Shorter, simpler Australian domain names are available with the launch of .au direct. The new namespace is the biggest innovation in Australia’s domain landscape in 20 years, providing new options for web and email addresses.
Here are the top ten things you should know about the new .au namespace.
1. .au direct launched on 24 March 2022
From 24 March 2022, Australians are able to register .au direct domain names for website and email addresses (for example getyour.au).
2. You can register via participating auDA accredited registrars
You are able to apply to license .au direct domain names through auDA accredited registrars. You can find a list of accredited registrars on the auDA website.
3. This is the biggest innovation in .au in more than 20 years
.au direct is the latest innovation in .au, providing a greater choice of trusted .au domain names. The last significant change occurred in 2002, with updates to the com.au namespace to provide more choice of com.au domain names. The changes included allowing people to register dictionary words in com.au for the first time. Like .au direct, the changes opened up more choice for registrants to help meet the evolving needs of Internet users.
4. Allows for shorter, simpler .au domain names
.au direct provides Australians more flexibility to choose short, memorable .au domain names. Shorter, simpler domain names are easier to type and display on mobile devices and can be a great asset for a company or organisation’s digital brand.
5. .au direct is open to everyone with an Australian presence
Everyone with a validated Australian presence is eligible to register a .au direct domain name through an auDA accredited registrar. Those with an Australian presence include citizens or permanent residents, organisations, associations and businesses registered in Australia, and legal entities that have a registered Australian trademark. The full definition of an Australian presence can be found in the .au direct rules.
The broad eligibility for .au direct differs from other Australian namespaces, which are dedicated to specific purposes or user groups. For example, the com.au and net.au namespaces are dedicated to registered commercial entities only. However, like other namespaces, auDA accredited registrars will continue to validate the Australian presence of registrants, which helps keep .au local, trusted and secure.
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.
6. A great option for entrepreneurs and new online ventures
.au direct is well-suited to entrepreneurs, new ventures, hobbies and also to one-off events or campaigns. For example:
• Register a short, memorable name for a new business idea (auDAbusinessidea.au)
• Register your name in .au direct to create a professional, personalised website (surname.au) and email address (email@example.com)
• Register your marketing campaign name to launch a new product (auDAcampaign.au).
7. Complements existing Australian namespaces and does not replace them
The new .au direct namespace will complement the existing suite of Australian namespaces such as com.au, edu.au, gov.au and org.au. Existing domain names in the .au will continue to operate as they do today, provided registrants keep their domain name licence information up-to-date.
8. Brings .au into line with international peers
The launch of .au direct brings Australia into line with its international peers including the United Kingdom (.uk), New Zealand (.nz), Canada (.ca), France (.fr), China (.cn) and Germany (.de). Our neighbours in New Zealand launched .nz direct registrations in 2014, and as of 2021, around 20 percent of NZ registrants chose direct .nz domain names.
9. Existing registrants have first option to register the exact match of their existing domain names
Registrants of domain names in the registry prior to the launch of .au direct on 24 March 2022 can apply for priority to register the exact match of their existing domain name in the new .au direct namespace. For example, the registrant of getyour.com.au can apply for priority to register getyour.au before it is released to the general public.
If you want to register the .au direct match of your existing domain name, you will need to apply for Priority Status by 20 September 2022 (23:59 UTC 20 Sept / 9:59AM AEST 21 Sept). If no priority applications have been made for the .au direct match, it will be become available for registration by the general public on 3 October 2022 (21:00 UTC 3 Oct / 8:00AM AEDT 4 Oct). Read more about the Priority Allocation Process for .au direct here.
10. Check the status of domain names
There may be more than one applicant for the same .au direct name in a small percentage of cases (e.g. the registrant of getyour.com.au and the registrant of getyour.net.au both apply for getyour.au). In those cases, the .au direct name will be allocated according to the priority category of each registrant.
- Priority Category 1: Names created on or before the cut-off date of 4 February 2018
- Category 1 applicants have priority over Category 2 applicants
- Where there are multiple Category 1 applicants, the name is allocated by agreement/ negotiation between the Category 1 applicants.
- Priority Category 2: Names created after the cut-off date of 4 February 2018.
- Where there are only Category 2 applicants, the name is allocated to the applicant with the earliest creation date.
You can check the priority category of domain names using the Priority Status Tool on the auDA website.
Note that the cut-off dates only determine which category your application will fall into, not whether you can apply for Priority Status.