.UK Domain Policies

.UK is the TLD for the United Kingdom, and is regulated by the Nominet Registry.

OpenSRS offers domain name registrations for .UK, .CO.UK, and .ME.UK in much the same way as we do with the .COM and .NET gTLDs. Due to Nominet’s requirements, .LTD.UK, .PLC.UK, and .NET.UK domains must be registered with Nominet directly; however, we do offer renewals and transfers of these domains.

Note: The Admin Email field is mandatory for all new registrations; however, you no longer need to complete the Fax fields.

Registration details

Registration details can be found in the TLD reference chart.

Registration Confirmation

When a domain has been successfully registered, Nominet sends the registrant a welcome email that contains login details for the new account. The welcome email contains a secure link to access your account on Nominet's system. When you access your account for the first time you will be asked to set a password.

Leap year registrations

If you register a .UK domain on February 29, the expiry date is set to February 28.

Residency requirements

The .UK Registry has some specific residency requirements for registering second level (.UK) domains; however, anyone can register the following third level domains, regardless of where they live:.CO.UK, .ME.UK, .PLC.UK.

Second level .UK domain name requirements:

  • Owner contact: The owner country has to be one of GB (Great Britain), GG (Guernsey), JE (Jersey), IM (Isle of Man).
  • If the owner is not from one of those 4 countries then you must provide an Address of Service in the Admin contact and that address must be from GB, GG, JE, or IM.
    Note: Address of service is the address given to a court by a party to an action, for delivery of associated writs, summons and other legal documents. Deliveries of documents made at this address are assumed to have been delivered to the addressed party.
    PO Boxes are not acceptable in the address.

Registering second level .UK names

From June 10, 2014 until June 10, 2019, if you want to register an available second level .UK domain name, and the name is already registered as a third level .UK domain (for example. .co.uk or .org.uk), the owner contact information for the second level .UK name must be an exact match to the owner contact information of the equivalent third level .UK domain name.  

To check whether a domain name is already registered as a third level domain, you can use this tool.

VAT (Value Added Tax)

VAT refers to Value Added Tax, a tax levied by the UK government. Depending on the location from which you operate your business, there are different implications.

Resellers who are not UK corporations must pay VAT on .*.UK registrations, but may be able to reclaim the VAT that was paid.

Resellers who are residents of the UK or elsewhere in Europe must pay VAT on .*.UK registrations and then reclaim the VAT paid as they normally would because the services we provide are considered to be supplied from outside the UK.

See http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/ for details on the requirements governing VAT refunds.


Domain deletions are handled between the Registrant and Nominet directly. You can assist Registrants in the deletion, but we do not get involved with this process.

Surrendering a domain name (without refund) is straightforward. On the reverse of the Domain Name Certificate, there is a surrender form. Complete this form and return it to Nominet, along with a letter of authorization on company letterhead. If you do not have a certificate or if you downloaded an online certificate, you can obtain a copy of Nominet’s surrender form from their website. You must then print, complete, and return the form to Nominet along with your authorization letter.

On receipt of these documents, Nominet cancels the domain name, removing it completely from the .UK Register Database. Once this is done, the name is available for someone else to register.

If the Registrant has misplaced their Domain Name Certificate, they should notify Nominet in writing – on company letterhead – of their requirement to surrender their domain name.


If a .UK domain reaches its expiry date without being renewed, Nominet sends a reminder to the Owner recommending that they contact their registrar to renew the domain. The Registrant then has 30 days from the expiry date in which to renew the domain (this is the renewal grace period). If the domain is not renewed by 23 days after the expiry date, Nominet sends another message to the registrant warning them that their domain will be suspended in 7 days.

If the domain is not renewed by the end of the 30 day grace period, Nominet notifies the registrant that their domain has been suspended and that it will remain suspended for 60 days (this is the redemption period). At this point, the domain no longer resolves; however, during this 60-day period, the suspended domain can still be redeemed simply by renewing it.

Nominet sends a final message 53 days after the beginning of the suspension period notifying the registrant that the domain name will be cancelled in 7 days. If the 60-day suspension period passes and the domain is not renewed, the domain is then deleted and it becomes available for registration by someone else.

If a renewal order is submitted during the redemption period, the domain will resolve within 24-48 hours after the renewal is processed.

Setting domains to auto-renew

.UK domains are not automatically set to auto-renew; however, you can choose to set all new or transferred .UK domains to auto-renew by default, and you can choose whether they should be auto-renewed for one or two years.

To enable auto-renew for all .UK domains

  1. In the Profile Management section of the RWI, click Tech Contact Information.
  2. Scroll down the page to the Domain Name Options section.
  3. Beside the Auto-Renew all New/Transferred Domains option, click Yes.
  4. From the .uk Auto-Renew years drop-down, choose whether you want your domains to auto-renew for one or two years.
  5. Click Save Changes.

The auto-renew setting can be disabled for individual domains at the order level by the you, the Reseller, or by the Registrant, if enabled. 


Nominet’s transfer policy requires the losing Registrar to initiate transfers on behalf of the Registrant. For domains that are being transferred in, you should advise the Registrant to contact their current Registrar to initiate the process of getting their domain transferred to the Tucows tag TUCOWS-CA.

  • Due to parsing problems at Nominet, contact data may be skewed. Instructions about how to rectify this are noted on the transfer confirmation emails sent to you and your customers.
  • When transferring a domain, the losing Registrar must change the Domain Tag of the domain to that of the gaining Registrar.
  • The Domain Tag can only be changed to a valid Nominet tag. To see valid Nominet tags, visit the Nominet website.
  • Transfer-in orders that complete within 7 days of the expiration date will be renewed and charged a renewal price.  Otherwise, there is no transfer fee and no year will be added to the domain.  

It is not possible to force the completion of .UK transfers that are Pending Registry Approval.

Note: Transfer Winback is not available for .UK domains.

Reseller to Reseller transfers

With this type of transfer, the domain tag does not change, as both the losing Reseller and the gaining Reseller are part of the same system. In this scenario, the Registrant notifies the gaining Reseller, and the gaining Reseller initiates the transfer, following the regular transfer process for gTLDs.

Once the transfer is initiated:

  1. We send the Registrant a transfer-away notification. In order to complete the transfer, Registrants must approve (ACK) the transfer request. If the Registrant fails to respond, the transfer is cancelled.
  2. We send the losing Reseller a transfer-away notification. This is simply a notification; the losing Reseller cannot NACK the transfer.
  3. Once complete, we send a confirmation of the successful transfer to the gaining Reseller.

If you, the gaining Reseller, place the transfer of an expired domain, the renewal cost for that domain is charged to your Reseller account if and when it completes.

Transfers in

To transfer a domain from a non-OpenSRS Reseller, the Registrant, thelosing Registrar (Tag Holder), and the gaining Reseller must do the following:

  • The Registrant contacts their new Reseller (that is, the gaining OpenSRS Reseller).
  • The Registrant asks the losing Registrar (Tag Holder) to submit the tag change to Nominet; the tag is TUCOWS-CA.
  • The gaining Reseller accepts the transfer, according to the instructions below.

To transfer a .UK domain using the RWI

1. In the Order Management section of the RWI, enter the domain name in the Transfer a domain text field, and then click Transfer.


Transfers in


2. On the Transfer for <domain> page, specify an existing Registrant profile or create a new Registrant profile to associate with the transferred-in .UK domain.

To add the transfer-in domain to an existing registrant profile, enter the existing domain and registrant profile information in the Order Information area, then click Retrieve Data. The profile details are needed to ensure that domains get inserted into the correct profile once the transfer has completed.

To create a new registrant profile for the transfer-in, enter the new owner and contact details in the registrant Profile Information and Contact Information sections.

3. Scroll down the page and ensure that Transfer Now is selected in the Action drop-down list.

4. When done entering details, click Submit.
Provided that the domain is under the Tucows tag (the losing Registrar submitted the tag change to Nominet), that domain is added to your Reseller profile.

Note: If you (gaining Reseller) place the transfer of an expired domain, the renewal cost for that domain is charged to your Reseller account if and when it completes.


Cancelling a transfer-in request and resubmitting a failed transfer-in

To cancel a transfer-in request using the RWI

1. In the Requests Queuing section of the RWI, click UK Transfer In Requests.

2. From the Transfer In Requests page, click Cancel or Re-submit in the Options column, and then click Process.


Cancelling a transfer-in request and resubmitting a failed transfer-in


Note: It is not possible to force the completion of .UK transfers that are Pending Registry Approval.

Transfers away from OpenSRS

Transfers away can be done by the domain Admin in the  section of the  (manage.opensrs.net) or by the Reseller through the RWI.

To transfer away using the RWI

1. In the Order Management section of the RWI, click Place UK domain Tag Transfer Away. The Change Domain Tags page opens.


Transfers away from OpenSRS


2. In the New Domain Tag field, enter the gaining Registrar’s tag.

3. In the List domains box, enter the domain(s) to transfer away.

4. Click Submit.

OpenSRS sends an email to the registrant to approve the tag change.  Once approved, the tag change is submitted to Nominet and will take effect immediately. The gaining Registrar can then claim the transferred domain from Nominet.

Transferring a De-tagged Domain to a New Tag Holder

When a de-tagged domain is transferred to a new Tag Holder, Nominet's automated system requests an ISP Reference number:

Nominet message:

You have arranged with your new registration agent for them to pay the registration or renewal fees due for the domain name(s). Your registration agent should have given you a reference number, which will allow you to proceed with your application to move your domain name(s) to them.

We do not provide such a number; simply enter your Reseller username or any number to proceed with your transaction.

Changes of ownership

Change of ownership can be done at no cost by modifying the contact information via the OpenSRS control panel.  

However, the registrant also has the option to do this themselves for a cost (£10 plus VAT) via the .UK registry portal’s "Registrant Transfer" tab.  If the registrant transfer is done via the registry portal, both the existing and new Registrant must complete Nominet’s transfer form and send Nominet the completed form along with a letter of authorization. Nominet’s transfer form is available from Nominet’s website.   

Once you submit the form, Nominet sends a request for confirmation to the new registrant. The new registrant then has five days in which to agree to the transfer. If the transfer is not confirmed within those five days, Nominet  issues a refund, and you will need to start the process again if you still want to transfer the domain name.

If the new registrant accepts the transfer, Nominet sends you an email confirmation to let you know that the transfer process is complete.

Additional information about transferring ownership is available on Nominet’s website.


The Nominet WHOIS server is authoritative for all .*.UK names. You can search the .UK WHOIS database at http://www.nic.uk/

Note: The information returned with a .UK WHOIS is substantially less than the information available for gTLDs.

Modification of contact info

  • If only the contact information is updated for a .*.UK name, the change is reflected in the WHOIS database within one hour. If nameservers are updated, the change doesn't take effect until the root nameservers are reloaded, which happens twice daily.
  • When a nameserver based on a .UK domain is created, it is not usable by other domains until it has first been added to the parent domain. For instance, to be able to attach the new nameserver ns1.parent.CO.UK to other.CO.UK, the following procedure must be done:
    • Create nameserver through the normal means.
    • Add the new nameserver to parent.CO.UK.
    • Add the new nameserver to other.CO.UK.

This requires that ns1.parent.CO.UK DNS be setup to return details on both the parent and the other domains.

WHOIS opt-out

Nominet allows individuals to opt-out of their WHOIS database so that none of their personal information is returned with a WHOIS query.

Note: Organizations cannot use the WHOIS opt-out feature.

The WHOIS opt-out feature for .UK domains is available from the MWI at http://rr-n1-tor.opensrs.net/manage/, on the Domain Extras page:


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