What is a "user certificate" and how can I get one?

Certificates for users are the digital equivalent to an identity card: using such certificates, users can digitally proof their identity to other users orservices. Using such certificates, users have a proof that an e-mail or document really originates from a particular user, that the information was not modified in its way and in addition, users can encrypt information and make communication confidential between users. Besides the use with e-mail, digital certificates can be used for a large variety of use cases:

  • Securing e-mail communication with S/MIME (e.g. with Outlook, Thunderbird)
  • Protecting digital documents to proof authorship and against modifications (e.g. with documents and spreadsheets in MS Office and LibreOffice or PDFs with Adobe Acrobat)
  • On-line identity verification (e.g. in on-line registration processes)
  • On-line authentication (e.g. on websites or other services)

TUM provides X.509 user certificates free of charge in collaboration with DFN and the DFN PKI for its members which can be used for the purposes described above. These certificates are "advanced certificates" comprising an identity check during registration and can therefore be used for on-line identity verification. The certificates are valid for 3 years. Additional information (German only)

And this is how you can obtain a certificate:

1. Register on-line

To obtain a certificate, the first step is to register on-line. Depending on where you are located, choose one of the following registration authorities:

In the last step, you will obtain a registration form you have to print out.

2. Identity verification

After registering, please visit us personally with the printed application form and a valid identification card (ID card or passport; no TUM student cards et al):

  • Munich campus (except departments BGU, EI and EDU): Wolfgang Nowarre, Richard-Wagner-Str. 18, 3rd floor; Karmela Vellguth, Karlstraße 45, 5th floor, room 5011
  • Department BGU: Robert Dietl (ca.bgu@tum.de), Arcisstr. 21, building 0501, 3rd floor, room 0501.03.183
  • Department EI: Hans Ranke, Arcisstr. 21, room 2913; more information
  • Department EDU: Peter Smej; Jürgen Meister
  • Campus Garching (except departments PH, MW, Research Neutron Source): Rechnerbetriebsgruppe IN/MA
  • Department PH: Josef Homolka, James-Franck-Str. 1, room 5101.EG.246
  • Department MW: Registrierungsstelle MW; more information
  • Campus Weihenstephan: ITW-Helpdesk; more information
  • Research Neutron Source: Jörg Pulz; more information

3. Obtain your certificate on-line

After identity check, you certificate will be issued and you will be notified per e-mail. With this mail you obtain a link where you can download the certificate.

4. Install your certificate and import it into yout e-mail program (Outlook)

Please read our step-by-step instructions.