Embedded Signatures in a Driver File

Starting in Windows 10 desktop editions (Home, Pro, Enterprise, and Education) and Windows Server 2016, kernel-mode drivers must be signed by the Windows Hardware Dev Center. To register for the Windows Hardware Dev Center, you will need an EV certificate.

For more info about these changes, see Driver Signing Changes in Windows 10.


Software Publisher Certificate (SPC) were deprecated in 2021, and kernel-mode code signing requirements for 64-bit versions of Windows no longer require that a released kernel-mode boot-start driver have an embedded signature.

PnP device installation signing requirements do state that a driver package for a PnP device must have a signed catalog file. Driver files are signed by using the SignTool tool.