In 2021 a new set of rules for the .au country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) will begin to be implemented.
These new rules contain some changes which will affect some registrants of id.au domain names.
When the new rules will apply
The changes listed here for id.au names will commence in late 2021 – the date is yet to be announced. The rest of the new rules will commence on 12 April 2021.
If your id.au domain name licence expires after the commencement date, the rules in place at the time you registered or last renewed your domain name will apply until the end of the current licence period. If the name is renewed the new licensing rules will apply to it as the new licence is only created once the current one expires.
Changes to the allocation rules for the id.au namespace
Allocation rules determine what name you can register in a namespace and how it must relate to you as a registrant.
Under part 2.4.8 of the new licensing rules, you can no longer register a name that refers to a personal interest or a hobby in the id.au namespace.
The id.au domain name being applied for must be:
a) a match to a Person’s legal name, first name or family name;
b) an acronym or abbreviation of the Person’s legal name, first name or family name; or
c) a nickname of the Person.
This change has been made to ensure the id.au namespace better serves its purpose as a personal identifier, rather than a general use namespace.
The .au namespace (e.g. forexample.au) will be a general use namespace in which you’ll be able to register a name related to your hobbies or personal interest. All registrants eligible for an id.au name are eligible to register in the .au namespace
Who this change affects
This change only affects registrants whose id.au domain names relate to a hobby or interest, rather than their legal name or nickname.
What you need to do
The commencement date for the new id.au rules has not yet been announced, so there is currently no need to take any specific course of action. Your id.au name will continue to work and be able to be renewed as it has done so far.
Once the new rules for id.au domain names commence, you will no longer be able to renew your id.au name if it relates to a hobby or interest.
If you wish to hold a shorter but similar name to your id.au name, it is recommended that you apply for priority to register the matching second level .au name once the implementation of second level names begins.
e.g. if you hold hobbyname.id.au you will have six months to apply for priority to register hobbyname.au
The second level .au namespace will have no allocation rules, meaning that as long as you meet the Australian presence eligibility requirement, you can register any name you like provided it is not restricted by Australian law.
While there is absolutely no obligation to apply to register the matching name in the .au namespace, if your id.au name relates to a hobby or personal interest, you will be unable to renew it after the implementation of second level names begins and the domain name will expire at the end of its licence period.