domain name supplier.

You can also modify the address and request the e-mail to be sent again via your certificate status page.

How to get prepared?

To pass this control, you will have to be the recipient of the DCV e-mail.

You are invited to check right now that you'll actually be able to receive e-mails on one of the generic addresses above. Run some tests by sending e-mails to those addresses.
Make sure as well that your anti-spam system won't hold e-mails from:

  • For Thawte certificates:
  • For RapidSSL certificates:
  • For Geotrust certificates:
  • For DigiCert certificates:

If you are not the recipient of any of those addresses ask the persons who are to forward the DCV e-mails to you.

But we do advise to create an e-mail address not existing yet (administrator@dom.ain?) that would point directly at you. You'll save a lot of time and won't have to wait for someone to forward you the e-mail.

If you are a supplier requesting a certificate for one of your customers you'll have to pass the information on. If you manage their domain names as well make sure there is a redirection from the generic address to your customer e-mail address.

When is this e-mail sent?

The DCV e-mail is sent when your order is transferred to the certification authority. It is valid for 30 days.
From your certificate status page you can follow the audit progress and have the e-mail re-sent to the selected address.

Email to DNS TXT contact DCV method

To use this method, you must add a TXT entry in your DNS configuration. The entry should be in the following form:

  • Subdomain : _validation-contactemail
  • Value :

After saving, the result is:

dig txt

In the same way as the DCV E-mail method, an e-mail will be sent to the address registered in the DNS record.


Note: Since December 1st 2021 and a CA/B Forum decision, the HTTP or HTTPS DCV method cannot be used for wildcard certificates anymore. Only the methods by email or DNS will be proposed to you.

How does it work?

When your order is transferred to the certification authority, a file is created from your CSR. Place this file in the .well-known/pki-valiation/ sub-directory of your website (the file must be reachable via internet in HTTP or HTTPS). A robot will check the presence and the content of this file. If everything is consistent with the information provided, the challenge is validated.

Please note: Let's imagine you want a certificate to secure, the robot will search for the file in the .well-known/pki-valiation/ sub-directory of For multi-site certificate securing several sub-domains, one file will have to be placed in the .well-known/pki-valiation/ sub-directory of each sub-domain.

If you are using a Windows Server, the creation of the .well-known directory might be difficult, this is why we have published a documentation about this step.

This file must be named fileauth.txt, must not be renamed nor edited.

IP addresses of Digicert servers

Need to configure permissions for accessing your HTTP file? Here are the Digicert IPs:


The DCV DNS - The specialist's solution

It is a technical handling that aims to add a TXT entry to your server DNS configuration.

How does it work?

When your order is transferred to the certification authority The CSR you provided is hashed and you will have to configure your server with the resulting values. The TXT entry will have the form:

<yyyyMMddHHmmss><secret code>

For example:     3600    IN      TXT     

Warning: If you chose a hosting company such as OVH or GANDI,the configuration will not be taken into account instantaneously. It takes from 10mn to an hour for the modification to be effective (not to mention the propagation time defined in your DNS configuration: TTL).

Specific procedures

How to relaunch the DCV challenge?

Regardless of the type of challenge selected, it is always possible to request it relaunch, either resend the email, or ask the robot to return to check for presence the .txt file or the DNS configuration.

To do so, go on your certificate status page and click on the 'Follow up on DCV challenge' button.
If the relaunch is not possible, you can contact Digicert support with the "Livechat" button on the status page of your order. Once in contact with the support, request the relaunch of the DCV challenge.

Which products are concerned?

All Symantec, Thawte and Geotrust certificates. The procedure is applied to new orders, renewals or reissuances.

DCV DNS, HTTP and HTTPS: The robot schedule

If, during its first visit, the robot does not find the file, it comes again regularly:

  • Every minute for the first 15 minutes
  • Every five minutes for an hour
  • Every 15 minutes for 4 hours
  • Every hour for a day
  • Every 4 hours for 2 weeks
  • and every day for 30 days