From 1 April 2015 all SSL Certificates will be issued with a maximum validity period of 39 months. This restriction has been agreed by all parties of the CAB Forum (A collection of Certificate Authorities and Browser vendors) and is therefore industry wide. This reduced validity period is being imposed to help increase the security of SSL/TLS.
This restriction applies to new certificates and any re-issues. If you need to re-issue your SSL certificate after 1 April 2015 the re-issued certificate will have a maximum validity of 39 months. Servertastic will stop selling 4 year SSL certificates on 1st March 2015.
If the maximum validity is 3 years why is the restriction 39 months?
No we haven’t got the maths wrong. When renewing a certificate you can receive up to a maximum of 3 months additional validity added to your certificate depending on the remaining time on your current certificate. If you renew early enough you will get a certificate valid for 39 months.
Can I still purchase 4 year SSL Certificates?
You can purchase 4 year certificates up to 1st March 2015. After this date the maximum duration will be 3 years. Please also refer to the next question.
Can I re-issue a 4 year SSL certificate?
All certificates come with unlimited re-issues. However if you re-issue your certificate after 1 April 2015 and it has more than 39 months remaining then the validity will be truncated to 39 months. If you have 4 year certificates ensure you back-up the keys to prevent the need to re-issue and loosing any validity period over 39 months.
Can I re-issue a certificate that is older than 39 months?
The CAB Forum has also stated that the 39 month restriction applies to vetted data. This means if you order a 4 year certificate you will only be able to re-issue it during the first 39 months (and with a validity period of no more than 39 months).
What is the maximum validity period for EV certificates?
This remains at 27 months. 24 months plus up to 3 months extra for early renewals.
Where can I find out more information about the CAB Forum Guidelines?
For the current CA/Browser Baseline Requirements v1.2.3
(16 October 2014). Specifically see Section 9.4 for validity period changes.