Frequently Asked Questions

About .au domains

First, decide on a domain name that best suits your needs. The best way to decide this is to research the auDA policy to find out which option is best suited to your requirements and whether you meet the eligibility policy.

Next, check to see if your chosen .au domain name is available. This is simple to achieve by using the “Check availability” search feature found on the right hand side of every page. Just type in your of choice and the WHOIS will indicate whether it is available. Please note this service only provides information on .au domain names.

Finally, choose a Registrar (retailer)! The “Find a Registrar” search function on every page provides a list of .au Domain Administration (auDA) accredited Registrars. Any one of these Registrars can help you register your chosen .au domain name, provided it is available. Click through to your Registrar of choice and follow their registration instructions.

A Second-Level Domain (2LD) is a domain that sits above (to the left of) the Top-Level Domain (TLD) in a domain name. For example, in Australia the available 2LDs are asn.au, com.au, id.au, net.au and org.au. Each 2LD has its own eligibility requirements.

asn.au
For non-commercial organisations. Includes associations incorporated in any Australian State or Territory, political parties, trade unions, sporting or special interest clubs, charities or non-profit organisations.

com.au
For commercial purposes. Includes commercial entities, currently registered and trading in Australia, as well as commercial products and services.

id.au
For Australian individuals (citizens, residents).

net.au
For commercial purposes. Includes commercial entities, currently registered and trading in Australia, as well as commercial products and services.

org.au
For non-commercial organisations. Includes associations incorporated in any Australian State or Territory, political parties, trade unions, sporting or special interest clubs, charities or non-profit organisations.

To choose the most appropriate .au domain name that best suits your needs please see our “What is a domain name” page.
A Top-Level Domain (TLD) is what comes after the last dot in a domain name. Or, to put another way, what is to the ‘right’ of the final dot. Some of the most commonly known Top-Level Domains are: .com, .net, and .org and .au.

The TLD types such as .com, .net and .org have been around for many years (since the Internet took its current form).

There are also country code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs), such as .uk for the United Kingdom and .au for Australia. The .au domain is recognised as one of the world’s leading national domain name assets and ranks in the top 10 country namespaces globally.

There are no restrictions relating to the number of domain names that you can register, providing that you comply with auDA policy.

For more information please go to www.auda.org.au.

Think of a domain name as your voice and presence on the Internet; a unique electronic address where your web site is hosted and you receive e-mail. Some people like to think of their domain name as their cyber identity (id.au domain names), cyber company (com.au), cyber soap box (asn.au/org.au) or cyber networking solutions centre (net.au).

The domain name www.ausregistry.com.au is an example of our com.au commercial presence on the Internet. AusRegistry also has a net.au domain which acts as the networking backbone for the AusRegistry company.

.au is the country code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) for Australia. The .au domain name is your opportunity to reach a worldwide audience with information about you, your ideas, or your organisation.

Within the .au TLD there are five open domain name types (we call them ‘Second-Level Domains’ or 2LDs) under management by AusRegistry – com.au and net.au, org.au, id.au and asn.au. Each of these domain types serves a specific purpose and community. By choosing the right domain type for your domain, you can reach the specific audience you require for your domain.

Registering

You will need to contact your Registrar and ask about the delay. AusRegistry does not verify domain names and is not responsible for determining domain name eligibility and allocation compliance. It is the Registrar’s responsibility to interpret and apply the policy rules for open .au 2LD domain name registrations.

Guidelines on the Interpretation of Policy Rules for Open 2LDs (2012-05)

Specifically the following clause:

4. RULES FOR ALL OPEN 2LDS

4.1 Before determining that a domain name application meets the specific Eligibility and Allocation criteria for the particular 2LD, registrars must check that each domain name application complies with the general rules that apply in all open 2LDs.

Please contact your Registrar for more information about your domain name registration. You are welcome to reference this FAQ in your correspondence to your Registrar’s support team.

Yes, auDA’s Transfers (change of Registrant) Policy allows a Registrant to transfer their domain name license to another eligible entity. There are now a number of organisations that list .au domain names for sale or auction.
No, this is not an accurate statement. AusRegistry does not verify domain names. It is the Registrar’s responsibility to determine domain name eligibility and allocation compliance.

For more information please refer to auDA policy:

2012-05 – Guidelines on the Interpretation of Policy Rules for Open 2LDs

Specifically the following clause:

4. RULES FOR ALL OPEN 2LDS

4.1 Before determining that a domain name application meets the specific Eligibility and Allocation criteria for the particular 2LD, registrars must check that each domain name application complies with the general rules that apply in all open 2LDs.

Please contact your Registrar for more information about your domain name registration. You are welcome to reference this FAQ in your correspondence to your Registrar’s support team.

You may transfer your domain name at any time. A domain name transfer between Registrars is free. The remaining time of your license is still valid when transferred, however you may be prompted to renew your domain name if it is within 90-days of the expiry date.
These are domain names which have been deleted at the request of either the Regulator based on established policy or the current Registrant.

These domain names will purge at the next cycle that occurs no earlier than the date and time listed on the official domain name drop list. Domain names appearing on this list may be restored by the deleting party at any time up until they are purged and thus not become available for registration.

You must change your domain name information, such as your contact information, through your Registrar. Your Registrar then submits these changes to the Registry system. The speed at which your change is made, and therefore the speed at which it shows up in the Registry and the .au WHOIS search results, depends on your Registrar. It is important to note that only your Registrar may change the information for your domain name, but only with your permission, of course!
Once the Registry system has been updated, the information in our database is shared with the Internet’s zone files worldwide. This sharing process is called ‘propagation’, because the new information about your domain name spreads or propagates across the Internet. The zone files are propagated frequently, every day of the year. We cannot control the rate at which the millions of servers on the Internet are updated, but generally your domain should be available to Internet users within a very short period.
.au domain names can contain the English-language letters A through Z, and the digits 0 through 9. You can also use hyphens, but hyphens cannot begin or end your domain name and you cannot have two hyphens next to each other. Spaces and special characters (such as !, $, &, ?, and so on) are never permitted.

The minimum length is 2 characters and the maximum length is 63 characters (excluding the “http://www” portion).

To find out if a name is available, or to find out who registered a particular name, use our handy .au WHOIS search tool. This database contains most .au domain names in existence and can be found in the top right corner of all of our webpages.
Each Registrar determines their own retail price for domain name registrations. In addition, most Registrars offer additional services, such as web site hosting, email accounts, web design, spam filters, search engine marketing and optimisation, and more.

Expired domains

These are domain names which have passed through the Expiry Process in the Registry system and are eligible to be purged. These domain names generally cannot be recovered and will purge at the next cycle that occurs no earlier than the date and time listed on the official domain name drop list.
These are domain names which have passed through the Expiry Process in the Registry system and are eligible to be purged. These domain names generally cannot be recovered and will purge at the next cycle that occurs no earlier than the date and time listed on the official domain name drop list.
To assist potential Registrants with their secure, expired or deleted .au domain names, AusRegistry generates a daily domain name drop list. This list details the date and time-expired, and deleted domain names, which become eligible for purging (removed from the Registry system) and therefore available for registration.

Management of expired and deleted domain names is in accordance with auDA Policy, in particular the Domain Renewal, Expiry and Deletion Policy.

Drop catching refers to the act of acquiring an expired or deleted domain name the moment it becomes available for re-registration. A number of auDA accredited Registrars provide specific services in relation to drop catching. These Registrars can be sought from the list of Registrars.

Additionally, AusRegistry has published an information paper on Drop Catching to educate Domain Name Industry stakeholders including Registrars, Resellers, Registrants as well as the General Public on the practice of Drop Catching, particularly within the .au country code Top Level Domain.

Managing domains

To change any information pertaining to your .au domain name, you must contact your Registrar (retailer) of record. Registrar (retailer) contact details can be found at the Registrar page.
Renewal information can only be obtained from your Registrar .If you are unaware of who your Registrar is, please use our .au WHOIS search feature.

Just type in your .au domain name and the .au WHOIS search feature will provide you with the Registrar (retailer) of your domain name (please note that this service only provides information on .au domain names). The Registrar (retailer) contact details can be found at the Registrar page. Alternatively, the name of the Registrar (retailer) in the .au WHOIS search report is actually a link itself – click on it to go to your Registrar (retailer)’s home page.

Blacklisting occurs when a person makes too many .au WHOIS search enquiries (please see FAQ How do I find out if a domain name is available?). Blacklisting means that a person is banned from using the .au WHOIS search service for a specified time period. The limit is 20 queries per hour from the same IP address. The ban lasts for 24 hours.

Registrars and auDA

A Registry is an entity that maintains the master database of domain names for a particular Top-Level Domain (TLD). AusRegistry is the Registry system (wholesale provider) for domain names of the five ‘open’ .au Second-Level Domains (2LDs – com.au, net.au, org.au, id.au and asn.au), and the two ‘closed’ .au 2LDs.

The Registry System receives domain name information from Registrars. Registrars are effectively the retailers or shop fronts that register domain names on behalf of Registrants.

A Registrant refers to anyone would like to register and use a domain name.

The Registry system puts information into what is called a ‘zone file’, which allows computers to route Internet traffic to and from domain names around the world.

The Registry system developed by AusRegistry gives Registrars the ability to add, modify, and delete information associated with domain names. In addition, AusRegistry provides Registrars with account administration services, customer support and other value-added services.
auDA, the .au Domain Administration, is the government-endorsed manager of the Australian domain name.

auDA is an independent, not-for-profit body. For more information please go to www.auda.org.au.

.auLOCKDOWN

.auLOCKDOWN is a security measure for .au domain names that provides an added level of security to domain name Registrants. Domain names are locked at the Registry level, and changes are only possible through direct communication between the Registrar authorised contact and the Registry, by following a strict authentication process.
The launch of .auLOCKDOWN follows high profile security incidents in other countries that led to the unauthorised access of domain names. In such cases the nameserver delegation information was maliciously changed to redirect all visitors from the google.ie and yahoo.ie websites to other fraudulent websites.

Organisations or individuals seeking to cause disruption and damage to company website assets may use a variety of tactics to gain unauthorised access to domain names. Tactics such as:

  • Hacking the company network and gaining access to account usernames and passwords
  • Directly targeting the company’s hosting services
  • Directly targeting the Registrar of record
  • Social engineering, i.e. masquerading as an authorised contact and requesting changes

Factors that may cause damage include:

  • Disgruntled employees
  • Hactivist / protest oriented individuals
  • Criminal organisations seeking to extort money
  • State funded organisations

.auLOCKDOWN mitigates the risk of attack by adding an additional layer of authorisation at the Registry level that protects domain names.

.auLOCKDOWN is a Registry-level service that protects .au domain names against unauthorised or accidental changes. .auLOCKDOWN involves a strictly controlled authentication process between the Registry and Registrar.

1) Registrants must first contact their accredited .au Registrar and request a change.

2) Following this initial contact, the Registrar will begin a strictly controlled authentication process between the Registry and Registrar.

3) After successfully completing the authentication process, the .auLOCKDOWN is temporarily removed from the domain, the required updates are made, and then the domain is re-locked with .auLOCKDOWN.

.auLOCKDOWN prohibits the following domain name updates:

  • Name Server record updates
  • Domain password (EPP Authcode) updates
  • Domain contact changes
  • Domain sync (changes to expiry dates)
  • Changes to the .au extensions via a Registrant correction process

However, .auLOCKDOWN will not impact on the domain name lifecycle. Domain expiry and domain purge events will continue as per all domains.

.auLOCKDOWN is only available to .au domain name owners through their .au accredited Registrar. A list of all .au accredited Registrars can be found here.

If you do not know who your Registrar is, you can search for your domain name in WHOIS.

.auLOCKDOWN fees may vary between Registrars. Please contact your Registrar of record for additional information.

All .au domain name owners should contact their accredited .au Registrar of record for more information about .auLOCKDOWN.
While available to all .au domain name owners, .auLOCKDOWN is primarily aimed at large and high profile businesses in the corporate sector to offer them an added layer of protection in response to increasing cyber security threats or from accidental errors within their own organisation.

Registrants with valuable and prominent websites with high traffic volumes are a prime candidate for .auLOCKDOWN. Also, Registrants looking to mitigate risk against fraudulent or accidental delegation changes should also consider .auLOCKDOWN.

Yes, .auLOCKDOWN status is displayed in the WHOIS information.

3,058,293
.au Domains Registered