When does the digital certificate expire in Spain?Patrick
The digital certificate allows us to carry out all kinds of online procedures; however, just like the National Identity Document and other legal documents in Spain, it has a period of validity, after which it will be necessary to renew it. When does the digital certificate expire? how can I check its validity period, and where do I have to renew it? We answer these and other questions in this post.
What is a digital certificate?
Before looking at when the digital certificate expires, it is important to determine what this document is, and what actions it allows us to carry out. In this post, you can check the usefulness of the digital certificate issued by the FNMT, but in general terms, we can determine that it is a digital document, which includes a series of personal data of the holder, and which allows us to carry out online procedures with the Administration.
The advantage of a digital certificate is that it avoids face-to-face procedures, and therefore speeds up all the formalities that a person has to carry out with public bodies.
When does the digital certificate expire?
The period of validity of the digital certificate is 4 years, therefore, after this time it will be necessary to carry out a renewal procedure.
The period of validity begins on the date of issue of the document. From the date on which the certificate becomes valid, a period of 4 years begins during which the certificate can be used as if it were a physical official document.
After 4 years, it is no longer possible to carry out official procedures, unless the holder requests a renewal of the certificate.
Is it possible to check the validity of a digital certificate?
Yes, the holder’s personal profile has all the information relating to the certificate, including the period of validity.
The consultation process varies depending on the browser we use, but in most cases, we must access the configuration of our certificates and select the one we want to consult. Once opened, select the Manage Certificates option and in this section you can consult the information relating to the document, including the period of validity and the date on which it must be renewed.
Renewing a certificate that is about to expire
To renew a digital certificate, it is essential to check the date on which the document expires, using the process indicated above. The Administration allows renewal procedures to begin 60 days before the expiry date.
For the renewal to be effective, it will be necessary to complete the following steps:
- Pre-configuration. To renew the certificate it is necessary to install software that you can download from the official website of the Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre.
- Apply for renewal. Once you have installed the FNMT Certificate for Individuals in the browser from which you are going to renew the certificate, the holder will be authenticated, and then the Administration will send you a Request Code, which you will need to download the renewed certificate.
- Download the certificate. Certification and downloading are not immediate processes. Approximately 1 hour after requesting the renewal, using the request code sent to the holder’s email account, you can download and install the renewed certificate and make a backup copy, in case the original file suffers any damage.
The digital certificate renewal process is very simple and can be carried out online, but it is important to bear in mind that it must always be carried out within the 60-day period prior to the expiry date.
Why do electronic documents have an expiry date?
Generally speaking, all official documents have an expiry date, with some exceptions, such as the DNI after the age of 70, which will have a permanent expiry date.
In the case of digital certificates, the reason why it is necessary to renew these files is because of advances in security systems. The cryptographic processes that act in the case of the electronic form vary, based on the computing capacity of the computers themselves, in a period of 4 years, the processes have changed sufficiently so that a certificate must increase its security levels, by means of a renewal.
Law 6/2020 establishes that official documents in electronic format must be renewed every 4 years, with the aim of adapting their security environment.
Management of electronic certificates in Asesoría Orihuela Costa
At Asesoría Orihuela Costa we offer you the opportunity to count on the advice of a team specialised in electronic official procedures, as well as general dealings with the Administration. If you need to process or renew your electronic certificate, or carry out any type of official procedure related to your documents, contact our team and get the best legal advice service.