Document Signing Certificates

 

Document Signing certificates are digital certificates that can be used to sign digital documents like Adobe PDF files, OpenOffice, LibreOffice, or Microsoft Office files. When you digitally sign a document using a certificate, the person you send the document to will know that it came from you and hasn't been tampered with or changed. This is essential for many types of documents including contracts, bills, e-statements, financial documents, etc.

Why do I need a document signing certificate?

If you don’t use a document signing certificate, your documents can be changed by anyone, or any server, that is used to send the documents to the recipient. This could include ISP companies, governments, IT employees, or criminal hackers. With a document signing certificate, you are 100% guaranteed that a document hasn't been changed.

How do I get a document signing certificate?

The process of getting a document signing certificate is very simple. You simply apply for one from an SSL Certificate Authority and verify your identity with them.

Use the following chart to find the best document signing certificate provider:

Provider

Cost

CA Rating

 

Buy Now

DigiCert

$379 for 1 Year (up to 500 documents per year)

 

Buy DigiCert Document Signing Certificate

SSL.com

$299 for 1 Year

 

Buy SSL.com Document Signing Certificate

Comodo / Sectigo

$17 for 1 Year

 

Buy Comodo Personal Authentication Certificate

How do I install a document signing certificate and sign a document?

For step-by step instructions on how to order and install a document signing certificate, contact your certificate provider. You can get a rough idea of the process by reviewing these articles:

How does a document signing certificate work?

Once you install the document signing certificate, you will sign the document with the document software of your choice (Adobe, Microsoft Office, LibreOffice, OpenOffice). A digital signature that is unique to your document signing certificate will be created and appended to the document. When the document is opened by the recipient, their software will verify that the signature matches your certificate and notify the recipient if any tampering has been detected. Different software handles this differently so make sure to check the documentation of the document software that you use.

Originally posted on Mon Feb 3, 2020