Electronic Signature

How To manage their electronic certificate?

What kind of electronic certificates can I get?

According to the support, types of certificates that can obtain are basically two:

  • Certificate of software: it is a software file whose hardware is the computer or server where it is installed.
  • Card certificate: in this case, the electronic certificate is in a cryptographic card. The electronic DNI falls within this upmarket

How to obtain an electronic certificate?

The process of obtaining an electronic certificate varies depending on the issuing certification authority (see the instructions of the certification authority you have chosen on its corresponding website). If, for example, you want to obtain the certificate from the National Currency and Stamp Factory (FNMT), you must follow these steps:

  • Electronic certificate request through the website. Press 'User Certificate' and follow the steps that are indicated. You will need to enter a series of personal data. Upon completion, you will get an application code associated with your certificate.
  • Proof of identity: with the application code obtained in the previous step and its corresponding identification must be presented at a registration office to formalize your request in person.
  • Obtaining the electronic certificate: once your identity is accredited at the registration office, you can download your certificate from the website by accessing the 'Certificate download' tab. You will be required your NIF or NIE and the application code obtained in the first step. You should keep in mind that the request and the certificate must be obtained from the same computer and user.

If you would like to obtain your certificate on a cryptographic card, you must obtain one and a card reader in case your computer does not have one. In addition, you must first install the FNMT root certificate and install the software that you will have received with the card. From here, the steps you must take to obtain the certificate are the same as those specified above with the difference that the application and download must be done with the card placed in the reader. Also, for the first step, you must choose on the website 'User certificate on cryptographic card' instead of 'User certificate'.

How to install an electronic certificate?

The installation of the electronic certificate that we have chosen as an example, that of the FNMT, will be carried out automatically on the computer or on the card by pressing the 'Send request' button in 'Certificate download' (step 3).

To verify that the certificate has been installed correctly in case of software certificate, you can do it as follows:

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

How To export and import an electronic certificate?

The FNMT page itself recommends that those who have installed a software certificate make a backup copy of the certificate and its corresponding private key. In this way, you can install it in other browsers and computers and have it saved in case of problems with the computer on which you initially installed it.

To make the backup (export), we follow the following steps:

  • In Internet Explorer go to Tools / Internet Options / Content / Certificates ... / Personal. Click on the certificate you want and then choose 'Export ...'. The certificate export wizard will run, which will guide you through the process. Select the option 'Export private key'. If you wish, you can set a password that the wizard will request later when you import the certificate. Then, click on 'Browse', select the location where you want to save the copy and name the file to be generated. Then a summary with the chosen options will be displayed. Click on 'Finish'.
  • In Firefox go to Tools / Options / Advanced / Encryption / View certificates ... Click on the certificate you want and then press 'Make Copy ...'. Choose the place where you want to save the certificate, a password for the certificate backup and click on 'OK'.

In case you want to import your certificate to another browser or computer, once you have made a backup on an external storage device, you could do it as follows:

  • In Internet Explorer go to Tools / Internet Options / Content / Certificates ... / Personal. Choose the option 'Import ...'. The certificate import wizard will guide you through the process. Select the file you want to import using the 'Browse' button. You will be asked for a password (only if it was included when the copy to be imported was made) and mark the private key as exportable. We choose 'Automatically select the certificate store based on the type of certificate'. A summary with the chosen options will be shown below. Click on 'Finish'.
  • In Firefox go to Tools / Options / Advanced / Encryption / View certificates ... Click on the certificate you want and then click on 'Import ...'. Select the file you want to import using the 'Browse' button, type the certificate backup password and click on 'OK'.

How to renew its electronic certificate?

The certificate has a period of validity that you will see in the menu of consultation of ownership of certificate of your browser. When the expiry date is next, you will need to contact the broadcaster certification authority through the media that enable to request the emission of another certificate with a new period of validity.

In the event that wish to renew its certificate of FNMT, since the two months prior to the expiration can do it without the need to go personally to a registration office. The steps are:

  • Go to the website of the FNMT and apply the renewal from the browser where currently has installed the certificate that is about to expire.
  • A few minutes after the certificate you can download renewed from this website.

How and why revoke your electronic certificate?

Revoke a certificate represents cancel the certificate's validity independently of the interval of certificate validity.

The grounds for revoking a certificate are varied. The most common is the possibility that has seen committed the private key of the certificate and therefore there is another person who can perform signatures on behalf of others. Another possible reason is that some data of content in the certificate is no longer valid.

To revoke a certificate is necessary to notify the certification authority by one of the facilities provided for this (Internet, telephone, …).

The procedure to revoke the certificate of the FNMT is as follows:

  • If the holder of the certificate or his representative (only in case of entities), are in possession of the same, revocation would be via Internet.
  • If the holder of the certificate or his representative do not have the same by loss, loss or theft, you must appear in an office of accreditation for once identified, sign the model of request for cancellation of the certificate. The offices of accreditation aired daily unprocessed logs to FNMT for this makes the revocation of the certificate.

Once a certificate is revoked, no signature done with the certificate will have legal validity.

How to remove its electronic certificate?

If you want to remove your electronic certificate from the browser, you can do it this way:

  • In Internet Explorer (may vary by version) go to Tools / Internet Options / Content / Certificates ... Then click on the certificate you wish to remove and choose 'Remove'.
  • In Firefox (it may vary depending on the version) go to Tools / Options / Advanced / Encryption / View Certificates ... Then, click on the certificate you wish to delete and choose 'Delete ...'.