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Privacy, authentication, confidentiality and non repudiation are the most desired security attributes for all vehicular ad hoc network (VANET) applications. A lot of solutions have been presented to address these issues. However, they are mostly dependent on centralized certificate architecture and some sort of hardware-based security. These solutions are expensive to carry out and lack the incentive for both users and service providers to deploy, which make them especially difficult to be implemented during the important initial deployment stage of VANET. In this paper, we present a distributed security architecture for VANET that does not rest on expensive security hardware or elaborate security infrastructure. The architecture can be incrementally deployed, facilitating small companies to jump in the VANET business, and can fill the void during the VANET initial deployment phase. Our solution is based on spatial and temporal restricted certificates, which are issued upon user's request and can be used for various VANET applications. Due to the restricted nature of these certificates, the certificate revocation process is simple and efficient, which solves another drawback of existing solutions.