What to do if the Digital Certificate expires

The Fábrica de Moneda y Timbre (FNMT) has enabled an online procedure to be able to renew the digital certificate after the state of alarm decree.
woman researching what to do if the digital certificate expires

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The forced quarantine of citizens since last March, to prevent the spread of COVID-19, has brought Spain to a standstill and has put a multitude of administrative procedures on hold.

However, many other procedures can continue to be carried out online through the electronic offices of public institutions by using a digital certificate, such as the Tax Agency, now in the midst of the Income Tax Return campaign, or the General Treasury of Social Security.

What is the Digital Certificate?

It is a digital document that contains the personal data of the interested party and that allows them to identify themselves on the Internet and exchange information with other people and organizations with the warranty that only both can access it.

There are two types: the certificate for natural entities, which upon issuance is valid for four years, and the certificate for representatives of legal entities, which is only valid for two years.

Once the digital certificate is about to expire, it is necessary to renew it, or, if it has already been renewed previously, it will only be necessary to request the issuance of a new certificate.

It is free and only requires submitting the DNI or NIE, being the easiest way to obtain it through the Fábrica de Moneda y Timbre (FNMT). But, later, it is necessary to go in person to prove the identity in public organisms, such as the Tax Agency.

What to do then if all the public service offices are closed during quarantine?

With the decree of the state of alarm, the Government already announced that the Tax Agency was going to allow the use of expired digital certificates during this period on an exceptional basis. In a note published on the website of this body, they explain that:

“In relation to those taxpayers whose digital certificate is expired or close to expiring, it is reported that the AEAT allows the use of expired certificates, at its headquarters in accordance with the provisions of Royal Decree 463/2020, of March 14th.”

It also warns: “It is possible that your usual browser does not allow it, in which case we recommend you move it to Firefox where you can continue using it.”

Renewal of an expired Digital Certificate

Regarding the renewal of natural entities certificates that have expired as of the entry into force of the state of alarm, the Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre details on its website the steps to follow to complete this renewal:

  1. Adjust your browser settings.
  2. Have the digital certificate of the natural person ready on the computer from which the renewal is to be requested (at the end of the process they will send a request code necessary to download the certificate at the end).
  3. Request the renewal. To do so in Internet Explorer, the date and time of the computer must be set to one prior to the expiration date of the certificate. After renewing it, reset the updated date to be able to download it.
  4. One hour after making the request and with the request code that the user will already have in their email, the renewed certificate can be now downloaded and installed.

Do you want to know more about this process?

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