Verify Service Provider signing
If you’re using the Verify Service Provider (VSP) to connect to GOV.UK Verify, you are responsible for keeping its encryption and signing certificates up to date.
If you’re using a custom service provider, go to the section about updating service provider keys.
Rotate your VSP signing key and certificate
Step 1. Create a new self-signed signing certificate
Use your preferred method to generate a new private key and self-signed certificate pair.
Make sure the private key is PKCS #8 formatted and PEM encoded.
The self-signed certificate must be:
- valid for one year
- in X.509 format and PEM encoded
Generate your private key and self-signed certificate: The terminal will prompt you for information. You must provide a The There is no mandatory naming convention for For example, the common name could be
See an example
openssl req -x509 -newkey rsa:2048 -days 365 -nodes -sha256 \
-keyout <private-key>.key -out <certificate>.crt
Common Name. All other information is optional.
Common Name is the part of the certificate metadata that helps you identify that certificate more easily. You can use the
Common Name to check you’ve uploaded the right certificate when using the GOV.UK Verify Manage certificates service.
Common Name, but it’s useful during troubleshooting if you include the:
Common Name must not contain underscores.
Generate your private key and self-signed certificate:
The terminal will prompt you for information. You must provide a
There is no mandatory naming convention for
For example, the common name could be
Step 2. Upload the new signing certificate
Upload your new signing certificate to the GOV.UK Verify Manage certificates service.
This starts a deployment process that adds your new VSP signing certificate to the GOV.UK Verify Hub configuration. During deployment the GOV.UK Verify Hub will continue to use your old certificate. The deployment process does not cause any connection downtime. When the deployment is complete, the GOV.UK Verify Hub will be using both your new and your old certificate to check the signature on messages coming from your service.
The deployment process takes approximately 10 minutes. You will receive an email confirmation when the GOV.UK Verify Hub starts using your new signing certificate. You can also check the deployment status on the GOV.UK Verify Manage certificates service dashboard.
Wait for deployment confirmation before moving to the next step.
Step 3. Replace the old signing key
The email from the GOV.UK Verify team confirms that GOV.UK Verify Hub now trusts messages signed with your new VSP signing key. This means you can replace the old signing key from your VSP configuration.
To replace the old signing key from the VSP configuration:
- Replace the old signing key under
samlSigningKeyin the VSP configuration with the new key.
- Restart the VSP to implement the configuration changes.
Your VSP now signs messages for the GOV.UK Verify Hub using your new signing key.
Step 4. Remove your old certificate from the GOV.UK Verify Hub configuration
To make sure the GOV.UK Verify Hub does not trust messages signed with your old key, you must also remove your old certificate from the GOV.UK Verify Hub configuration.
- Go to the GOV.UK Verify Manage certificates service dashboard.
- Select the VSP signing certificate due to expire.
- Select Stop using this certificate.
The GOV.UK Verify Hub now only trusts messages signed with your new VSP signing key.