.au direct domains are finally here! .au Domain Administration (auDA) — the governing body for the .au domain namespace will make .au direct domains available to the public from 24 March 2021.
This move has been long overdue. The launch was originally scheduled for 2019 and was moved to early 2020 before a set date was established.
It will allow businesses and individuals to have a shorter and more memorable .au domain name. If you currently own mydomain.com.au, you can register the equivalent mydomain.au.
Read on to learn all you need to know about .au direct domains way ahead of its launch.
The New .AU Direct Domain: What to Expect?
Some may be thrilled about the upcoming .au direct launch. But some are probably anxious about its effect on the .au domains they currently hold.
The new .au won’t affect the existing domains in the .au domain namespace. It will only give Australian internet users another way to grow their online presence.
Who can register a .au direct domain?
Anyone can register a .au direct domain as long as they have an Australian presence. This means that individuals should have permanent residency and businesses should have an Australia-registered business.
Registrants with existing .au domain names (e.g., mydomain.com.au or mydomain.org.au) are automatically eligible to apply for a Priority Status under the Priority Allocation Process. This goes a long way in resolving conflicts in case of competing claims to a matching direct .au domain.
It’s ideal for brands and SMEs to register their .au domains ahead. Not only will they secure their domain of choice, but they also get first dibs to register their domain’s .AU direct counterpart.
Priority Allocation Process: Rules and Regulations
Among the 3 million registered Australian domains globally, two or more registrants may have clashed for the same domain at some point. The Priority Allocation Process is the ultimate resolution to this inevitable issue. It ensures the orderly allocation of .au direct domains and dictates every registrant’s priority status.
Here’s how the process works:
- First priority: Registrants who registered their domain names before February 4, 2018.
- Second priority: Registrants who registered their domain names after February 4, 2018.
- For first priority applicants vying for the same name, they need to negotiate with each other. If they fail to reach an agreement, none of them gets the domain. As long as they renew their applications annually, the domain will continue to be reserved until there’s only one applicant left.
- For contesting second priority applicants, the name goes to the applicant with the earliest domain registration date.
- If you fail to secure a matching .AU direct name, your existing domain will remain operational as long as your registration’s updated.
Priority Allocation Process FAQs
Where to register?
You can register in any .au accredited registrars. You can register early through Crazy Domains’ pre-registration process.
When can you start registering for the new .au direct names?
You can start registering upon its launch on March 24, 2022.
Can I reserve the exact .au direct name match of my domain ahead?
No, but don’t worry! From its launch, the exact .au direct match of your domain will be withheld from the public for six months.
What if I share the same matching .au direct domain name with another party?
If there’s more than one eligible registrant for a particular .au direct domain (e.g., digistore.net.au and digistore.com.au), the allocation will be based on the priority category.
If I’m the only match for a specific .au direct name, do I still need to apply for a priority status?
Yes. You still need to lodge your application if you wish to secure it. Otherwise, it will be available to the public after the six-month reservation period.
Is there a tool I can use to check my priority status?
Yes. You can check the priority category of your domain name via auDA’s Priority Status tool.
Is there an application fee? And if yes, how much?
Yes, there’s an application fee. The price will vary according to different registrars.
How long is the license period after I secure a .au direct name?
Shortly after securing a name through the Priority Allocation Process, it will be registered under your name on an initial one-year license. After that, you’re eligible to renew it for up to five years.
Are you ready for .au direct domains?
Finally, direct .au domains will be available soon! We’re looking at looser registration qualifications, more domain options, and shorter, more memorable domain names.
While waiting for the direct .au launch, you can register a domain under the .au family here. Eligibility rules apply.