Server Certificate Renewal Frequently Asked Questions
- What does a server certificate do?
Server certificates are the means by which your organization is recognized (authenticated) and authorized to conduct certain critical payment and information services via FedLine® Solutions.
- Why do server certificates need to be replaced?
Server certificates expire every three years. Due to volume and limited available testing slots, your server certificates must be renewed, downloaded, installed and tested at least 90 days prior to their expiration dates in order to ensure your organization is able to continue transacting payments or accessing files with the Federal Reserve Banks without risk of service interruptions.
- How long does the renewal process take?
You will be notified approximately 150 days prior to your server certificate renewal expiration date to allow your organization to plan accordingly. The amount of time it will take your organization to renew server certificates will largely depend on your organization’s set-up (see “My organization has multiple server certificates…” question below).
Please reference the Steps to a Successful Renewal (PDF) guide for additional planning information. The Federal Reserve Banks encourage you to submit the correct certificate renewal form(s) and/or call the Customer Contact Center (CCC) at (888) 881-6700, option 2, as soon as possible to begin the process.
- How do I schedule a server certificate test for my Test and/or Production certificate?
Upon receipt of a phone or email expiration notice, your organization must begin planning for your certificate renewal by calling the Customer Contact Center at (888) 881-6700, option 2, to schedule your server certificate test.
IMPORTANT: Testing slots are limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Please take immediate action to ensure that you are able to secure a testing slot and successfully test with the Federal Reserve Banks.
- Test server certificates can be tested during regular business hours
- Production server certificates must be installed and tested during non-business hours
- How can I be best prepared for our test slot?
Review the online content and the certificate renewal documentation that was emailed to your EUAC (if you need this documentation please contact your EUAC or call the Customer Contact Center at (888) 881-6700, option 2). Should you have any questions regarding any of this information, contact your FedLine Project Manager well in advance of your scheduled test. Additional preparation details can be found on the Server Certificate Renewal page.
- My organization has multiple server certificates. Can I replace all of them simultaneously?
Yes. Although you are only required to replace those certificates within your renewal deadline, you may choose to complete the renewal of additional server certificates at the same time. We recommend that you call the Customer Contact Center at (888) 881-6700, option 2, to identify and customize a certificate renewal plan that works best for your organization.
- My organization does not use a server certificate listed on the renewal documentation sent to our EUAC. Do I need to take any action?
Yes. You must submit a request to delete the server certificate that is no longer used. This step will ensure that your organization is not charged for a server certificate it is not using.
- Can I change my organization’s renewal deadline?
No. Your organization must complete its certificate renewal by the deadline provided to you.
- What role do I play in renewing server certificates?
As part of your compliance with Operating Circular 5 and the Certification Practice Statement, your organization is expected to implement steps to maintain procedures and expertise that would prevent any service disruption. This compliance includes having access to middleware software administrators, maintaining backups of your server certificates and recording and tracking server certificate expiration dates. Additionally, your organization must maintain current server certificate support procedures, including but not limited to procedures for downloading, installing, testing and pointing the middleware to a new certificate.
- I want to get started now. What should I do first?
Review the Steps to a Successful Renewal (PDF) guide.
- What are the technical requirements for the renewal?
You should ensure that your organization has supported software versions installed and that you have support from staff members or your vendor with the ability to backup, download, install and point your middleware to a server certificate. Additional information on technical requirements is available in the FedLine Direct® Security and Implementation Guide, FedLine Command® Security and Implementation Guide or the Check 21 Large File Delivery Implementation Guide. Contact the Customer Contact Center at (888) 881-6700 if you do not have the documents you need.
- What should I do if I have questions?