Introducing the New .UK Domain

Published on 6/12/2014

So what is .UK? It’s the newest product in the .UK domain family for all the online pioneers in the United Kingdom that want a shorter domain. 

.UK domains are a well established and trusted element of the UK Internet infrastructure with 4 in 5 people preferring .UK websites when searching or buying online. Previously, we could only register third-level .UK domain names: .CO.UK was primarily used  for business, .ORG.UK for non-profits and .ME.UK for personal websites.  

For the over 10 million people who already use a third-level domain name, you may get first rights to your equivalent .UK domain name for the next 5 years. You just need to make sure that your contact information exactly matches the WHOIS for both registrations to ensure that you are the correct person with the rights for yoru name. Here are the rules for who can register your .UK domain name first:

  • Own a .CO.UK? You get priority to be the first to register it in .UK.
  • Own a .ORG.UK? You get priority if no one else has registered the equivalent .CO.UK name.
  • Own a .ME.UK? You may get your .UK name if no one else has registered the equivalent .CO.UK or .ORG.UK.
  • New to .UK? Search for your name and if someone else has priority for that name, your order will be cancelled.

Want to know how to get a piece of this new online territory?

Search for my .UK >>

More Info on Registering .UK

How do I check if I or someone else has the rights to a .UK domain name?

Want to check who has the rights for your existing third-level .UK name or check on a .UK you had in mind? Search for who has the rights via the .UK rights lookup tool.

What is the .UK 5 year right to registration period?

Owners of qualifying domains have 5 years (until 10 June 2019) to exercise their right to register their equivalent .UK domain name.

What happens if I don’t renew my .UK domain name? 

If at any time the .UK domain name is not renewed it will automatically become available for anyone else to register on a first come, first served basis.

What happens to my .UK domain name after the 5 year rights period?

If the .UK has not been registered by 10 June 2019 then it will become available for anyone else to register on a first come, first served basis.

How do I apply for a .UK?

A domain name query submitted will return 1 of 3 outcomes:

  • Not available, the .UK domain name is registered
  • Available, the .UK domain name is not registered and no right exists
  • Rights to Registration, the .UK domain name is registered and a right exists (so only available to the right holder)
  • What happens to my .UK registration when a right exists?

The contact information for the registration must match the qualifying domain registrant details 100% (registrant name, email and address). Address looks at street 1, postcode and country code. The match is case insensitive. The evaluation of rights will take place real-time and if the match is not accurate the order will fail.

What happens if my qualifying domain is held with a different registrar?

Assuming there is an exact match on registrant details, Nominet will email the registrant immediately asking them to authenticate that they are exercising their right to a .UK (to avoid fraudulent applications). The registrant has up to 7 days to reply to this email and authenticate their request. If they have not done so by then the domain is deleted.

What are the rules to register a .UK?

Registrants may be based outside the UK but an Address for Service in the UK (i.e. in that case registrars should submit both the non-UK address and the UK Address for Service) is required. A PO Box is not allowed for the registrant address or for the UK Address for service.

A PO Box will only be allowed if the qualifying .CO.UK address is a PO Box. However, due to the new .UK Rules of Registration, we will be required to change to a non-PO Box at a later stage.

How is the priority allocated for .UK domain names?

The right to a .UK is given to an equivalent ‘qualifying’ .CO.UK, .ORG.UK or .ME.UK domain that was registered prior to 28th October 2013.

Where there is more than one equivalent domain, the right will fall in order of priority:

  1. .CO.UK
  2. .ORG.UK
  3. .ME.UK

If the qualifying domain is not renewed (e.g. it expires or is cancelled), the right will fall to anyone who registers the .CO.UK prior to launch on 10th June 2014.

If on 28th Oct 2013 no right existed, the right will fall to anyone who registers a .CO.UK domain between 28th October 2013 and 10th June 2014 June. For any other suffix (e.g. .ORG.UK) registered between 28th October 2013 and 10th June 2014 June there is no right gained.

After launch on 10th June 2014 (where there is no right) .CO.UK and .UK domains can be bought as usual on a first come, first served basis and do not carry any rights.

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