.AU is the new geoTLD for Australia and is administered by auDA, the Australian Domain Name Administrator. As of Thursday, Mar 24, 2022, domain names are open for registration directly under .AU as second-level domains. Previously, domains were only available under second-level domains, such as .com.au. 

Anyone with a verified Australian presence, including businesses, associations, government entities and individuals, may purchase a .AU domain. Registrations are subject to auDA’s licensing rules and priority allocation process.  

Registration requirements

Any individual or organization with an Australian presence may register any available .AU domain. The only registration requirement for .au direct domains is an Australian presence.
Note: Unlike third-level .AU domain registrations, there are no requirements to have the second-level  .AU domain registration match the registrant's name or entity name.

The following entities have an Australian presence:

  • An Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident visa holder.
  • A company, organization, association, cooperative, partnership, political party, trust, government entity, charity, educational institution, or partnership registered in Australia. See the auDA licensing rules for a complete list of eligible entities.
  • The applicant or owner of an Australian trademark, where the domain name is an exact match of the Australian trademark application or registration.

General requirements

When completing the registration form for any .AU domain name, the reseller must submit additional information about the registrant. These other fields are in the owner information section of the RCP order form and the additional domain information section of the RWI registration form.

Registration and transfer orders are for one-year to five-year periods. Transfer and trade orders default to a one-year term.

Note: These requirements apply to all new registrations, inbound transfers, and contact updates/changes.

Special requirements

auDA has several other requirements for compliance: registrars must send registrants the domain authorization code and a certificate of registration. As required, OpenSRS sends the certificate and auth info to the registrant along with their reseller information
Note: OpenSRS is not able to provide .AU domain registrations to any reseller based in China.

Registrant validation

Validation of the owner details is required to complete orders for second-level .AU domains. Organizations and individuals have different validation requirements. Legal persons/organizations validate data based on the ABN, ACN. or trademark number data. Private persons must validate their name, address and email address.

Organization validation requirements

ABN, ACN and trademark continue to be validated automatically with the latest process for .AU third-level registrant ID validation.  

Individual validation requirements

After submitting the order to the registry, we check a private person's name and address (including postcode and state) against Australian government documents, such as a driver's license or passport. We suspended services after three days when our system cannot validate this data. The system provides a notification when validation fails, providing the opportunity to update contact details. 
Note: Please ensure that the data entered matches existing government details, including address and postcode.

Email validation carries out when:

  • The domain registers with unverified contact information or transfers in.
  • The registrant's first name, last name or email address is modified.
  • The previous domain’s email has bounced back.

The registrant has 14 days to verify their email and must complete the instructions sent via email. The message contains a link to a page displaying their email address, first and last name from the registration. The message also includes a link to the registration terms for the agreement.

Registrants receive an email to verify their contact information on days one,  five, 10 and 13. An email informs the registrant that we have actioned their domain when they fail to verify. Updating the contact triggers a new data check. New domain registrations fail when the verification is incomplete; transferred domains are suspended, interrupting DNS service.
Note: Domains stay suspended until the verification is complete.

Resending the validation email

To resend the registrant verification email via the Reseller Control Panel (RCP):

  1. Log in to the RCP.
    RCP_Login_page.jpg
  2. Enter the domain name in the quick search field on the dashboard page and click Search.
    RCP_Quick_Search_AU.jpg
  3. Click the domain name from the search results.
    RCP_AU_search_results_example.jpg
  4. Click Resend verification email under the registrant verification status in the domains overview section. 
    RCP_AU_Registrant_Verificaiton_Email.jpg

The registrant verification email also has an API command. The API command to trigger resending the verification email is:

send_registrant_verification_email

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Checking rights to a .AU domain 

Registrants can register domain names under the .AU top-level domain through General Availability (GA) or the priority launch application process. 

General availability 

Starting Mar 24, 2022, 02:00 UTC, any individual or organization with an Australian presence may register any available .AU domain name. A domain is available when no equivalent third-level domain registration exists and wasn't registered before Mar 24, 2022. For example, you cannot register example.au when example.net.au is under ownership by someone else.

Potential registrants use auDA's priority status tool to determine availability status for the standard GA process. They can also see if the registrant of a third-level .AU domain (example.net.au) has applied for the .AU version (example.au).

Priority launch application

The .AU version of all existing third-level domain registrations (those under .NET.AU, etc.) are placed on priority hold by auDA on Mar 24, 2022, until Sep 20, 2022. For instance, registering example.com.au before Mar 24, 2022 places example.au on hold automatically.

Registrants with an existing third-level domain registration wishing to apply for the .AU equivalent usees the .AU priority status tool to determine:

  • whether other equivalent third-level domain registrations exist (example.net.au vs. example.com.au) 
  • whether the registrant of this other domain has applied to register the .AU version
  • the priority category associated with all existing variants of the domain name; the priority category determines how potential rights disputes

auDA_Priority_Allocation_flowchart.jpg

The application period for matching domains ends Sep 20, 2022. On this date, names held without applications are available for general registration, at which point anyone eligible can register them.
Note: The time for the ending period is still to be determined by the registry.

Successful domains applications are allocated according to the registry priority allocation process. Priority for submitted orders is determined based on contention set resolution and prioritization.

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Registering .AU domains and submitting priority launch applications

Submit domain registration and priority launch application orders through the API or the RCP. We've also permitted pre-orders for registrants to attempt to reserve domains without existing third-level names.

The maximum term length for pre-orders depends on the priority status and the number of applications.

Priority pre-orders with multiple potential applicants  One year maximum
Priority pre-orders with single applicants One to five years
General availability pre-orders One to five years

Note: The order defaults to one year when a pre-order is submitted and ends up with multiple potential applicants.

Priority launch requests require two additional pieces of information: the registrant’s priority contact ID and priority auth info, both of which will be provided to the registrant directly by auDA. When submitting a priority status application, please ensure:

  • The registrant details associated with the existing third-level domain registration match the details you provide in the priority launch application. Once the application is submitted, the registrant cannot update or change their registrant information and cannot transfer the eligible license to another person during the application period.
  • The registrant’s priority contact ID and priority auth info are accurate and included.
  • The registrant details on the existing domain are current and accurate.
    Note: This is required even with domains outside of OpenSRS.

We recommend checking the public WhoIs details for the corresponding third level when submitting the 2nd level application.
Important: After submitting a launch application to auDA, the registrant cannot update/change their registrant information and cannot transfer the eligible license during the application period.

Submitting a pre-order via the RCP

Submitting a second-level domain order in the RCP between Mar 3, 2022, and Mar 24, 2022, for which no equivalent existing third-level name exists, results in a response that the pre-order submission was successful.
Note: This does not guarantee you or your registrant a successful registration.

On Mar 24, 2022, auDA processes the registrations and shortly after that, if the registration is successful, the registrant receives a validation request via email.

Submitting an application via the RCP

After Mar 3, 2022, orders with respective third-level names through us are priority launch applications. These orders do not require the priority contact ID or priority ID token. On Mar 23, 2022, the registry provides us with these details for domains registered with us, and we are automatically adding the details to any queued orders. These orders are going to the registry for processing on Mar 24, 2022. 

Registrants check their desired second-level domain name availability with the .AU priority status tool, which displays whether the domain is available or if another third-level domain registration exists.

Orders for second-level AU domains with a conflicting third-level, when they are not already through OpenSRS, must obtain their priority auth info from the registry directly; The order must include all required details to complete.
Note: Orders submitted while missing required details fail and save in draft status.  

We’ve added two new fields under the owner information section on the order page in the RCP. Enter the registrant’s contact ID values in the Priority contact ID and Priority auth info fields.

AU_Priority_Application_field_.jpg

Submitting an application via the API

We've created new parameters to include when submitting application orders via the API for the priority contact ID and the priority ID token, respectively:

priority_contact_id
priority_auth_info

Updated API examples are available with the order registration command:

sw_register

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Launch schedule and eligibility

Applications submitted on Thursday, Mar 24, 2022, will either be registrations under GA or launch applications for domains with one or more matching third-level domains.

On Mar 24, 2022, any eligible person may register an available second-level .AU domain

As of Mar 24, 2022, all names match the existing third-level .AU domains are placed on priority hold status by auDA until Tuesday, Sep 20, 2022. For example, registering opensrs.com.au any time before Mar 24, 2022, results in opensrs.au going on hold. 

Names on priority hold are not available in the GA, and they must register using a launch application instead; this is known as the Priority Allocation Process
Note: Domains placed on hold that have not received any launch applications will become available to register by all at the end of the application period.

OpenSRS_au_second_level_timeline.jpg

Launch application

There are two types of launch applications:

  1. Domains with only one respective domain registered in the auDA namespace.
  2. Domains with multiple corresponding dames names registered in different subdomains. 

Domains with numerous existing names are in contention and enter a delayed allocation process. 

The registrant details in the launch application include name, registrant ID, eligibility type, eligibility name, and eligibility ID. These details must match the existing registrant details used for the current respective domain.

Priority contact ID and priority ID token

Registrants demonstrate their eligibility to submit a launch application for a second-level .AU domain by entering their launch application username. The launch application username is the priority contact ID. The respective password is known as the priority ID token.

The priority contact ID and priority auth info (ID token) are obtained directly from the auDA portal after Mar 23, 2022, 22:00 UTC, or the current registrar may decide to offer it directly. 
Note: OpenSRS does not have the details available for registrants.  

When placing an order in the Reseller Control Panel, the priority contact ID and priority auth info fields are at the bottom of the owner information section.  
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Contention set resolution and prioritization

The date selected for prioritization cut-off is Sunday, Feb 4, 2018. Registrants are two separate categories:

  1. Category one - registrants of domains before the cut-off date
  2. Category two - registrants of domains after the cut-off date

When there are category one and category two applicants, category one applicants have priority over category two applicants. Multiple category one applicants must mutually agree upon the allocation. The domain remains unallocated until the parties reach an agreement. 
Note: Applicants may contact each other to discuss the name via publicly available registrant contact information.

Where reaching an agreement:
  • Unsuccessful applicants withdraw their applications.
  • The registry allocates the name.
Where not reaching an agreement:
  • The.AU domain name remains reserved.
  • Applicants need to renew their applications yearly.
  • The name remains reserved until there is only one active application.

Priority results from the domain creation date for category two applicants; the earlier date receives higher priority. The registry provides the priority status tool to registrants to check availability status during the allocation process. 

Once contention is resolved, the registry allocates the domain the following day.

Domain statuses 

Launch availability status

Domains may still be registered or expire until the commencement date. The launch availability statuses may change at any time before launch.

Registered The domain is already registered.
Available The domain is available for registration in GA.
Temporarily reserved The domain is on hold for the launch application period. The results also include the status of any pending applications.
Reserved The domain is permanently reserved by auDA and cannot be registered. 

Launch application status

Registrants may directly view the application status for domain applications in contention sets on the auDA website. Registrants can perform the following:

  • Retrieve the priority auth info and priority contact ID for their domains.
  • Decline to apply for a .AU domain matching their current 3rd level domain.
  • Withdraw an existing launch application.  

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.AU direct application renewal and transfer process

This process will be used for the .au direct application renewals or transfer of application renewals to a different registrar. This process applies to all .au direct applications that have not yet been allocated or are in contention with other applications:

Key dates for the application renewal process  
Renewal of the .AU direct application.
  • The application expiry date is 20 September 2023 at 00:00 UTC. 
    Note: If you want to actively renew the existing application with OpenSRS, we will need your renewal confirmation by September 1, 2023.
Transfer of .AU direct application.
  • The registry will collect requests from registrants who wish to transfer their application to a different registrar before the renewal.
  • There is a 90-day period starting 21 June 2023 and until 20 September 2023, during which the interested applicants may submit these requests. 
    Note: It is not possible to transfer an application to OpenSRS. You can only move the application away from OpenSRS to a registrar of your choice.

  • The registry will initiate the transfer of applications based on requests submitted by applicants through the priority website. Only the first request will be considered, and any subsequent requests for a change of registrar for the application will be rejected.
    Important: It is not possible to transfer a domain name in question to OpenSRS. You can only move the domain name away from OpenSRS to a registrar of your choice.

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Application withdrawal or transferring away

The registry has updated the Priority Website hosted at priority.auda.org.au to add a module for registrants to transfer their .au direct application to a different registrar through which their application will be renewed.
Note: This is a one-time option available to registrants.

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The process workflow

  1. To request the withdrawal or transfer of an application, visit priority.auda.org.au and input your domain name. This will trigger an email to the registrant's email address on record.
  2. When the user clicks the link sent in the email, they will arrive at a webpage that offers two options:
    Option 1 Option 2
    Officially and irrevocably withdraw their application.

    Transfer the application to a different registrar for the renewal of their
    application. This is a one-time option and any subsequent changes will result
    in an error.

  3. Once the successful request is submitted, an email will be sent to the registrant regarding application withdrawal.  In the case of a transfer, an email is sent to the registrant and registrar's email address to confirm receiving the request for a Transfer of Application.

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Responsibilities of the registrant 

The following are the registrant responsibilities for the .AU launch.
Important: Neither OpenSRS nor auDA assists in negotiating contested applications.
Withdrawing applications or declining to apply are non-reversible choices.

  • Check the priority status of the domain.
  • Verify the registrant details for any current .AU domains are accurate/valid.
  • Retrieve the priority contact ID and priority auth info from auDA.
  • Ensure that registrant data in the application matches the respective active .AU domain.
  • Contact other applicants for any contested applications using public WhoIs data.
  • Decline any applications they are not interested in registering.
  • Withdraw any pending launch applications they are no longer interested in pursuing. 

Additional resources

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