.DE domain policies

Registration requirements

The name length requirements for .DE domains are one to 63 characters before the TLD. Third-level domain registrations for .DE are not supported.

We support the following languages for IDNs:

Albanian Catalan Croatian  Czech Danish Dutch
Estonian Finnish French German Hungarian Icelandic
Italian Latvian Lithuanian Norwegian Polish Portuguese
Slovak Spanish Swedish Turkish Vietnamese Welsh

Additional registration details can be found in the TLD reference chart.

Residency requirements

.DE domains can be registered from any owner country. Local presence is no longer required as of May 2018.

When the registrant is not located in Germany, an authorized contact located in Germany who can receive official or court documents on their behalf is required. The contact must be provided to the registry within two weeks upon request.

Nameserver Requirements

Activation requires at least two functional name servers. Nameservers must be active on two different subnets and must be authoritative for the domain name at registration.  The registry NAST tool verifies the functionality of the name servers. 

OpenSRS SystemDNS name servers can be used during domain registration.
Note: If you receive an error while adding our SystemDNS name servers, please attempt the workaround.

When a name is registered, and the nameservers are not active, the registrant has 30-days to activate and park the name on them. If the thirty 30-day periods complete without active nameservers, DENIC deletes the domain name without providing any refund. 

The nameservers associated with the domain name can be modified during the 30-day period, subject to DENIC verification. If the name servers do not meet DENIC criteria, the change request is ignored.

If the name servers are not active, they must be resubmitted once they have been activated. Once the name servers are resubmitted, the status will show as failed until DENIC accepts them.

OpenSRS nameserver workaround 

After registration, select the use your own nameservers option and add the following manually:

  • ns1.systemdns.com
  • ns2.systemdns.com
  • ns3.systemdns.com

If this still fails, please add an A record to create the zone and try again.

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All .DE domains are set to auto-renew. There is no grace period for .DE domains. .DE domains enter the redemption period immediately after expiry.

The redemption period is 30 days after deletion. Within this period, the domain can only be re-registered on behalf of the last domain holder or in the name of a third party defined by the domain holder. 


To allow a .de domain to expire, the registrant needs to complete and submit the deletion form at least five days before the expiry date. Once the form is received, OpenSRS support processes a deletion order.  On a deletion order, the auto-renew option is disabled as per the reseller's request, and the domain will expire on its natural expiry date. Before completion the registrant should expect an email confirmation from the OpenSRS compliance team, if there is no response the domain will be placed on delete at expiration. 

Note: Documentation must be submitted to OpenSRS by the reseller, not by the registrant. 

If the registrant/reseller changes their mind about the deletion order,  they must contact OpenSRS support at help@opensrs.com.


Transit is a service of DENIC that ensures the domain holder will not lose the domain if a provider no longer administers it. The domain is not deleted immediately and is not available for registration to anybody else while in transit.

A transit order is processed for the following reasons: 

  1. The reseller cannot reach the registrant.
  2. The registrant refuses to pay for the domain.
  3. The registrant refuses to sign the form.

To place a transit order, the reseller must contact OpenSRS support via email with the reason for submission.  Once OpenSRS support processes the transit order, the registry no longer points the domain to OpenSRS, and we are no longer able to administer the domain.  The registry takes over the process of contacting the end-user.

As of November 1, 2020, DENIC is converting major parts of the transit process to e-mail. Domains set to transit require the registrant to contact the DENIC Transit Service Centre directly for further management, including requesting the authcode.  

The registrant has the option to select whether the domain shall be transferred or deleted within 30 days in the Transit Service Center or by contacting the DENIC transit team. If the choice is made to transfer the domain, the holder can directly generate an authcode at the registry.

If the domain holder does not transfer, delete or initiate payment within 30 days, DENIC will send a termination of the contract without notice by e-mail. In case the holder has failed to indicate an e-mail address, the notice of termination will be sent by post to be legally binding. 

Postal letters to domain holders will be combined so that only a single letter will be sent out. As a result, the domain holder will receive a payment request and access data for the TRANSIT Service Center in the same letter.

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Change of ownership

Changing the ownership of a .DE domain follows the process outlined in our transferring domains guide.


Auth codes are required for all .DE transfers and can be obtained from the current registrar for the domain. The Authcode expires after 30 days. Using an authcode that is expired results in a message stating the code is undefined. Generate authcodes via the Manage Web Interface or the Reseller Control Panel
Note: The transfer authorization email is sent to the admin contact specified in the transfer order.

If a .DE domain is transferred into OpenSRS with nameservers incorrectly configured the transfer order will complete successfully. The domain will not point to the nameservers listed on the transfer order. Once the nameservers are correctly configured, you can send a nameserver update order on the domain to rectify this issue. 

For reseller to reseller transfers, if you see a charge with no renewal please contact us for a credit adjustment. Registrar to registrar transfers can expect a charge with renewals.

Unlike standard gTLD domains, which have 60-day post-registration transfer-hold restriction for a registrar to registrar transfers, .DE transfer in and transfer away is not restricted to any hold period. This means that a transfer can be performed at any time after a domain is registered.

Additional Resources

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