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Troubleshooting certificate validation

​​ High-risk domains

Occasionally, a domain will be flagged as “high risk” by Cloudflare’s CA partners. Typically this is done only for domains with an Alexa ranking of 1-1,000 and domains that have been flagged for phishing or malware by Google’s Safe Browsing service.

If a domain is flagged by the CA, you need to contact Support before validation can finish. The API call will return indicating the failure, along with a link to where the ticket can be filed.

​​ Certificate Authority Authorization (CAA) records

CAA is a new DNS resource record type defined in RFC 6844 that allows a domain owner to indicate which CAs are allowed to issue certificates for them. If your customer has CAA records set on their domain, they will either need to add the following (or remove CAA entirely): IN CAA 0 issue "" IN CAA 0 issue "" IN CAA 0 issue ""

While it is possible for CAA records to be set on the subdomain they wish to use with your service, it is unlikely. You would also have to remove this CAA record.

​​ Time outs

If a certificate issuance times out, the error message will indicate where the timeout occurred:

  • Timed Out (Initializing)
  • Timed Out (Validation)
  • Timed Out (Issuance)
  • Timed Out (Deployment)
  • Timed Out (Deletion)

To fix this error, send a PATCH request through the API or select Refresh for the specific custom hostname in the dashboard. If these return an error, delete and recreate the custom hostname.

​​ Immediate validation checks

You can send a PATCH request to request an immediate validation check on any certificate. The PATCH data only needs include the same ssl object as the original request.