The au Domain Administration (auDA) will make .au direct domains available to the public from 24 March 2022. With the release of the new .au domain, businesses and individuals will have a shorter and more memorable domain name. In short, if you currently own mydomain.com.au, you can apply to claim and register the equivalent mydomain.au.
Who Is Eligible to Register?
Anyone with an Australia Presence is eligible to register for a .au direct domain name through an auDA accredited registrar. This means the applicant must be an Australian resident or registered entity, or an entity issued with an ABN.
Meanwhile, registrants of existing .au domain, such as com.au, net.au, org.au, asn.au, id.au, gov.au and edu.au, will be able to participate in the Priority Allocation Process, which runs from 24 March to 20 September 2022.
During the six-month priority allocation period, existing holders of a .au domain have first dibs to apply for priority status to register the .au direct match of their domain, if they would like to register it. For instance, Company XYZ will be able to register and use the domain name companyxyz.au as well as (or instead of) companyxyz.com or companyxyz.com.au
If registrants do not apply, the .au domain will be made available for registration by the public on a first-come, first-served basis after this six-month period
How to Apply for Priority Status
If you’re planning on claiming your .au direct domain, here’s a step by step guide you can follow.
- Apply for priority status via your registrar, or any other accredited registrar offering .au direct namespace. Note you cannot do this until 24 March 2022.
- Prepare payment of the application fee, like the prices of domain name registrations, this fee will vary between registrars.
- Ensure that you are eligible to hold the .au domain which forms the basis of your application. Your eligibility for your existing .au domain will be checked when you apply.
- Prepare a priority token (or authorisation code) for your application to ensure your application will be accepted. Authorisation code contains a username and password assigned by the registry to each eligible registrant applying for priority status.
Once you submit your Priority Status application, you will be unable to update the registrant information associated with your existing domain name while your application is active. It is important to make sure it is up to date before you lodge your application.
Application for Contested Domain Name
When more than one person will apply for the same reserved .au direct name, this is referred to as a contested name. For example, registrants for mydomain.com.au, mydomain.net.au and mydomain.org.au are all eligible to apply for Priority Status to register mydomain.au. These cases will be resolved based on the existing domain name licence creation date and priority cut-off date of 4 February 2018.
The domain names created on or before the cut-off date of 4 February 2018 are classified as priority Category 1. On the other hand, domain names created after the cut-off date of 4 February 2018 are classified as priority Category 2. For example, the registrant for mydomain.com.au has a creation date of 1 March 2019, so the application for mydomain.au is classified as priority Category 2.
Remember there is no obligation to apply to register the .au direct exact match of your existing domain name. If you don’t register, your existing domain name will continue to operate as normal as long as you keep your registration up to date.