SSL Certificate: Effect, Activation, and Installation

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How long does it take for SSL to take effect? While issuance time for SSL/TLS certificates varies from a few minutes to upwards of 5 days, here’s how you can accelerate the process

Are you in the market for a new SSL certificate, or perhaps you’ve recently purchased one? If you’re wondering “how long does it take for SSL to take effect?” or “how long does it take for SSL to work?” then we’ve got you covered.

SSL certificates come with different levels of validation, and depending on the level you choose, the issuance time can vary from a few minutes to up to five days. Each validation level deploys varying degrees of strictness in its verification process, which means that some SSL certificates are more trusted than others.

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Let’s look at each validation level separately along with how long it takes to activate an SSL certificate for each level.

How Long Does It Take For SSL Certificate

A standard SSL certificate, also known as a domain validated (DV) certificate, can be issued within minutes of the application. On the other hand, an organization validated (OV) and extended validated (EV) certificates can take up to 3 and 6 days, respectively, for issuance.

Domain Validation (DV)

These certificates adopt the least stringent verification process of all SSL certificates and, consequently, can be issued within a matter of minutes. While DV certificates are quick to obtain, they’re also the least trusted when compared to the other validation levels.

Organization Validation (OV)

OV certificates have a more rigorous verification process relative to DV certs, and the answer to your question “how long does it take for SSL to work?” can vary between one and three days for these certificates.

As part of the validation process, you’ll need to submit organization-specific documentation, provide a verifiable telephone number, offer proof to support that your business is an active legal entity in the registered location, etc.  

Extended Validation (EV)

Extended validation has the most intensive verification process. It can take up to five days for a CA to issue this type of certificate. In addition to the vetting process that’s required for organization validation, to obtain an EV SSL certificate, you’ll also need to submit proof of your organization’s operational existence, physical address, etc.

Companies that need to establish maximum trust with their customer base — such as health organizations, financial institutes, e-commerce sites, etc. — it’s best to opt for EV SSL certificates.

Ways to Expedite the Issuance Process

Once you’ve decided which certificate you’d like to use to secure your site, irrespective of the validation level and usual issuance time, we’ll work with you to speed up the process if necessary. Consider gathering and obtaining the following documents ahead of time if you’d like to put your certificate to work as quickly as possible:

  • For EV certs, you’ll need to print out, sign, and send an enrollment form (called an acknowledgment of agreement) to your chosen certificate authority (CA). It’s better to scan or fax the document to the CA instead of mailing it since that can create considerable delays in the validation process.
  • OV and EV certificates need to verify that your company is a legitimate legal entity. Though the verification process can be done by the CA using online government databases, any mismatch in information will cause delays. However, you can proactively share official registration documents such as articles of incorporation or submit a professional opinion letter (POL). A POL can be used to satisfy a majority of the requirements for an OV or EV certificate. It’s a document that’s attested to by a licensed attorney or professional accountant where they basically vouch for your organization’s authenticity.
  • A credit report from Dun & Bradstreet, a company that’s trusted by CAs and does financial reporting on other businesses, can be used to satisfy multiple requirements of the vetting process.

After you receive the SSL certificate from the CA, you can follow the installation guidelines for your specific server and make the necessary changes in the configuration files. if you’re wondering “how long does it take to install an SSL certificate?” then you’ll be happy to know it’s a fairly quick process. The installation steps themselves are fairly straightforward, but you can reach out to our customer support team if you require any further assistance.

To answer your original question about “how long does it take for SSL to take effect?” Once the installation and server configurations are done, the SSL certificate becomes available immediately. This means that you will see a padlock in your browser and will be able to access your website over HTTPS.