Microsoft Windows Driver Signing With Code Signing Certificates

Digitally sign your Windows drivers using a Microsoft Windows driver signing certificate for as little as $195 per year (save 20%).

Windows driver signing enables Windows operating systems to load drivers so a device’s software and hardware components can communicate. Depending on your chosen method and digital certificate, Microsoft driver signing may allow your drivers to be published through the Windows Update Program and other officially supported distribution methods. Want to avoid displaying “unsigned publisher” warnings to users? Get a Windows driver signing certificate. We’ll help you compare extended validation (EV) code signing certificates

Microsoft Windows Driver Signing With Code Signing Certificates

Compare Windows Driver Signing Certificates

Extended Validation Code Signing Certificates


Get the lowest price on a trusted code signing certificate that works for your needs. 100% guaranteed.

DigiCert Logo
MSRP$717.00/yr$524.66Per year

Sectigo Logo
MSRP$349.00/yr$277.71Per year

Comodo Logo
MSRP$349.00/yr$277.71Per year

MSRP$284.25/yr$250.00Per year

MSRP$871.60/yr$469.11Per year

ProductDigicert EV Code SigningSectigo EV Code SigningComodo EV Code SigningGoGetSSL EV Code SigningGoGetSSL EV Cloud
Validation TypeStandardStandardStandardStandardStandard
Insuance Time1-5 Days5-10 Days5-10 Days1-5 Days1-4 Days
Removes Unknown Publisher WarningYesYesYesYesYes
Removes Microsoft SmartScreen WarningsYesYesYesYesYes
Trusted for Driver Signing/Windows Developer CenterYesYesYesYesYes
Type of Included Secure Key Storage HardwareUSB deviceUSB deviceUSB deviceUSB deviceIntegrated HSM

Simplify Driver Signing for Windows 10 and Other Operating Systems

Windows drivers are crucial bits of software that make it possible for devices’ software and hardware components to communicate. So, it’s vital to know whether verified third parties created drivers. This is why Windows drivers must be digitally signed using a code signing certificate and uploaded to the Windows Hardware Developer Center dashboard.  

The team at is here to help you meet these driver-signing requirements. We’ve partnered with the world’s leading certificate authorities to make the process of signing Microsoft drivers for Windows as easy and affordable as possible by providing:

  • Competitive prices on Windows driver signing certificates
  • Broader enrollment options
  • Fast certificate issuance times
  • Access to educational resources
  • 24/7 technical support

What Is a Windows Driver Signing Certificate?

A Windows driver signing certificate is a small file that attaches your verified digital identity to Windows drivers and protects your drivers against tampering. This cryptographic tool, also known as a code signing certificate, allows you to sign your code, software, and drivers for all desktop and server Windows operating systems.

Windows driver signing certificates can be used to sign individual driver files and catalog files alike. You must digitally sign individual boot-start driver files, whereas you can sign just the catalog file when signing driver packages. The best approach is to sign all drivers using an extended validation (EV) code signing certificate. This way, your drivers are always trusted by all versions of Microsoft operating systems.

To use a Windows driver signing certificate for kernel-mode driver signing, you must upload at least one EV certificate to Microsoft’s Partner Center. There are specific code signing requirements for kernel-mode drivers’ development and testing, which differ from the digital signature requirements for publicly releasing drivers.

What Types of Drivers Can You Sign?

What types of Windows drivers exist? They fall into one of two categories:

  1. User-mode drivers. This category of drivers allows Win32 applications to run on a device and communicate with kernel-mode drivers. Examples of user-mode driver executions include printer and monitor drivers.
  2. Kernel-mode drivers. These privileged software components operate at the heart of a device’s operating system. They enable core systems and devices to communicate. Starting in Windows 10, all kernel-mode and user-mode driver submissions must be signed using an extended validation (EV) code signing certificate.

Whether you’re creating user- or kernel-mode drivers, it’s vital to ensure that they meet specific Windows driver code signing requirements. For example, kernel-mode drivers must be uploaded to the Windows Hardware Dev Center Dashboard and digitally signed by Microsoft to be trusted for distribution via Windows Update.

Digitally Signing Drivers Is Just Part of the Windows Certification and Attestation Process

Windows driver signing is mandatory for all x64-based versions of Windows since Windows Vista and is recommended for all 32-bit systems as well. But in addition to digitally signing your code using a code signing certificate, you also must run tests using the appropriate framework for your driver to be Windows Certified:

  • Windows Hardware Lab Kit (HLK) or (virtual HLK) for Windows 10 or later OS versions,
  • Windows Hardware Certification Kit (HCK) for Windows version 8.1 or earlier OS versions, or
  • Windows Logo Kit (WLK) hardware submission package for the 2008 or older versions of Windows Server.

Are Driver Attestation and Windows Certification Signatures the Same?

No. When you submit a driver to the Microsoft Windows Hardware Dashboard, you can do so for either attestation signing or for Windows’ Hardware Compatibility Program (WHCP) certification:

  • Attestation Driver Signing. A driver that’s given a Microsoft attestation signature hasn’t been tested by Microsoft for compatibility or functionality to ensure it meets the requirements of the WHCP (or what was formerly known as the Windows Hardware Quality Labs [WHQL]). This is intended for use in development and testing.
  • Certified Windows Driver Signing. A Windows-certified driver has undergone testing using one of the WHCP kits and has been officially certified by Microsoft. This is intended for publicly released drivers and those that are to be distributed via Windows Update.

Microsoft Windows Driver Signing Resources

How to Fix ‘No Signing Device Drivers Were Found’ in Windows 7, 8, 10 and 11

Discover how users and software publishers can fix the error ‘No signed device drivers were found’ in Windows 10, Windows 11, Windows 8, and Windows 7.

How to Fix ‘Windows Requires a Digitally Signed Driver’ in Windows 7, 8, 10 and 11

Is Windows displaying this ugly message when you’re trying to install something? Explore how to fix the error ‘No signing device drivers were found’ in Windows versions 7, 8, 10, and 11.

Code Signing for Windows Kernel Mode Drivers

This resource will familiarize you with what it takes to sign Windows kernel-mode drivers.

A Guide For Driver Signature Enforcement in Windows 7, 10 and 11

Explore what you need to know about the role of Windows Driver Signature Enforcement in Windows OS security and how developers can temporarily disable it to test unsigned drivers.

Why You Should Always Sign Your Windows Drivers

Microsoft strongly encourages developers to always sign their drivers because doing so enables you to:

  • Create Windows-trusted drivers for Windows Vista and later operating systems
  • Load drivers on users’ computers in compliance with the Windows Driver Signing Policy
  • Publicly release drivers that Microsoft’s WHCP has digitally signed
  • Validate your digital identity to Microsoft, users, and devices
  • Assure that your driver hasn’t been modified since it was signed
  • Increase user trust in your brand and installation rates (for user-mode drivers)

Do I Have to Sign Using an EV Code Signing Certificate?

In a word? Yes. While there may be a few exemptions to the rule, they aren’t pertinent enough to recommend otherwise. And if you’ve spent even just 10 minutes looking at resources regarding driver signing, you’ve likely noticed that there are many specifics to know regarding Windows driver signing — Windows versions, 32- vs 64-bit OSes, signing for development/testing versus public release, attestation vs certification signing, etc.

To keep things simple, we recommend signing all drivers using an EV code signing certificate. Since you already have to have an extended validation code signing certificate in order to create a Windows Hardware Dev Center portal anyhow, you might as well use it to your advantage fully by signing your drivers with it!

How to Sign Microsoft Drivers Using a Windows Code Signing Certificate

Once you have your certificate in hand, you can put it to use by signing Windows user- and kernel-mode drivers. Here are a few resources to help you get started:

How to Digitally Sign a Driver for Windows (A Step-By-Step Guide)

Not sure how to sign a driver? We’ll show you how in our step-by-step guide.

How to Sign Kernel-Mode Drivers Using EV Code Signing Certificates (Coming Soon)

Look under the hood of the driver-signing process using a Windows driver-signing certificate.

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  • We’ll help you identify the simplest paperwork option for your country and get the necessary forms completed and submitted for validation
  • Have a question about the code signing process? Our support team is ready to help you 24/7 via phone, chat, or email.
  • Hit a problem with the validation process? One of our code signing experts will help you troubleshoot the issue and fix it as quickly as possible.

Jacqueline SherrillValidation Concierge Agent