This is known as Digital certificate or e-certificate. This is a simple file that you have to keep on your computer and it opens the door for online administration, in the electronic headquarters of the treasury, DGT, social security and so on. Saying it’s easy. But with a certificate, this is not the case. Get it either. Consequently, simpler alternatives have emerged, such as the Cl@ve PIN or the more modern electronic DNI or DNIe, which includes its own digital certificate.

The electronic certificate refers to the time when where security was synonymous with complexity. Basically, this file prevents them from impersonating you. And this ensures that it is you who perform certain procedures online. Today we have simpler alternatives. Like the two-step verification they use apps and websites. Or the Administration’s own alternatives that I mentioned earlier. Moreover, some administrations already allow us to register with a simple mobile number, email and, at the most, a phone call. But digital certificate goes further.

Have you heard about the headaches it gives, both to obtain it and to keep it running. We will look at what a digital certificate consists of, its pros and cons, and how to get one. And for everything to go well, be patient.

What is a digital certificate?

An electronic certificate or digital certificate is a computer file used to identify a person. This file can only be released and signed by an authorized person. To paraphrase the Internal Revenue Service’s own words, “it determines natural or legal person and the public key that was assigned to you for perform signing and/or encryption processes. Each certificate is identified by a unique serial number and has an expiration date specified on the certificate.

In practice, a digital certificate relieves you of the need to move to various public administration offices, stand in line, introduce themselves to the duty officer, and process the usual paperwork. You do this whole process at home or in the office thanks to this certificate. So basically there is make things easier.

And for what specific procedures is the electronic certificate used? Here is a list that details the Royal Mint itself:

  • Filing and paying taxes
  • Submission of appeals and claims
  • Completing the population and housing census data
  • Consultation and registration in the municipal register
  • Check traffic fines
  • Grant Consultation and Procedures
  • Check distribution of polling stations
  • Reported activities
  • Electronic signature of official documents and forms
La FNMT emite el certificado electrónico
Credit: Carlos Delgado / Wikipedia

How to get a digital certificate?

In Spain, the Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre – Real Casa de la Moneda is responsible for processing digital or electronic certificates. Known by the acronym FNMT-RCM. More specifically, his department CERES, an acronym for SPANISH CERTIFICATION. To give you an idea, while writing these lines, the official CERES page indicated that there are about 11.7 million active certificates. Digital certificates that represent individuals or entities. Do you want to be one of them?

First, go to the “Get Electronic Certificates” section of the Electronic Headquarters “Factory of National Currencies and Postage Stamps”. From the list that you will see, select the desired certificate. Select for a specific person Individual. Requirements for certification: be an adult or emancipated minor, Spanish or foreigner, with a DNI or NIE. The process is free.

What do you need to get a digital certificate? There are two ways to get it. Classic, ask upload file, certificate in the form of software. The second way, if you have an electronic DNI, you already have a digital certificate.

In the future it will also be possible to request a digital certificate via android. But at the time of this writing, the FNMT Electronic Headquarters says: “Requesting a certificate through the Android app is not currently available. The final version is being finalized and when it will be available will be announced on this page. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.” This will mainly identical process to DNIe, but by changing the DNIe reader for your Android smartphone. What will we keep.

Obtener el certificado digital requiere de paciencia

Get a digital certificate in the program

This first method is the classic one, the first to be used since the introduction of the digital certificate or e-certificate. It consists of four parts. Basically, it’s a simple process. The problem is that everything must be done following the instructions and sometimes we don’t even get the desired result.

First step. Prepare your computer. To request and use a certificate, you must leave your computer intact. That is, it is forbidden to format it. Fortunately, it is compatible with common browsers: Firefox, Chrome, Edge, Opera and Safari. You will also need to install two programs: FNMT Configurator and Autofirma. Both are available for Windows, macOS and Linux.

Second step. We request a certificate online. In this form we enter the requested information: DNI/NIE, first name and email address. Finally click on the button Send request. You will receive a request code. Keep it good.

Third step. Physically verify your identity. With the application code and your DNI/NIE in hand, you must go to the accreditation office. If you are a European or foreign citizen, you will need more documents. You can find the authorized office on this map. Just in case, contact the office what you chose to make sure they are still doing the procedure and/or if you need to make an appointment.

Fourth step. Download certificate. “Approximately 1 hour after you verify your identity at the Identity Accreditation Office and use your request code, from here you can download and install your certificate and make a backup.” You must provide your DNI/NIE, first name and application code.

Once you receive the certificate, you will be able to manage it using the two previously downloaded programs. Please note that this certificate will only work on this computer. This is a very sensitive file. throws an error or problem if you change any settings. And what if you copy to another computer without following the instructions.

Con el DNI electrónico puedes obtener el certificado digital
Credit: e-administration portal

Get a digital certificate with your DNIe

You have Electronic ID? You will recognize him because he has a golden chip. Like bank cards. Well, you’re in luck. Getting a digital certificate will be easier for you. Of course, you will need a device that can read the DNIe chip. An eDNIe reader. For less than 10 euros you can find them online. But make sure it is specifically compatible with the Spanish electronic DNI. Otherwise, this process includes three steps.

First step. Prepare your computer. The same as in the previous method. To request and use a certificate, you must leave your computer intact. That is, it is forbidden to format it. Fortunately, it is compatible with common browsers: Firefox, Chrome, Edge, Opera and Safari. You will also need to install two programs: FNMT Configurator and Autofirma. Both are available for Windows, macOS and Linux. But there is more. You must install the DNIe cryptographic software and e-DNI root certificates. More information at this link.

Second step. Certificate application. We have installed the two previous programs, we have also installed the DNIe software, connected the DNIe reader, and injected DNIe into the reader to install the e-DNI root certificates. If you visit this page, you will be able to request a digital certificate. Something is wrong? You will see this link with possible solutions. If everything goes well, you will receive an email with a request code.

Third step. Download certificate. ”Approximately 1 hour after the request and using the request code we sent to your email account, from here you can download and install the certificate and make a backup.

To end. Remember that if you have any questions or need more information To obtain your own digital certificate or e-certificate, you can visit the dedicated e-certificate page. You can also go to the customer support and view all the options and methods of communication for resolving doubts and problems.

Source: Hiper Textual

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