Second level domain names are domain names directly before the '.au' such as forexample.au or auDA.au.
Second level domain name registration is also referred to as the '.au namespace' and also has been referred to as ‘direct registration’.
Aside from being shorter than third level names, second level names will operate in an identical manner to names registered at the third level.
We expect that registrants will be able to register a second level .au domain in late 2021. The launch date will be announced well in advance.
Once launched you'll be able to:
- register new second level names - names that don’t exist anywhere in the .au domain at the time of launch, and;
- apply to register the exact match of any existing .au domain name you are the registrant of.
Who will be eligible to register a second level name?
Second level .au domains will have has less restrictive eligibility rules (who can register them) and allocation rules (what names they can have).
Eligibility for second level names: Anyone who has an Australian presence, as defined by the .au licensing rules, can register a second level .au licence.
Allocation rules: There are no allocation rules for names in the .au namespace meaning you can register any name you like provided it:
a) is available to be registered,
b) meets the syntax requirements, and
c) does not appear on the list of reserved names.
The policies which cover second level domain names are:
- .au Domain Administration Rules: Licensing
- .au Domain Administration Rules: .au Namespace Implementation
Where will I be able to register second level .au domain names?
You’ll be able to register second level .au domain names through auDA-accredited .au domain name registrars - the same as you do for other domain names in the .au ccTLD.
As with third-level names, prices will vary between registrars so we encourage you to shop around.
auDA sets the wholesale price for all .au domain names. The wholesale price for second level names names will be the same as names in the com.au, net.au, org.au, asn.au, and id.au namespaces.
What does this mean for existing names in the .au ccTLD?
There will be no changes to existing third level domain names (com.au, net.au, id.au, org.au, asn.au, edu.au and gov.au etc.) as a result of second level names being introduced.
They will continue to exist and you’ll still be able to use, register and renew them as you do now. They are not being replaced or phased out with the implementation of second level names.
Getting your matching second level domain name
If you already have a com.au, net.au, org.au, id.au, asn.au, gov.au or edu.au domain name, you will be able to apply for priority status to register its exact match at the second level via the priority allocation process.
Eg. If you hold the licence for forexample.com.au you’ll be able apply to register forexample.au but not for-example.au or forexample1.au
For a detailed explanation see this article on the priority allocation process.
There's absolutely no obligation to register a second level name if you already hold a third-level .au domain name name . Your existing names will continue to operate as they do now and won't be affected by the introduction of second level names.