UPDATED APRIL 11, 2022
If we told you that you could get an even better version of your domain name would you want it? As of March 24, 2022, you can now register names directly under the .au extension, Australia’s county code top-level domain (ccTLD). Previously, only 3rd-level .au domains including .com.au, .net.au, .org.au, .id.au and asn.au were available, and only organizations could register them.
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.
When can I register in General Availability?
Starting March 24, 2022, you can register new .au domain names. If the domain name term you would like to register (e.g. 101domain) is already registered under a different .au domain extension (e.g. 101domain.com.au) , the .au direct match (e.g. 101domain.au) will be reserved by the registry until the grandfathering “Priority Allocation Period” is over.
Registrants of existing .au names will then have six months to apply for Priority Status to register the .au direct match of their name, if they would like to register it.
If there are no applications for a reserved .au direct from an eligible registrant name during the six-month Priority Allocation Period, that name will become available to the public on a first come, first served basis.
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 Allocation 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, the Australian Registry, 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 Priority Allocation Period closes will be considered as having forfeited their priority right, and the name will be made available to the general public.
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.
- If your domain is registered with 101domain, your priority token will automatically populate during checkout.
- If your domain is registered elsewhere, you can still register with 101domain. You will first need to get your Priority Token via the auDA Priority Token Tool.
Advantages for Australian customers
- Choose from a wider choice of available names
- Open to Individuals and Organizations with a verified connection to Australia
- Stronger sense of Australian domain ownership and worldwide presence
- Registration will be available to any business or individual that fulfills the Australian Presence requirements.
- Business validation is fairly straightforward using ABN/ACN numbers.
- Business applications may also use an Australian Trademark to establish their Australian Presence if the domain name matches the trademark.
- For private individuals, we are required to validate mailing address and ID.
Private individuals will go through a verification process that includes a small fee (9.99 USD) regardless of whether the verification is successful or not. Please ensure your registrant information is accurate before registering.
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 details, as failed validations will incur a lookup cost from the validation provider.