Domain Control Validation by Email Verification Method

With this DCV validation method, the CA (GeoTrust, DigiCert, etc.) sends emails associated with the domain to the public WHOIS contacts and a set of generic administrative email addresses (admin@, administrator@, hostmaster@, webmaster@, and postmaster@) with a link for you to verify that you “own” the domain and approve the pending certificate request. 

Approved Email Addresses

When you place an SSL order and select Email Verification as the preferred DCV method, emails are instantly sent to a set of approved email addresses pulled in real time from 3 approved sources.

1. WHOIS contacts emails

Any WHOIS contact emails publicly viewable for the domain(s) in the certificate request. The emails can come from the registrant, admin, or tech contacts in a domain’s WHOIS record. WHOIS records are largely private, redacted, or otherwise hidden from public view since the GDRP privacy laws were enacted. WHOIS emails are an unreliable source for completing SSL domain control validation.

Are you expecting to receive an email at an address published in your domain’s WHOIS record?

Verify that your domain registrar or WHOIS provider has not masked, cloaked, or removed that information from public view. If the information is masked, find out if they provide a way (such as anonymized email address, web form) for you to allow Certificate Authorities (CAs) to access your domain’s WHOIS data.

2. DNS TXT emails

Any emails in the DNS record for _validation-contactemail.[]. Learn how to set up the Email to DNS TXT Contact DCV method.

3. Constructed Emails

Certificate Authorities (CAs) are permitted to send DCV verification emails to a set of 5 constructed or generic administrative email addresses. These addresses are constructed by joining together admin@, administrator@, hostmaster@, webmaster@, and postmaster@ to the domain(s) in the certificate request.

Suppose that you order a certificate for Immediately after submitting your SSL order, emails are sent to,,,, and 

Changing and Re-sending DCV Emails

You can re-send the approved set of DCV emails. Log in to your account and select the domain name you want where you need the emails re-sent. 

Setting Up Email Aliases and Forwarding

Setting up an email alias that forwards to your regular email address is perfectly fine. For example, you can configure an email alias to forward to As long as you can respond to the link in the DCV verification email, it doesn't matter how it makes it to you.

Testing your email server

Choosing and changing the DCV method

You choose the initial DCV method when placing an SSL/TLS order. You can change the current DCV method - for example, from Email Verification to DNS CNAME - at any time by clicking the button for any domain on the order that is not approved.  

Additional Resources