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Online Support SSL Certificates

What to do if the CSR cannot be decoded or is Invalid

If your CSR is invalid, then it is most likely missing one of the necessary pieces of information that all Certificate Signing Requests have to contain. These are listed here:

  • Organization Name. This should include Inc, Corp, Ltd or LLC, if applicable. Make sure that the way you write it in the CSR matches the way your company name is written in official documentation.
  • Organizational Unit. This is the department at your company that is in charge of handling the SSL Certificate.
  • Locality (City). The town or city where your organization is based.
  • State/Province. The province or state where your organization is based. Make sure that you do not abbreviate this - write it out in full.
  • Country (2 character ISO code). The country where your organization is based.
  • Common Name (Fully Qualified Domain Name). This is the domain where you want to make TSL/SSL-encrypted connections. If you have a Wildcard SSL Certificate, then this should be preceded by an asterisk so that it will be valid for all subdomains of your site.

Most of the time when a CSR cannot be decoded it means that there is something wrong with the way it has been formatted. It could also contain non-alphanumeric characters in the fields listed above.

To ensure correct formatting, double-check and be sure that your CSR begins with and ends with 5 dashes, as shown in the example below:

-----BEGIN NEW CERTIFICATE REQUEST-----

-----END NEW CERTIFICATE REQUEST-----

Sometimes additional characters can be picked up in the process of cutting and pasting. Check for these characters. Here is an example where two symbols (the ? and the space underlined and highlighted in red) will prompt an error when you decode your CSR. The only character other than ordinary alphanumeric ones that can be present in a CSR is the backslash \. All others will cause errors to appear.

-----BEGIN NEW CERTIFICATE REQUEST-----

MWdp4wPPF4Avt4FEP5VAxwegvFGHWE94RBcswerFVCDSNHfkreBGvdADVbgko4Gr
PVFdw1DVSv\VFDa3CDSviefeRT3E? ML0df3GspWcRnqa3GVPdrLzqpF9V2FQoVkSS
A\ADVf2v894gn3jfmEVenveRGEHEOBMVB3gfk54k3ot54vejj4FERckmkWEvrf8v

-----END NEW CERTIFICATE REQUEST-----

If your problems persist after making the checks listed above, please send your CSR to us. We will be glad to help you find and fix the problem.

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