The Certification Authority (CA) plays the central role in the public key infrastructure. It represents an institution that enjoys the trust of all users of digital certificates and signatures.
The CA receives requests for issuing digital certificates, performs proper identification of the future holders, issues digital certificates and manages the Issued Certificate List. The CA also handles the revocation of digital certificates and updates information on revocations in the Certificate Revocation List, which is public.
The CA that issues qualified certificates reliably determines and verifies the identity and other important features of every individual who orders a certificate. Identification such as this can be performed by the CAs or by the authorised registration authorities that can also verify the identity of the person requesting the certificate, the original documentation for issuing the qualified certificate and then submit it securely to the CA.
All documentation required for issuing a qualified digital certificate can be submitted at the registered office of the CA, via a notary public or at an authorised registration authority.
The whole process of issuing a digital certificate is precisely determined by the CAs certification policy.