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.au domain names

Direct .au domain name registrations will commence from 24 March 2022, giving you access to shorter, more memorable names to promote your business website. Even if you don't use it, you don't want any other business to snaffle it out from under your nose, because unlike and there are no eligibility requirements on the .au, which means anyone can purchase it!

To be eligible for a .au direct name you must have an Australian presence, which includes being a citizen or permanent resident, or being an organisation registered in Australia. (The full definition of an Australian presence is in the definitions section of the auDA Rules: Licensing).

You can choose any name you like as long as it:

a) is available to be registered,
b) meets the syntax requirements, and
c) does not appear on the Reserved Names list, as set out in the Licensing Rules.

This is different to the namespaces which are intended for specific use – such as and for commercial entities, for not-for-profit entities or for educational institutions. Those namespaces have eligibility rules restricting which kinds of entities can register in them; and allocation rules that specify how a name needs to relate to a registrant or their organisation.

When .au direct names launch, for the first six months a Priority Allocation Process will be in place that will enable you:

  • An opportunity to apply for the exact match of your existing .au domain names
  • To register ‘new’ .au direct names that don’t exist in any other .au namespace (e.g.,

After the initial six months, all .au domains which have not been claimed will be available for the public to purchase (as long as they meet the eligibility criteria).

e.g. If you are the registrant of you’ll have six months to apply for, if you would like to licence it.

You’ll be able to apply for the exact match .au direct name via a participating .au accredited registrar.

In most cases you’ll be able to register and begin using your matching .au direct name very soon after you apply for it.

In a small fraction of cases there may be multiple applicants for the same .au direct name as there can be different registrants for the same name in different namespaces.

For example:

  • Tina is the registrant of
  • Gene is the registrant of

Both are eligible to apply for You can read more detail about that here: The priority allocation process.

You will be able to apply for Priority Status via the registrar of your existing .au domain name, or any other registrar offering direct .au domain names when the priority allocation period opens in March 2022.

There will be a fee for lodging an application and, like the prices of domain name registrations, this fee will vary between registrars. 

You must ensure that you are eligible to hold the .au domain which forms the basis of your application, and your eligibility for your existing .au domain will be checked when you apply. 

You will also need your domain password for your application to be accepted.

Once you lodge your application you will be unable to update the registrant information associated with your domain name while your application remains active, so it is important to make sure it is up to date before you lodge your application.

If you are allocated a name via the Priority Application Process, it will automatically be registered to you on an initial one-year licence. After this initial licence period you will be able to renew it for a licence period of up to five years.

Uncontested names

In most cases there is only one registrant who can apply for a reserved .au direct name as they are the only holder of its match in another .au namespace. This is referred to as an uncontested name.

In these cases, the applicant will be allocated the name on an initial one-year licence shortly after applying for Priority Status. 

e.g. Priya holds, and there are no other instances of 'getyour' in any other .au namespace. Priya applies to register and is allocated the name on a one-year licence shortly after.

Even if your name is uncontested, you must apply for Priority Status if you wish to secure it, otherwise it will become available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis at the end of the six-month Priority Allocation Period.

Contested names

In a small number of cases, there will be more than one registrant eligible for a reserved .au direct name, as different registrants can hold the same name in different namespaces. This is referred to as a contested name.

For example:

  • Tina is the registrant of
  • Gene is the registrant of
  • Louise is the registrant of
  • All hold names that were in the registry before the launch of .au direct.

Tina, Gene and Louise would all be eligible to apply for Priority Status to register

In these cases, how the .au direct name is allocated depends on each applicant’s priority category.

Priority categories

Once you've submitted it, your Priority Status application is categorised based on the creation date of the domain name on which the application is based:

Priority category 1: Names created on or before the cut-off date of 4 February 2018
Priority category 2: Names created after the cut-off date of 4 February 2018

e.g. you hold and it has a creation date of 1 March 2019, so your application for is classified as priority category 2.

Note that the cut-off date only determines which category your application falls into, not whether you can apply for Priority Status.

You’ll be able to determine your priority category via an online tool which will launch soon.

How the priority categories determine who is allocated a contested .au direct name

Where there are multiple applications for a contested name, the following principles apply:

  • Category 1 applicants have priority over category 2 applicants;
  • Where there are multiple category 1 applications, the name is allocated on agreement/negotiation between the category 1 applicants;
  • Where there are only category 2 applicants, the name is allocated to the applicant with the earliest creation date.

Negotiation between multiple category 1 applicants

Where there are multiple category 1 applications, those registrants will need to negotiate between themselves who is to be allocated the .au direct domain name they've both applied for.

Applicants will be able to contact each other to discuss the name via the publicly available registrant contact information via the WHOIS . 

Where an agreement is reached:

  • Unsuccessful applicants withdraw their applications;
  • The name is allocated.

Where no agreement is reached:

  • The .au direct domain name remains reserved;
  • Applicants will need to renew their application on a yearly basis;
  • The name remains reserved until there is one active application.

When are contested names allocated?

When a contested name is allocated depends on the categories of all eligible applicants and which eligible registrants apply.

In cases where there is no contest or an applicant with a clear priority, the name is allocated shortly after the priority registrant lodges their application.

Contested names may take longer to resolve and allocation can happen either once an agreement is reached, or at the close of the Priority Allocation Period.

Unsuccessful applications

If you’ve missed out on the exact match of your name in .au direct, your existing domain name will be unaffected and will continue to operate according to .au policy, provided you keep your registration up-to-date.

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