As per the title, is there a way to reliably identify a certificate as an intermediate certificate? I can identify if a certificate is a root certificate. But i can not tell the difference between an intermediate certificate and end/leaf certificate. Is there anything that would? such as one of the extensions?

2 Answers 2


An intermediate differs from a leaf certificate in that it is allowed to sign other certificates, i.e. basic constraints CA:true. It differs from a root certificate in that it is not self-signed, i.e. the issuer is not the certificate itself.

  • thanks, this is exactly what i was thinking/looking into; the extension: Basic Constraints ( )
    – PixelPaul
    Aug 7, 2021 at 22:42

Your question sounds like you want to read more about Certificate Path Validation, e.g. in RFC 5280.

  • this would mean i have the complete chain tho. i would like to know without having a complete chain.
    – PixelPaul
    Aug 7, 2021 at 22:41

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