IT Center Blog

DFN-PKI certificates – where does the identity check take place?

January 12th, 2022 | by
Entrance IT-ServiceDesk

Source: Own Illustration

You have applied for a DFN-PKI certificate, want to hand in the application and need to come to the IT Center for the identity check, but don’t know where exactly? No problem, we will show you the way!

General Information

What are DFN-PKI certificates and what are they used for? Certificates are used to verify the owner and other properties (e.g. e-mail or membership in an organization) of a public cryptographic key. The cryptographic keys used allow the user application to digitally sign and/or establish confidential electronic communication by means of encryption. Through this digital signature, authenticity/forgery protection, integrity/modification protection and bindingness/non-repudiation can be guaranteed.

You can apply for user certificates, group certificates or server certificates. All important information about applying for a certificate can be found on our IT Center Help website.

Where do I submit the application?

You have now gone through the instructions, filled out and printed out the application, and made an appointment for submitting the application and identity verification. Now the question is: where do I go?

You have to hand in the application personally at the IT Center at the following address:

Seffenter Weg 23 – upper entrance
52074 Aachen

The upper entrance is one level higher than the entrance to the InfoPoint. This is because many people who want to go to the IT Service Desk stand in front of the entrance to the InfoPoint. If you want to get to the IT-ServiceDesk, you have to walk a little bit further up Seffenter Weg to get to the right entrance. Once there, follow the instructions on the notice board at the entrance door. The following pictures may help you to find your way.

Entrance IT-ServiceDesk

Entrance IT-ServiceDesk

Entrance IT-ServiceDesk

Entrance IT-ServiceDesk







The DFN-PKI certification guidelines require personal identity verification of the applicant.

Don’t forget to bring your printed application and passport or residence permit with you. Please also check the expiration date beforehand, as we are not allowed to accept applications if your ID document has expired. In order for the verification to be carried out, the ID card brought with you must also have a signature. (**)

 What happens next?

After you have submitted your application and your identity has been verified, it may take approximately one to two weeks for the department to review the application. You will then receive an e-mail with the go-ahead to integrate the certificate into Outlook, for example. Once that’s done, you’re ready to go and can digitally sign emails, PDFs, etc.

Renew DFN-PKI certificates (*)

If you already have a DFN-PKI certificate that is about to expire, you can proceed as follows: Send the dated, hand-signed and scanned declaration of participation for user certificates to in an e-mail that must be at least signed.

Note: The e-mail must be sent from the e-mail address for which the certificate is to be issued. For group certificates, however, the e-mail must be sent from the mailbox of the applicant and not from the functional e-mail address.

Responsible for the content of this article is Arlinda Ujkani.



(*) The paragraph was added on March 18, 2022.
(**) Sentence added on June 27, 2022.

2 responses to “DFN-PKI certificates – where does the identity check take place?”

  1. Ansgar says:

    Wann wird das Beantragen von Zertifikaten im SelfService über TCS (siehe ) für Angehörige der RWTH verfügbar sein?

    Und werden Alumni diesen Weg nutzen können?

    Freundliche Grüße,

    • Jörres, Linda says:

      Hallo Ansgar,
      vielen Dank für deinen Kommentar!
      Das können wir die leider nicht beantworten. Wir leiten deine Fragen aber gerne an die zuständige Fachabteilung weiter. Die Kolleginnen und Kollegen werden sich dann per E-Mail bei dir zurückmelden!
      Viele Grüße
      das IT Center Blog Team

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