Nominet, the .UK registry, has introduced a new Data Quality Policy. The policy requires that both the registrant name and registrant address be verified against a third-party data source. For each domain registration or update, Nominet will try to validate registrant name and registrant address using their own data sources. Where Nominet is not able to complete this validation, they will ask the registrar to have the data verified. Domains that do not complete verification within 30 days will be suspended and can no longer be renewed or transferred.
Data Quality Verification Process
All registrations of new .UK domains or updates to existing .UK domains will initiate the data quality verification process. Where Nominet is unable to verify the registrant name and/or address through their third-party data sources, OpenSRS will be asked to verify the data within 30 days. If OpenSRS is unable to verify the data, the domain name will be suspended.
OpenSRS will trigger an email to registrants asking them to follow a link to a verification page. On this page, registrants will have the option to upload a document to prove that the name and address are correct or to update the name or address in case the data provided at registration was incorrect. Here’s a list of documents that will be accepted:
- Companies House certificate
- Official company or trade register
- Valid driver's license
- Valid national ID card
- Utility bill (last 3 months)
- Bank statement (last 3 months)
- HMRC tax notification (last 3 months)
- Official letterhead
- Company stamp or seal
Once registrants have submitted documentation through this page, OpenSRS will conduct a manual data review to determine if the document can be accepted as proof of name and address. In cases where the document is sufficient to verify the data, the data quality process will be completed and the registrant data flagged as "verified."
In cases where this review is not successful, the process will be re-started and the registrant will receive another email. If registrants fail to complete the verification process within 30 days, OpenSRS will apply a Data Quality Lock on the domains, which results in Nominet suspending the domains. Suspended domains can no longer be renewed or transferred. The verification process may still be completed after the 30-day period, and if completed, the name will be unsuspended by OpenSRS.
Reseller Tools Available at OpenSRS
OpenSRS will track the status of domains that go through this data quality process using the verification status attributes currently in use for gTLD registrant verification. This framework will also allow resellers to resend the email to registrants.
The event notification queue will contain events for any status change of domains that go through this process.
Resellers will be able to edit certain sections of the email that is sent out to registrants through the Account Messaging section in the new control panel. Resellers will also be able to customize:
- parts of the verification page registrants are directed to for uploading documentation or updating registration data
- the URL of the verification page
- the click-through URL of the verification page
Once implementation of this process has been completed, resellers will be able to pre-verify registrant name and address by themselves and submit a verification source to OpenSRS along with a registration or update order. To facilitate this, an optional "verification source" attribute will be added to the API and control panel. Resellers will be able to submit a verification source from a list of available verification options. If the reseller has submitted this attribute to OpenSRS, and Nominet triggers the verification process, the domain will go straight to the manual review team. If the manual review team approves the data, no email will be sent to the registrant, and the domain will be flagged as "verified." We will provide more detail around this functionality at a later stage.
If the registrant is unable to receive the verification email, a link to the document upload page will also be available through the Managed Web Interface (MWI). More detail will be provided at a later stage.
Q: Does this verification process apply to all .uk domains, including second level domains such as .co.uk domains?
A: Yes, the data quality verification process applies to all levels of .uk domains.
Q: Will new .uk registrations trigger the verification process?
A: Yes, new registrations as well as updates to registrant contact information will trigger verifications.
Q: Will transfers of .uk domains trigger the verification process?
A: Transfers may also trigger verifications.
Q: How do I customize the verification email message templates?
A: You can customize email message templates associated with your .uk data quality verification page in the new control panel. Go to: Account Settings > Account Messaging > Registration Validation Messaging
The three message templates you can update are:
- UK Email to Registrant Upon New Purchase, Update or Explicit Resend of Verification Email (single domain)
- UK Email to Registrant includes Multiple names During Validation Process (Based on Fingerprint)
- UK validation suspension message for domain (Day 30)
Q: How do I customize the .uk data quality verification page?
A: The .uk data verification page is not the same one that you use for other registrant verifications. You can access this page from the RWI.
Go to Profile Management > Branding > Customize Data Quality (UK Full Address) Page
While you can't change the main text of the page, you can change the header and footer text.
Q: How do I customize the verification page urls and the logo that appears on the page?
A: These customizations are the same ones you'd use for other registrant verifications. You can update both from the RWI.
Go to: Profile Management > Branding
The Logo upload is the first branding option on the page. Scroll down to Customize Data Quality and ICANN Registrant Verification hostname and URL to update the urls associated with your verification page.
Q: How can I check the verification status of a domain?
A: The verification status is found in the new control panel in the domain details. It's listed as the Registrant Verification Status.
Please make sure to note the OpenSRS status rather than the Nominet status. If the domain fails initial verification, only the registrar can suspend the domain or complete verification. Nominet status may not reflect results of a registrar verification, though the domain is fully validated.
Q: What are the possible statuses of a domain and what do they mean?
A: There are five statuses:
- Unverified - Nominet has not requested validation of the current registrant. No action required.
- Verifying - Nominet has requested validation of the registrant OR the domain has gone through the validation process and the provided documentation was rejected or didn't fully verify the contact details. The registrant needs to either update their contact information or provide documentation to confirm their contact details. During this time, WHOIS information will display the information that Nominet was unable to match the registrant's information.
- Manual Review - The registrant has uploaded verification documents and the documents are undergoing review. No action required at this time.
- Verified - The domain has gone through the validation process successfully. No further action is required until (and if) the validation process is triggered again.
- Suspended - The registrant has neither updated their contact information nor provided validation documentation in the 30-day verification window set by Nominet. Suspended domains cannot be transferred, renewed nor have their tag changed. Domains not verified before their renewal date will be automatically expired.
Q: How do I know if a registrant has uploaded a verification document?
A: Check the Registrant Verification Status in the details of the domain being verified. If the status is Manual Review then the registrant has uploaded a document.
Q: How long does it take for a manual review to be completed?
A: A review will usually be completed within two business days.
Q: How do I resend a verification email to a registrant?
A: The option to resend the verification email can be accessed in the new control panel. It's found in the Actions drop down within the detail of a domain.
Q: What if the registrant can't receive the verification email because the domain is suspended?
A: The registrant will need to log into the Managed Web Interface (MWI), change their email address and then ask their reseller to resend the email.
Eventually, a link to the document upload page will also be available through the MWI but that feature hasn't been implemented yet.
Q: Can Nominet suspend the domain due to failed validation?
A: No, suspension is only through the registrar.
Q: If more information is needed from the registrant after their uploaded documents are reviewed, does the 30-day period reset?
A: No. If the document submitted isn't sufficient and more information is required, this doesn't reset the clock on verification. The entire process, including requests for new documentation and their submission, must all occur within the 30 days triggered by the initial verification request.
Q: If a domain is suspended, how long does it take for the domain to come back online once the information is validated?
A: The domain should come back online instantly, but some caching issues may delay that by a few hours.