.CA domain policies

The geoTLD for Canada is .CA and is regulated by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA).

Registration details

The name length requirements for .CA domains are up to 63 characters before the TLD. We do not support IDNs for this TLD.

Provincial domains can no longer be registered; however, existing registrations may be renewed or transferred. 

CIRA Registrant Agreement

Resellers must confirm the agreement and display the CIRA Registrant Agreement (RA) to the registrant before accepting an order for a .CA domain name. The registrant must scroll through the entire agreement before accepting the terms of the agreement.

The registrant receives an email with the link to accept the RA when placing an order. When required to accept the agreement at a later time/date, please obtain the contact ID handle from support and have the registrant agree to terms on the RA portal.

Residency requirements

Anyone who wants to register a .CA domain name must meet certain Canadian Presence Requirements (CPR). CIRA does not allow the use of trustee services, as per the registration agreement, section 4.1g.

When registering .CA domain names, registrants must complete the legal type field on the order form. Choose the most appropriate CPR category for the registrant from the drop-down list.

Canadian presence requirements

To satisfy the CPR, the registrant must fall into one of the following categories:

Aboriginal peoples (individuals or groups) indigenous to Canada Any Inuit, First Nation, Metis or other people indigenous to Canada, any individual belonging to any Inuit, First Nation, Metis or other people indigenous to Canada and any collectivity of such Aboriginal peoples.
Canadian educational institution Any of the following:  (i) a university or college which is located in Canada and which is authorized or recognized as a university or college under an Act of the legislature of a province or territory of Canada; (ii) a college, post-secondary school, vocational school, secondary school, pre-school or other school or educational institution which is located in Canada and which is recognized by the educational authorities of a province or territory of Canada or licensed under or maintained by an Act of Parliament of Canada or of the legislature of a province or territory of Canada.
Canadian hospital A hospital which is located in Canada and which is licensed, authorized or approved to operate as a hospital under an Act of the legislature of a province or territory of Canada.
Canadian library, archive or museum An institution, whether or not incorporated, that (i) is located in Canada and (ii) is not established or conducted for profit or does not form part of, or is not administered or directly or indirectly controlled by, a body that is established or conducted for profit, in which is held and maintained a collection of documents and other materials that is open to the public or to researchers.
Canadian political party A political party registered under a relevant electoral law of Canada or any province or territory of Canada.
Canadian trade union A trade union which is recognized by a labour board under the laws of Canada or any province or territory of Canada and which has its head office in Canada.
Canadian unincorporated association

An unincorporated organization, association or club:
At least 80% of whose members: (A) are ordinarily resident in Canada (if such members  are individuals); or (B) meet one of the conditions set out in paragraphs (a) to (f) above (if such members are not individuals); and
At least 80% of whose directors, officers, employees, managers, administrators or other representatives are ordinarily resident in Canada.

Canadian citizen A Canadian citizen of the age of majority under the laws of the province or territory in Canada in which he or she resides or last resided.
Corporation (Canada or Canadian province or territory) A corporation under the laws of Canada or any province or territory of Canada.
Government or government entity in Canada A province or a territory; an agent of Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada, of a province or of a territory; a federal, provincial or territorial Crown corporation, government agency or government entity; and a regional, municipal or local area government.
Her Majesty the Queen Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada
Indian Band recognized by the Indian Act of Canada Any Indian band as defined in the Indian Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. I-5, as amended from time to time, and any group of Indian bands.
Legal representative of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident An executor, administrator or other legal representative of a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident.
Official mark registered in Canada A person which does not meet any of the foregoing conditions, but which is a person intended to be protected by Subsection 9(1) of the Trade-Marks Act (Canada) at whose request the Registrar of Trade-marks has published notice of adoption of any badge, crest, emblem, official mark or other mark pursuant to Subsection 9(1), but in this case such permission is limited to an application to register a .ca domain name consisting of or including the exact word component of such badge, crest, emblem, official mark or other mark in respect of which such Person requested publications.
Partnership registered in Canada A partnership, more than 66 2/3 % of whose partners meet one of the conditions set out in paragraphs (a) to (e) above, which is registered as a partnership under the laws of any province or territory of Canada.
Permanent resident of Canada A permanent resident as defined in the Immigration Act (Canada) who is ordinarily resident in Canada (as defined below) and of the age of majority under the laws of the province or territory in Canada in which he or she resides or last resided.
Trade-mark registered in Canada (by a non-Canadian owner)

A Person which does not meet any of the foregoing conditions, but which is the owner of a trade-mark which is the subject of a registration under the Trade-marks Act (Canada), but in this case such permission is limited to an application to register a .ca domain name consisting of or including the exact word component of that registered trade-mark

Trust established in Canada A trust established and subsisting under the laws of a province or territory of Canada, more than 66 2/3 % of whose trustees meet one of the conditions set out in paragraphs (a) to (d) above.

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Registrant Information validation

CIRA conducts a Registrant Information Validation (RIV) to request proof of Canadian presence from time to time.  The registrant receives an email from CIRA asking to upload relevant documents such as a Canadian passport or birth certificate to the registry portal.  When the registrant ignores or cannot demonstrate Canadian presence, the domain is deleted about two months from the start of the audit.  CIRA sends multiple notices to the registrant before the deletion of the domain. 

Municipal domains

When registering a municipal domain, the municipality must fill out the consent form provided by CIRA to match the admin contact in the order. Additional requirements include:

  • The consent form must be printed on the respective municipal letterhead.
  • The municipal representative must sign the consent form, not the admin contact.
  • The administrative contact information in the order must match the administrative contact on the form. (the form has two different contacts, one is municipal representative while the other is administrative contact).
  • The administrative contact must be an employee of the municipality. 
  • The registrant contact must be the municipality. The registry calls to verify that they are aware and have the authorization to register the domain.

Once the requirements are complete, please submit a transfer request and reach out to support to process the order.
Note: All municipal domain orders appear as transfers in our system, although they are restricted and do not exist.

Nameserver Requirements

Nameservers configured on .CA domains must each have a unique IP address. At least two unique nameservers must be configured on this TLD. 

When the registry cannot verify the CPR, a serverHold status is placed on the nameservers, which stops them from resolving. Please check with the registrant to see if they've received a request from CIRA to upload proof of Canadian presence.  

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Renewals

Explicit renewals or automatic renewals are permitted. Renewals are permitted for a period of one to ten years. After a renewal has been processed, the domain status will display "auto-renew grace" in WHOIS for 40 days after the expiry date. 

Renewal management is an extension of the gTLD renewal management features. If, for example, your renewal messaging is enabled for .COM/.NET/.ORG, the same messages are used for .CA names. Reminder emails are sent to the registrant and the Reseller 90, 60, 30, and 0 days before expiry.

We hold a .CA domain for 40 days after the expiry date for the renewal grace period. On day 40, the domain enters into the redemption grace period, which lasts for 30 days. 

After the redemption period, the registry deletes the domain. The domain is released to the general public through the To Be Released (TBR) program

Transfers

Municipal domain transfer orders cannot be submitted through our system.  If you wish to transfer a municipal domain, please contact OpenSRS and provide the authcode.  If you have a failed transfer and receive an error, please provide the error message when you make the request.  It will look like this:

Could not issue transfer: Unable to process transfer for example.ca: Parameter value policy error.  When submitting a transfer request for a municipal or provincial domain, do not provide new Contact Ids. CIRA will generate new contacts using existing contact information. value 8054.

Transfers away

When a registrant chooses to transfer a domain from OpenSRS to another registrar, upon approval of the transfer at the gaining registrar, the transfer away completes immediately.
Note: As of May 25, 2018, all .ca transfers must also specify a CPR category.

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Registrant contact information

As of Apr 19, 2022, resellers need to submit an org_name field value for all registrations, transfers, and trades where legal_type is anything other than ABO, CCT, LGR, or RES. Failure to do so returns the error in the RCP or via API:

Organization (org_name for owner contact) must be entered when CPR Category (legal_type) indicates a non-individual

As of Mar 6, 2014, 23:00 EST, the following information must be provided for the registrant contact (known as the Owner contact in OpenSRS) whenever a domain name is registered or updated.

Note: This requirement does not affect renewals.

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Email address
  • Org name
  • Phone number
  • Street address
  • City
  • Province/state
  • Country
  • Postal code 
    Note: The postal code and province/state are mandatory when Canada or US is selected.

The organization/org_name for the owner contact must be entered when the CPR Category legal_type indicates a non-individual.

The following are not required to enter an organization name:

ABO Aboriginal Peoples (individuals or groups) indigenous to Canada
CCT Canadian citizen
LGR Legal representative of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
RES Permanent resident of Canada

Important: Not including all required information causes orders and contact updates to fail.

WhoIs privacy

CIRA limits the personal information of .CA registrants that is available to the public via the WhoIs lookup service. By default, the .CA public WhoIs does not provide personal information for individual domain name registrants.

Interested third parties contact registrants using the contact form on CIRA’s website.

Registrant information for domains registered to corporations continues to be displayed. Corporations and organizations can request WhoIs protection in special circumstances, but this is disabled by default.

The authoritative WhoIs server for .CA domains is http://whois.cira.ca/

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