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Validate certificates

Before a certificate authority (CA) will issue a certificate for a domain, the requester must prove they have control over that domain. This process is known as domain control validation (DCV).

​​ DCV situations

​​ Non-wildcard certificates

Specific (non-wildcard) custom hostnames can use HTTP based DCV for certificate renewals, as long as:

  • The hostname is pointing to the SaaS provider.
  • The hostname’s traffic is proxying through the Cloudflare network.

If your custom hostnames do not meet these requirements, use another validation method.

​​ Wildcard certificates

Wildcard custom hostnames require TXT-based validation. As the SaaS provider, you have two options for wildcard custom hostname certificate renewals:

​​ Minimize downtime

If you want to minimize downtime, explore one of the following methods to issue and deploy the certificate before onboarding your customers:

  • Delegated DCV: Place a one-time record at your authoritative DNS that allows Cloudflare to auto-renew all future certificate orders.
  • TXT validation: Have your customers add a TXT record to their authoritative DNS.
  • Manual HTTP validation: Add a TXT record at your origin.

​​ Minimize customer effort

If you value simplicity and your customers can handle a few minutes of downtime, you can rely on Cloudflare automatic HTTP validation.

​​ Potential issues

To avoid or solve potential issues, refer to our troubleshooting guide.