Common Site Certificate Access Errors

Portions of this web site can only be accessed if you have PKI/PIV/CAC certificates. This page addresses ways to avoid site certificate error messages.

Are you getting a site certificate error when trying to access a protected web site?

This web site uses SSL protection to help secure our content. Access requires that a site security certificate is loaded into your browser. Some areas of this site can only be accessed if you have a Federal/DoD Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), Personal Identity Verification (PIV) or Common Access Cards (CAC) correctly installed in your browser. Portions of other IAD web sites also require PKI/PIV/CAC certificates for access. Access to these sites and pages requires both your personal certificate and site security certificate. There are two ways to avoid site certificate error messages:

  1. Import a DoD Root CA Certificate (preferred).
  2. Add an exception for the web site (Mozilla Firefox only) or create a Trusted Site (IE only).

While adding an exception is the faster, easier process, you might have to repeat the process for multiple protected DoD web sites. Importing the DoD Root CA Certificate will take a few minutes, but it is the more thorough solution. You should only have to import it once per browser.

You may see some other messages, usually alerts, rather than error messages, even when everything is installed correctly.

  1. Other Common Error Messages

1. Import a DoD Root CA Certificate

IAD web site users will need to have the current DoD Root and Intermediate Certificate Authorities CA) loaded into their browsers to avoid receiving untrusted web site notifications. Current DoD root and intermediate CA can be downloaded and installed using the InstallRoot 4.1 NIPR Windows Installer from the Information Assurance Support Environment (IASE) site under the Trust Store tab. A user guide for InstallRoot 4.1 is available on the same page. If you have any questions, please contact the IAD Client Contact Center at 410-854-4200 or

2. Add Exception/Create Trusted Site

  • Add an Exception (Mozilla Firefox only)
    If you receive a Secure Connection Failed message in Mozilla Firefox, you have the option of simply adding an Exception, thereby making it a Trusted Site. To do so, complete the following steps:
    1. On the error window, click Or you can add an exception ; the page reloads.
    2. Click Add Exception ; the Add Security Exception window opens.
    3. Click Get Certificate; the window reloads.
    4. Check the Permanently store this exception box; then click Confirm Security Exception .

  • Create a Trusted Site (IE only)
    In IE, you may receive an error message stating that there is a problem with this website's security certificate. You have the option of making this site a Trusted Site. To do so, complete the following steps:
    1. Go to Tools > Internet Options .
    2. Select the Security tab.
    3. Click Trusted Sites .
    4. To create a Trusted Site, click Sites ; the Trusted Sites window opens.
    5. Enter the URL of the desired site.
    6. Click Add . The site is listed in the Trusted Sites box.
    7. Check Require server verification (https:) for all sites in this zone .

3. Other Common Error Messages

  • Switching from HTTP to HTTPS Pages with IE
    If you enter the site URL starting with http, instead of https, or if the page you're coming from had a URL starting with http and the link to the secure site was coded with a relative link, you may see a security warning. Select Yes to proceed.

  • Accessing a Protected Site with IE
    When opening the site in IE, you may be asked to confirm that it's OK to go to a secure site. You may then have to identify your certificate. You may also encounter a series of prompts. On the first screen, select Continue to this website . On the following screens, select Yes or OK as prompted

Last Reviewed: 13 May 2015