What is the difference between getting a certificate through the University’s InCommon contract and buying directly from InCommon (or any other certificate vendor)?

In order to obtain or renew a certificate directly from a commercial Certificate Authority, you must follow these steps, which can cause a significant delay in turn around:

  • Visit a vendor web page to provide your personal identification and server information to their automated system.
  • Issue a Purchase Order to the vendor.
  • Wait for the vendor to call HR to verify your identity, employment, etc.
  • Then go through the technical steps of generating a certificate signing request, downloading the signed certificate, etc.

By taking advantage of the University’s InCommon Service, the University provides the approval for InCommon to generate your certificate. The process can go much more quickly, as most of the paper handoffs and manual interventions are gone.

Compared to a direct vendor purchase, the cost to you is nothing.

Where can I learn more about InCommon Certificates?

See the InCommon Certificate Service page. Also note the Support link on that page.

How long are certificates valid?

There is the choice of one-, two-, or three-year certificates. Do not let your certificate expire. Renew your certificates early! We suggest renewing your certificate at least a month early, since there is no departmental cost associated with the certificates, to prevent them for expiring and impacting your environment.

How much does a certificate cost?

The University has purchased the certificate service. The certificates are provided to departments at no cost.

How long does it take to receive a certificate?

Generally, you should have your certificate within 24 hours if you request it Monday – Thursday between the hours of 8:00am – 5:00pm. You need to request your certificate before noon on Fridays to have it approved prior to Monday.