.au priority phase

UPDATED DECEMBER 3, 2021

If we told you that you could get an even better version of your domain name would you want it? AuDA, the Registry for Australia’s county code top-level domain (ccTLD) .au, is going to allow registrations of domains under the .au extension beginning in March 24, 2022. Until now, you could only register 3rd-level .au domains including .com.au, .net.au, .org.au, .id.au and asn.au. This is an exciting opportunity for Australian Internet users and businesses operating in Australia to get the shorter version of their Australian domain (e.g. yourdomain.au). For more information on the grandfathering process and launch schedule please continue reading.

Priority application period for existing 3rd-level .au domains

If you already own a domain ending in .au (e.g. forexample.com.au) then your equivalent .au domain will be placed on hold and only available to you for a limited time. The priority application period for the existing 3rd-level .au domains will last 180 days.

According to AuDA, 96% of priority applicants will be able to secure their matching .au domain name as soon as they apply. There are a small number of priority applicants that will be vying for the same .au domains.

This contention mainly arises between applicants with domain names in com.au and net.au that are based on common dictionary words and English phrases rather than typical company or business names. Fortunately, many of these competing domain names are held by the same legal entity.

Priority Right Application launch schedule 

(AuDA has divided priority applicants in two categories based on when their 3rd-level .au domain was registered.

  • Priority category 1 names have a creation date on or before February 4, 2018 at 23:59:59 (UTC)
  • Priority category 2 names have a creation date after February 4, 2018 at 23:59:59 (UTC) & before March 24, 2022 at 00:00 (UTC)

Domains for which an agreement cannot be reached will remain reserved indefinitely until a single applicant remains. If there are applicants vying for the same name in the same category, the application whose 3rd level .au domain has the earliest date will be awarded the .au domain.

Any priority applicants who do not submit an application for their matching name before the Eligible Priority phase closes will be considered as having forfeited their priority right, and the name will be made available to the general public.

.au priority registration process

What is required to submit a Priority Right Application?

  • The .au registry will provide each registrant of an existing 3rd -level .au domain with a Priority ID Token in order to create an application for the corresponding .au domain name.
  • The Priority Token will be available to registrants via a dedicated portal.
.au launch

Can I apply for an .au domain name if I don’t have a priority right?

If you want a specific .au domain and it’s not already registered in any 3rd-level .au domains, then we recommend you consider registering the 3rd level domain now to give you a priority right. If you register your name in any of Australia’s 3rd level domains before the Priority Application phase begins you will get a priority right as a Category 2 applicant. But hurry — priority is awarded based on registration date and time and you will want to give yourself the best opportunity to secure your .au domain. Of course, there is a chance your domain name could be taken in Category 1 or registered before you in Category 2.

Advantages for Australian customers

  • Choose from a wider choice of available names
  • Open to Individuals and Organizations with a verifiedd connection to Australia
  • Stronger sense of Australian domain ownership and worldwide presence

Validation Requirements

  • Business validation is fairly straightforward using ABN/ACN numbers
  • For private individuals, we are required to validate address + ID 
  • Unfortunately, private individuals validation has a cost

New Validation Service Coming Soon!

A new validation service is coming and will be available before March 24, 2022. Registrants will only need to be validated once for all the domains they register/hold. It is important to provide accurate deatils, as failed validations will incur a lookup cost from the validation provider.

Will I be able to pre-register my .au domain?

Pre-orders will be available. More information to come.