.au direct domain names are domain names directly before the '.au' such as getyour.au or pavlova.au.
.au direct is sometimes referred to as the '.au namespace', 'second level names' or 'direct registration'.
Aside from being shorter than existing namespaces (e.g. com.au or id.au names), .au direct domain names will operate in an identical manner to names registered in other existing namespaces.
.au direct names launched on 24 March 2022.
The rules for .au direct domain names
.au direct domain names are available for general use meaning any person, business or organisation can register them, provided they meet the eligibility criteria in the .au Licensing Rules.
To be eligible for a .au direct name you must have a verifiable Australian presence, which includes being a citizen or permanent resident or an organisation registered in Australia. The full definition of an Australian presence is in the definitions section of the .au Licensing Rules.
You must comply with the Licensing Rules when you register a name, including to not use a domain name for an illegal, unlawful or fraudulent purpose.
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.
The .au direct namespace is different to the namespaces that are intended for specific use e.g. com.au and net.au for commercial entities, org.au for not-for-profit entities, or edu.au for educational institutions.
How can I register .au direct domain names?
You can register .au direct domain names through participating auDA accredited registrars.
auDA sets the wholesale price for all .au domain names. The wholesale price for .au direct names is the same as names in the com.au, net.au, org.au, asn.au, and id.au namespaces.
As with names in other .au namespaces, retail prices will vary between registrars.
Do .au direct domain names affect existing names in the .au domain?
Existing .au domain names (e.g. ending in com.au, net.au , org.au etc.) are not impacted by the introduction of .au direct. Existing domain names will continue to operate provided the registration is kept up-to-date.
If I have an existing .au domain name, is it compulsory that I register the matching .au direct domain name?
Applying to register a .au direct domain name is entirely optional. The introduction of .au direct has expanded the options Australians have when setting up an online presence, similar to the option people have long had of whether to register more than one domain name (e.g. of registering a com.au and .com; or just one of them).
It is common for registrants with the same or similar domain names to co-exist whilst maintaining trust and security – that is why different namespaces were created.