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Reloj Official date and time:
23/06/2021 07:53:10

What is the electronic signature?

How do you manage your electronic certificate?

What kinds of electronic certificates can I get?

Depending on the physical medium, two types of certificates can be obtained:

  • Software certificate: this is a software file whose physical medium is the computer itself or the server on which it is installed.
  • Card certificate: in this case, the electronic certificate is to be found on a cryptographic card. The electronic DNI falls into this category.

How can I obtain an electronic certificate?

The process to obtain an electronic certificate varies depending on the certification authority that issues it (check the instructions of the certification authority that you have chosen in the corresponding website). In case you have decided to obtain the certificate from the Spanish Mint (FNMT), you must follow these steps:

  • Electronic certificate request through the website (http://www.cert.fnmt.es). Press user Certificate and follow the steps that appear on the screen. You will need to insert some personal information. When you finish, you will get a request code associated to your certificate.
  • Identity accreditation: with the request code obtained in the previous step and your corresponding identification you must go to a registry office to formalise your request in person.
  • Obtaining the electronic certificate: once your identity has been accredited in the registry office, you can download your certificate from the website by accessing the Downlad Certificate tab. You will be asked for your NIF or NIE and the request code obtained in the first step. You must take into account that the request and the attainment of the certificate must be made from the same computer and by the same user.

If you wish to obtain your certificate on a cryptographic card, you will have to get one as well as a card reader if your computer does not have one. In addition, you will first have to install the root certificate of the FNMT and install the software that you have received with the card. From here, the steps that you will have to follow to obtain the certificate are the same as specified above with the difference that the request and the download have to be made with the card inserted in the card reader. Similarly, in the first step, you will have to choose the 'User certificate on crytographic card' instead of 'User certificate' in the website.

How do I install an electronic certificate?

Installation of the electronic certificate that has been chosen as an example, that of the FNMT, will be carried out automatically on the computer or in the card when you press the 'Send request' button in 'Download certificate' (step 3).

You can check whether the certificate has been installed correctly in the case of a software certificate as follows:

  • In Internet Explorer (it may vary depending on the version) go to Tools / Internet Options / Content / Certificates...
  • In Firefox (it may vary depending on the version) go to Tools / Options / Advanced / Encryption / View Certificates...

How do I export or import an electronic certificate?

The FNMT’s website itself recommends those who have installed a software certificate to make a backup copy of the certificate and of its corresponding private key. This way you may install it on other browsers and computers and keep it in case of problems with the computer in which you first installed it.

In order to make a backup copy (export), follow these steps:

  • In Internet Explorer go to Tools / Internet Options / Content / Certificates... / Personal. Press on the certificate you want and then select Export... The certificate export assistant will execute and will guide you through the process. Select the Export private key option. If you wish, you may set a password that the assistant will request in the future when you import the certificate. Next, press on Browse, select the location where you want to save the copy and name the file that will be generated. Then a summary with the selected options will appear. Press End.
  • In Firefox go to Tools / Options / Advanced / Encryption / View Certificates... Press on the certificate you want and then press Make Copy... Select the location where you want to save the certificate, choose a password for the certificate support and press Accept.

Should you wish to import your certificate to another browser or coputer, once you have made a backup copy on an external storage device, you can do so as follows:

  • In Internet Explorer go to Tools / Internet Options / Content / Certificates... / Personal. Select the Import option.... The certificate import assistant will execute and will guide you through the process. Select the file you wish to import with the Browse button. It will ask you for the password (only if you included it when you made the copy to be imported) and to enter the private key as exportable. Select the Automatically select the certificate store based on the type of certificate. Next, a summary with the selected options will appear. Press End.
  • In Firefox go to Tools / Options / Advanced / Encryption / View Certificates... Press on the certificate you want and then press Import... Select the file you want to import with the Browse button, insert the support password and press Accept.

How do you renew your electronic certificate?

Your certificate has a period of validity that you can check in your browser’s certificate property check menu. When the expiration date is near, you will need to contact the issuing certification authority by the means it puts at your disposal in order to request another certificate with a new period of validity.

Should you wish to renew your FNMT certificate, you may do so without having to go to a registry office in person if this is done within 60 days prior to its expiration. You must follow these steps:

  • Go to the FNMT’s website and request a renewal from the browser you currently have your certificate about to expire installed.
  • A few minutes later you will be able to download the renewed certificate from the website.

How and why revoke your electronic certificate?

Revoking a certificate means cancelling the certificate’s validity regardless of the certificate’s period of validity.

There are several reasons as to why revoke a certificate. The most common reason is the possibility that the certificate’s private key has been compromised and therefore another person may sign in the name of others. Another possible reason is that some information in the certificate is no longer valid.

In order to revoke a certificate it has to be communicated to the certification authority by one of the means permitted (Internet, telephone,...).

The process to revoke FNMT’s certificate is as follows:

  • If the holder of the certificate or his representative (only in the case of entities) have it in their possession, revocation will be carried out online.
  • If the holder of the certificate or his representative do not have it due to misplacement, loss or theft, he will have to go to the Accreditation Office in person and, once he has been identified, sign the certificate revocation request form. On a daily basis, the accreditation offices transmit the processed registries to the FNMT so that it may revoke the certificates.

Once a certificate has been revoked no signature made with that certificate will be legally valid.

How do you delete your electronic certificate?

You can delete your electronic certificate from the browser as follows:

  • In Internet Explorer (it may vary depending on the version) go to Tools / Internet Options / Content / Certificates... Then press on the certificate you want to delete and press Delete.
  • In Firefox (it may vary depending on the version) go to Tools /Options / Advanced / Encryption / View Certificates... Then press on the certificate you want to delete and press Delete.