If you have an existing website domain that ends with ‘.com.au, .net.au, .org.au, .edu.au etc’ You may be eligible to apply for your new .au domain.
The .au Domain Administration (auDA), was launched earlier this year creating Australia’s newest domain namespace – .au direct.
The new namespace provides eligible registrants the option to register an equivalent direct .au domain name for the first time.
if you hold ‘forexample.com.au’, you can apply for Priority Status to register the domain ‘forexample.au’.
Registrants with an existing .com.au domain name licence registered prior to 24 March 2022 are eligible to apply for a direct match of their .au direct domain name through the Priority Allocation Process.
The Priority Allocation Process is now open and will close on 20 Sept 2022.
Please note that if you choose not to register the direct match of your domain name in the new namespace by 20 September, it will become available to the general public from that date.
Should you get a Direct .au name?
There are many advantages of a direct .au name. Here are a few:
- The most important is that it’s easy to remember and type – making it a smart branding strategy.
- It also protects your brand identity, restricting competitors from registering a similar name.
- And finally, a .au domain is a great way to show that you’re proudly Australian.
Is it mandatory to make the switch under the Priority Allocation Process?
The release of .au direct will only complement the existing Australian namespaces such as com.au, net.au, edu.au, gov.au and org.au, and would not replace it.
This means you are free to keep your existing website address if you intend to! In addition to this, you can link your new .au domain to your existing website address so that your website can be looked up using either domain extension.
You may have already received an email from your domain registrar (i.e., VentraIP, GoDaddy, Bluehost) with an invitation to apply for your .au direct domain. If you have received this email and have not yet registered your .au direct domain name, follow the links in the email to register.
If you have not received this email and want to register the .au direct match of your existing domain name, you will need to apply before 23:59 on 20 September 2022.
- To check your priority category and/ or see if there are other registrants eligible for the .au direct name you seek, you can use auDA’s Priority Status Tool.
- If you have an account with a domain registrar log into your account and begin the application process for your .au domain.
Ensuring that the registration and ownership details you enter match those of your original .com.au, .net.au, .org.au, .edu.au etc account. This will include address, email, name of ownership entity, ABN, ACN and other contact details.
Note that there are registration fees payable to register any domain, including the .au domain. The .au domain is at present a minimal fee.
- You should receive instant notification of your .au domain registration, however in some cases it may take the registrant some time to ensure that your application is not a “contested name”. Please see below for further explanation.
What if multiple applicants want the same domain name?
There will be some occasions where two or more applicants apply for the same .au direct name. auDa refers to this as a “contested name”.
the owner for forexample.net.au and forexample.com.au both decide to apply for the same forexample.au direct domain.
So, who would get priority in this situation?
To decide who has the right to have the licence for a contested domain name, auDA has divided applicants into two categories:
- Under Category 1 are domain licences created after the Priority Status cut-off date of February 4, 2018
- Category 2, on the other hand, are domain licenses created after the Priority Status date of February 4, 2018.
So, for the forexample.com.au case vs. the forexample.net.au case, the domain will be allocated to the applicant with the earliest creation date.
However, in the rare event that their creation date is the same, both parties must come to an agreement otherwise the .au domains remain unreserved.
More information on .au direct and the Priority Allocation Process is available on the auDA website.
You can find out information about your existing domain name licence here: https://whois.auda.org.au/.