Priority Allocation Process

The Priority Allocation Process will give registrants of existing,,,,, and domain names the chance to apply for priority to register the exact match of their domain names at the second level.

For example, the registrant of can apply for priority to register


How will the Priority Allocation Process work?

When second level domains launch, all names in the registry will be reserved from registration at the second level.

Registrants will then have six months to apply for priority status to register the second level match of their name.

There is absolutely no obligation to register the exact match of your existing domain name. Your domain names will all continue to operate as normal and according to auDA policy regardless of whether you take up the matching second level name.

In most cases the priority applicant will be allocated the second level name soon after they apply for it.

In the small number of instances where there is more than one eligible registrant, the second level name will be allocated either upon agreement between applicants, or based on creation date. This is known as a contested name (see below for more information).

Where there are no applications for a name during the 6-month priority application period, that name will be available to the public on a first come, first served basis at the close of the priority application period.

Applying for priority status

Once launched, you will be able to apply for priority status via the registrar of your existing .au domain name, or any other registrar offering second level .au domain names. 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.

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

Priority categories

Priority status applications are categorised by the creation date of the domain name on which the application is based.

  • Priority category 1: Names created on or before 4 February 2018
  • Priority category 2: Names created after 4 February 2018

NOTE: The “cut-off date” of 4 February 2018 may change due to the implementation of second level .au domains being delayed until 2020. Public consultation is being conducted to determine a cut-off date which better reflects the delayed launch.

The priority category becomes important when there are multiple applications for the second level name (see the Contested names process below).

You will be able to use the priority status tool (currently under development) to determine the priority category of your .au domain name.


Contested names process

In a small number of cases, there will be more than one registrant eligible for a name reserved at the second level.

For example:

Tina is the registrant of
Gene is the registrant of
Louise is the registrant of

Tina, Gene and Louise would all be eligible to apply for priority status to register

In these cases, the name is allocated in one of two ways:

By agreement between the applicants


To the applicant with earliest creation date.

Which method is used depends on each applicant’s priority category (see above) and according to the following principles:

  • Category 1 applicants are given priority over category 2 applicants
  • Where there are multiple category 1 applications, the name is allocated at the agreement of all category 1 applicants.
  • Where there are only priority category 2 applicants, the name is allocated to the applicant with the earliest creation date.

The table below shows the outcomes of various scenarios based on a priority cut-off date of 4 February 2018.







Domain name


Creation Date

January 2005

February 2010

March 2018

August 2018


Priority category

Category 1

Category 1

Category 2

Category 2


Case 1: 





A & B go into negotiation

Case 2





B gets

Case 3




C gets, as creation date of is before

Case 4



D gets


Where there are multiple category 1 applicants (as in Case 1 above), those parties will need to negotiate who should be allocated the second level domain name.

Applicants conduct the negotiation themselves and can contact each other using the contact information associated with the domain name in the WHOIS database.

Where an agreement is reached:

  • Unsuccessful applicants withdraw their applications
  • Name is allocated

Where no agreement is reached:

  • The second level name is locked
  • Applicants will need to renew their application on a yearly basis
  • Name remains locked until there is one active application

Unsuccessful applications

If you’ve missed out on the exact match of your name at the second level, your existing domain name is unaffected and will continue to operate according to auDA policy.