.UK Domain Names


This article explains the requirements for .UK domain names.

.UK top-level registration policy

Domain registration directly at the .UK top-level domain was made available by Nominet on June 10th, 2014. Before that date it was only possible to register a .UK domain under one of the available suffixes (e.g. .CO.UK, .ORG.UK), not at the top level domain.

Because of that, domain name registrations at the second level in .UK name registrations are ruled by a strict reservation policy. In summary:

  • if a domain name with a .CO.UK (or similar extension) was registered before than October 28th, 2013, the corresponding .UK domain name is reserved for 5 years to the existing owner. If more than one qualifying 3rd level .UK domains existed before that date, the precedence will always be given to .CO.UK, then .ORG.UK (learn more)
  • if no qualifying 3rd level .UK domain existed before that date, then after June 10th, 2014 the .UK domain name will be available on a first-come-first-served basis.

.CO.UK domain owners have the right to register the associated .UK domain within a 5 years period. If a .UK is registered and then cancelled prior to these 5 years, the initial owner will lose the right for its re-registration.

Registering a .UK domain

Because of the reservation policy, registering a .UK domain requires some extra diligence. Assuming you have the right to register a .UK domain, you will need to use the same registration information (specifically the contact information) you used to register the corresponding .CO.UK or .ORG.UK domain.

Providing a different contact information will cause the domain registration to fail. To minimize the risk of registration errors, contact information must be identical, including registrant name, company name, email and phone numbers. Spaces, symbols or different string case (e.g. camelcase vs lowercase) may also cause the registration to fail.

If the corresponding domain is registered with DNSimple, the .UK domain name registration may be slightly easier.

The corresponding domain is registered with DNSimple

If the corrisponding domain is already registered with DNSimple, the .UK domain name registration is easier. In fact, in DNSimple you are required to associate each domain with a contact record. To register the .UK domain, simply associate the same contact (do not create a new one!) you already used for the previous domain registration, and we will send to the registry the same contact details.

This will drastically reduce the risk that your .UK domain registration is rejected because of registrant validation errors.

The corresponding domain is not registered with DNSimple

If the corresponding domain is not registered with DNSimple, then you need to login into the control panel of your current registrar and copy/paste the current contact information into a new contact in DNSimple (or update the DNSimple contact you want to use).

Use this contact when registering the new .UK domain.

Compare the contact information

We noticed that several .UK domain name registrations failed because users manually entered their contact information into DNSimple, either assuming they remembered them or did not correctly copy the contact information from the existing 3rd level domain name.

Please make sure the information of the contact in DNSimple matches the information at the current 3rd level domain registrar. Use copy and paste to avoid typos and spelling errors.

Instead of creating a new contact in DNSimple, it’s perfectly fine to reuse an existing contact, as long as you change the contact information to match the ones copied from your current 3rd level .UK domain before registering the .UK. Please note that changing the contact information of an existing contact will cause all the domains associated with it to be updated with the new contact details at the registry.

Transferring a .UK domain to DNSimple

To transfer a UK domain (i.e. example.uk or example.co.uk) into DNSimple, follow these instructions.

Transferring a .UK domain away from DNSimple

To transfer a UK domain away from DNSimple, the procedure is similar to the instructions to transfer in, but you will need to get the IPS tag of the gaining registrar.

Get the new registrar IPS tag, contact support and provide your domain name and your new registrar’s IPS tag.

Updating the registrant name

It is possible to change most values in the Whois record for a UK domain, but the registrant name should generally be changed through Nominet’s Online Services (Nominet is the Registry for UK domains). It is possible to register for Nominet Online Services with the email address you have in your registrant information and update the value for the registrant name with them. Of course, you may contact us with any questions about the process and we’ll be happy to assist you in every way we can.

Troubleshooting

Here’s a list of common TLD registration errors.

Domain not registered, there was no order identifier

This cryptic error (yes, a better UI will be provided soon!) means that the domain registration was rejected by the registry.

  • If you are registering a second-level .UK domain (e.g. example.uk), this is likely to be a result of the reservation policy. Please make sure that:
    1. The .UK domain is not reserved
    2. If the .UK domain is reserved, you need to be the owner of the .CO.UK or corresponding 3rd level domain to register it.
    3. If you have the right to register the associated .UK, you followed the instructions to register a .UK domain.
  • If you are registering a third-level .UK domain (e.g. example.co.uk), contact us and we will help determine the reason of the error.