We have an SSL Certificate that's currently on our Apache2 server for transferring traffic over the https protocol.

We are migrating away from this server to at another data center with a different ip that will hold the same domain. The SSL certificate needs renewed soon, and so we were wondering if the SSL Certificate was transferable to the other server, or if we would have to purchase a new one because it's a new server. In the past it was purchased from GoDaddy; not certain if that's where we'll purchase the new one.

The certificate is made up of the following file types:

  • .crt - Certificate File (Public Key, given to every browser)
  • .csr - Certifcate Signing Request (Sent to the Certificate Authority)
  • .key - Key File (Private Key, don't give to anyone, and back it up!)
  • 2
    Note that the CSR isn't needed once the certificate is issued. When it's time to renew, generate a new Private Key and CSR as part of a regular key replacement cycle. Commented Nov 17, 2015 at 19:42

1 Answer 1


Certificates are absolutely portable. Just add the Private Key + Certificate + CA/Intermediate Chain to the new server in the same way as the existing server and you shouldn't have any problem.

This also helps in multi-server setups, where multiple servers may host the same content and therefore use the same certificate.

  • 2
    Note that some CAs (Comodo for one) allow you to renew up to 90 days early, and will just add the "leftover" time onto the new certificate. Commented Nov 17, 2015 at 14:53
  • I'm sorry can we try this again? I read a bit and realized that my question sucked. It looks like you've updated your answer...does it still hold up? It appears to. Let me know if I am wrong in my thinking.
    – leeand00
    Commented Nov 17, 2015 at 20:09
  • Same answer, just a clarification. You don't need the CSR, but you do need the certificate chain. Commented Nov 17, 2015 at 23:11

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