I'm the founder of a little non-profit French organization.

Currently, we're providing free web and shell hosting.

Is there a way to become a Trusted Certificate Authority, in order to give free SSL certificates to my customers, and also to avoid being an intermediate (and pay a lot for that), and/or avoid paying a lot for each certificate?


2 Answers 2


I suspect you will find that it is too expensive to do so in terms of auditing requirements. Also, there is no single definition of what it means to be trusted. Each application is free to define their own trust, and to use their own root certificates. Practically speaking, you may only care about getting your CA certificate in the Windows root certificate program, in the Mozilla program, in the Java cacerts file, Opera, and maybe a few smaller ones. I think Chrome uses either Windows root certs or the Mozilla root certs.

Mozilla just issued a new policy for CAs.

Here a few link to articles about Microsoft's program:
Microsoft Root Certificate Program
Windows root certificate program members
Microsoft Root Certificate Program Members

Here is an article on getting into Opera's root certificates.

  • 1
    Here is Apple's policy too: apple.com/certificateauthority/ca_program.html
    – Bruno
    Commented Mar 21, 2012 at 19:04
  • This answer only suggests irrelevant information and dosen't answers the real question.
    – Cyborg
    Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 18:35
  • @Cyborg: Oh, do tell us, what is the real question? Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 21:22
  • @PresidentJamesK.Polk: "How to become a Root CA?" (obviously a trusted one, such as LetsEncrypt, Symantec, Digicert and many others). Please provide a solution and let me decide if it's expensive or not.
    – Cyborg
    Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 21:55
  • What do you think a "Root CA" is? I answered the question that was asked and each link is directly relevant. I'm a Root CA myself, but getting my certs trusted would mean going through the steps linked to (at least 9 years ago it would) Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 21:58

According to http://www.mozilla.org/projects/security/certs/policy/InclusionPolicy.html (access date: June 2013) it is possible for anyone to become a CA FOR FREE.

Once You get Your certificate bundled with the browser, You are technically as trusted as it gets, in the same league with VeriSign and major banks.

The hard part is, probably, fulfilling all the requirements.

  • 3
    You're trusted till, like that Dutch CA, you get hacked. Then you're in for damages and lawsuits. Resource allocation to maintain that trust will be extremely necessary and that will be one of the requirements. Commented Jun 19, 2013 at 20:16

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