.AU Second Level Release - It's an exciting time for the Australian ccTLD

What's Happening?

On March 24, 2022, auDA, the Registry operator for the Australian ccTLD .AU, began allowing registrations of domains directly under the .AU extension. .AU is now open for 2nd level .AU (2ld.au) registrations.

Previous to March 2022, only 3rd level .AU domains (3ld.au) were allowed for registration (e.g. domain.com.au or domain.net.au), so this is a significant change and a great opportunity for any registrants operating in Australia.

At CentralNic Reseller, our system is here to support your success! We are using our house registrar Domain Directors Pty Ltd. for the launch of 2LD.au domains.

Grandfathering process for Registrants of existing Third-Level .AU domains

All names in .AU (e.g. forexample.au) that matched an existing name in any of the other namespaces in the registry (e.g. forexample.com.au) by March 24, 2022 at 00:00 UTC were placed on hold and only made available for application by Registrants of a corresponding 3rd level .AU domain.

Priority Application period: 180 Calendar days

  • Existing registrants of a domain name in the .AU registry will have 180 days to apply for their matching .AU domain names.
  • According to AuDA's figures, only a small percentage of .AU domains will be subject to a contention set between multiple applicants. This will mainly affect domain names based on common dictionary words and English phrases rather than typical company or business names.
  • Most of the contention arises between .COM.AU and .NET.AU licences and many of these licences are held by the same legal entity.
  • 96% of Priority Applicants are expected to be able to register their matching .AU domain name as soon as they apply.

How The Priority Application Process Works

AuDA has divided Priority applicants in 2 categories, depending on when their 3rd level .AU domain was registered. The 2nd level .AU domains will be allocated according to the following criteria:

  • Priority category 1: 3rd level .AU Names with a creation date on or before February 4, 2018 at 23:59:59 UTC
  • Priority category 2: 3rd level .AU Names with a creation date after February 4, 2018 at 23:59:59 UTC
  • Where there are Category 1 and Category 2 applicants, Category 1 applicants have priority over Category 2 applicants.
  • Where there are multiple Category 1 applicants, all Category 1 applicants must agree on the allocation. Domains for which an agreement cannot be reached, will remain reserved indefinitely, until a single applicant remains.
  • Where there are only Category 2 applicants, the name is allocated to the applicant whose 3rd level .AU domain has the earliest creation date in the .AU registry.
.au priority registration process chart

When will 2ld.au domains get allocated?

Eligible Priority Applicants have to exercise their priority right and actively submit an application within the 6 months of the Priority Application phase. Eligible Priority Applicants can also explicitly renounce their right to apply.

Generally speaking, the allocation of a reserved 2ld.au domain takes places once all eligible Priority Applicants have expressed their intentions.

  • When there is only one eligible Priority Applicant for a string, the domain name is immediately allocated to that Applicant.
  • Where there are multiple eligible Priority Applicant for a string, the name is allocated as soon as the contention is resolved (see section How The Priority Application Process Works above for details).

End of Priority application period: September 20, 2022

Once the Priority Application phase closes, any Eligible Priority Applicants that have not submitted an application will be considered as having forfeited their Priority Right. The allocation of the domain will then take place among the Eligible Priority Applicants that have submitted their application, following the criteria described above under How The Priority Application Process Works.

  • Where multiple Category 1 applicants for the same name exist and the applicants are unable to reach an agreement among themselves, the matching .AU name will remain reserved indefinitely. Applicants will need to renew their application for the string each year to keep their claim active. Should only one active application remain, the domain will be assigned to that Applicant.
  • Category 2 contention sets will be resolved by assigning the domain to the Applicant with the oldest 3rd level domain.
  • Any remaining unallocated names will be made available at the end of the application period. AuDA will announce the time of day when the unallocated names can be registered.

Register your .au domains today!

Since March 24, .AU domain names are regularly available for registrations through our CentralNic Reseller system via API and web interface. In addition, our reseller system provides you the possibility to submit Priority Preorders for the .AU grandfathering process using our application system until September 20, when the application period ends. Please read more about the registration process and requirements in our Knowledge Base.

Reminders on what you and your Customers can do today

  1. If you have a 3ld.au domain: double check that all your information is correct on the related domain information. If you need help in updating anything, please let us know.
  2. Make sure to remind your customers of the September 20th cut off date. After this time their 2nd level .au domains will go into the general public pool of available domains.
  3. If you have other .AU domains elsewhere, we suggest you review your portfolio and consider transferring your domains to CentralNic Reseller, your registrar of choice
  4. Watch our website, sign up for our newsletter, and follow us on Twitter where we'll post regular links to updates!

.AU Second Level Release FAQs

The first thing you need to check is if your chosen .au domain qualifies for a priority registration. We are currently in the priority registration period, which started on March 24, 2022 and will run until Sep 20, 2022.

Simply go to the priority status tool and enter your 3rd level domain to check if you are eligible for priority access.

On this page you can see if someone else has already applied for this .au name, or has priority rights depending on the cut-off date for priority rights. Simply go to the priority status tool.

If your 3rd level domain was registered before February 4, 2018, then your .au registration has Priority 1 rights and will be given first preference. If your 3rd level domain was registered after February 4, 2018, but before March 24, 2022, then you have Priority 2 rights.

Yes, as long as no other 3rd level domain has priority 1 rights.

You need to contact the owner of the 3rd level domain and negotiate ownership. When the two of you have come to an agreement on who gets to be the owner of the .au domain, the other will need to withdraw their application on the priority token tool. If neither of us comes to an agreement, the .au name will remain unallocated.

Unfortunately, because registration fees go directly to AuDA and are charged regardless of the outcome of the application, no refunds are issued for registrations during the priority access period.

You need to apply before September 20, 2022. A domain will be awarded, if no priority 1 application exists and as long as no priority 2 application with an older 3rd level domain also exists.

Where there are only priority 2 applicants, the name is allocated to the applicant with the earliest creation date of the 3rd level domain.

You can withdraw your application by using the priority token tool.

Your domain could be held up due to a number of factors such as:

  1. Your registrant information has gone missing.
  2. Your registrant information is inaccurate.
  3. Your registrant information is not a match with the information you entered while registering your 3rd level domain.

In such a case, you would need to contact us or raise a ticket so we can manually fix the error for you.

AuDA takes about 24 hours to process a successful .au domain name.

Webinars

We previously hosted three webinars covering the .au direct release, and if you missed them, you can replay them here:

We'll keep you informed!

We will continue to keep this page regularly updated and look forward to supporting you through this exciting and opportune time for .AU domains. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact our Support Team

Last page update: July 11, 2022