What happens when certification expires - GCP, CKA, AWS


There are a lot of articles about passing certification, however, there may be few things to be aware when the all cherished certification expires. A certification may be close to expiring, since You may be busy or it may not be the primary area you are currently working on etc.

What happened in my case

I have recently encountered this scenario for GCP (Google Cloud Platform), CKA (Certified Kubernetes Administrator) and AWS (Amazon Web Services). I would share my experience and hopefully, it may help You with some of the options. Please always refer to the latest documentation, though.

Few times, I got lucky too - for example AWS and CKA did change the certification period from 2 to 3 years, few years back, so got some additional time too.

Do you really need to bother

This is really a personally question, to some extent. I would try to list some of the things to watch out.


  • GCP has 2 years expiry for certification. So, before attempting a new certification, please also plan for renewal, if You want to keep it current.
  • GCP does give Series ID in its certification and I really wanted to retain the low series id I had for PCA (Professional Cloud Architect) certification. If this is important, please ensure that You take the exam at earliest.
  • If you have a free voucher for exam, this point may not be applicable - however, I generally have paid for most of my exams. Renewal mail typically gives a discount code and asks it to be used before expiry date.
  • My PCNE (Professional Cloud Network Engineer) did actually cross the expiry date, I was given a 21 day extension. So, I took the exam before the extension provided and able to retain the Series Id.


  • CKA has changed from 2 year to 3 year expiration and I felt happy to have an additional year for certification. Although, I paid for the exam after taking Linux Foundation membership, I missed scheduling it.
  • I scheduled after noticing an email that there is not much time left for scheduling. Finally I took the exam. After a wait of 24 hours, happy to receive the email that I have passed it.
  • But, my certificate did not come. I raised a request with Support team. Support team is very helpful, and the issue seems to be the gap in certification (which may have caused some automation to break, I guess).
  • It took 20 days to get the certificate with a new ID.
  • If you want to retain the start date of Your certification period, You may want to take it before expiry. If you are interested in re-certification, you may also want to look at my blog for tips for CKA exam.


  • AWS has also changed from 2 year to 3 year expiration. So, the first renewal went through fine. For the second renewal it was very close to the GCP renewals, since 6 is common multiple for 2 and 3.
  • I had quite a few discount codes available as I was holding 6 AWS certifications. But, once the 2 professional certifications (Solution Architect Professional and DevOps Professional) expired, I have lost all the discount codes related to 5 certifications (3 Associate and 2 Professional). If you get vouchers for Your AWS certification exams, this may not be applicable for You - however, if you pay for your exams, it may be better to use the 50% discount codes before the actual expiry.
  • So, I only have the discount code from the Cloud Practitioner exam, which I plan to use for Solution Architect Professional exam.