Originally posted by Jim Sandman: ...Is there a Sun web page that talks about this? ...
This topic is addressed in Sun's training FAQ. Near the bottom of the page, it says...
How long is my Sun certification title now valid? As of August 1, 2003, all Sun certifications are now based on versions. There is no expiration date to your certification title. You may, however, be certified on a technology that is outdated if Sun releases a new exam associated with a new technology version. Keeping your certification current is highly recommended.
"We're kind of on the level of crossword puzzle writers... And no one ever goes to them and gives them an award." ~Joe Strummer sscce.org
Even when certs 'expired', I was always of the position, either when applying for work, or looking at a candidates resume, that the cert, was you got it, was yours, and nobody could take it away from you. Sure, they can come out with new editions of the technology, but if you got certified on Java 1.1, then you were certified on Java 1.1. Just my take on it though.
Here's the real deal from Sun:
What is Sun's new Certification Policy?
Beginning with all Sun certification exams taken on or after August 1, 2003, certification offerings from Sun no longer have an expiration date. Rather, certification offerings are based on a version of technology. The certification date and exam version will appear on both a certificate and an identification card with the applicable certification title.
Recertification is no longer required to maintain one's status as a certified professional. Sun certification is now directly associated with a version of technology. Nevertheless, Sun highly recommends that you remain certified at the most current technology version.