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.AU Registry Requirements and Renewals

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Recent changes at auDA – the .AU registry – have affected a number of DNSimple customers. We wanted to take a moment to explain what's happening, what we're doing to address urgent issues and prevent further disruption, and what to do if you've experienced issues with your .AU domain.

What's happening

auDA has very strict requirements for registering a .AU domain. The registry has always required a valid Australian Business Number (ABN), Australian Company Number (ACN), or Trademark Number to register an .AU domain. Because of these strict requirements, supporting .AU domains can be a bit of a challenge. Even testing our integration is difficult, because non-Australian entities can't register .AU domains.

Recently, the registry has started validating these attributes, resulting in problems for domains that are up for auto-renewal. In particular, even though the domain is set for auto-renew, the renewal fails because the information can't be validated. Because of multiple technical constraints, the invalid attributes could only be discovered at the time of renewal – after the renewal had already failed.

This causes the domain to also go into redemption.

When a domain enters its redemption period, it will no longer resolve – this means your website will be inaccessible, and you might not receive email addressed to the domain.

What we're doing

We're doing our best to react to the immediate emergencies while also working to proactively identify and address domains that may be affected in the near future.

We're typically able to recover the domain after submitting a TRADE request to change the invalid attributes to our upstream provider and charging two nominal fees – one for the redemption and one for the TRADE. The TRADE also resets the domain registration's expiration to one (1) year from the date the update is completed.

The registry considers changing these attributes the equivalent of altering domain ownership, and the TRADE action involves producing documents that must be manually reviewed. This further increases the recovery time for a domain that failed to renew.

What you can do

If your .AU domain is in redemption, please contact support, and provide your current ABN/ACN to us as soon as possible to ensure we can redeem the domain and proceed with the renewal. You'll need to make sure the ABN/ACN number is active in the Australian Business Register. You can use this tool to verify your ABN/ACN information.

Updating this information will result in a TRADE. The registry may charge a nominal fee in addition to the standard cost of the renewal.

If you have a .COM.AU, .NET.AU, or .ORG.AU domain that's up for auto-renewal but is not yet in redemption – let us know so we can make sure your domain's resolution remains undisrupted. In particular, if your ABN/ACN has changed since you registered or transferred the domain, please provide us with the new numbers as soon as possible.

No matter what TLD you own, it's a good idea to set up a second email – separate from your domain – on your DNSimple account, and/or use an alternate email in your WHOIS contact information to ensure you don't miss critical information. We also recommend having email forwarding set up. You can learn more about forwarding here.

We know this has been a frustrating experience for some of you, and we appreciate your patience and understanding. If you have any questions, please get in touch – we're always here to help.

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DeAndre Harris

Cat dad, music aficionado, contemporary art nerd. Passionate for building customer relationships that are informative, enriching & memorable.

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