Originally meant to arrive the first half of 2020, new second level .au domain names it is finally happening. Domain names will be available for purchase from 24th March 2022, with preference given to existing third level .au domain name holders.
Second Level and Third Level .au Domain Names
Third level .au domain names are what we are familiar with for Australian domain names. For example, moretonbaywebsites.com.au. is a third level domain name, under the .com.au second level domain name.
Second level domain names is the name immediately before .au. These have have been restricted to .com.au, .net.au, .org.au, .asn.au, and .id.au for general registration, and .gov.au, .edu.au, and .csiro.au for government, education, and CSIRO use.
The new .au domain names let you apply for your own second level domain name, such as moretonbaywebsites.au. The second level .au domain names are referred to as au Direct.
Do I Need a .au Direct Domain Name?
If you have a business in Australia using an existing .com.au or .net.au domain name, I would recommend securing yourbusiness.au as well.
We don’t know if most will stick with using their existing .com.au domain name or switch to .au when they can. Users may like the shorter name and not have to worry with the .com or .net they have had to use before.
Unlike .com.au and .net.au, there are no rules for matching the .au Direct domain name to a business name, product, or service. This means your business name could be purchased by someone else.
If the trend leads to using .au in preference to older domain names, you want to ensure your business name and brand are protected.
Who Is Eligible To Register?
Didn’t I just say it can be purchased by anyone? Yes, as long as you have a verified connection to Australia.
However, there is a 6-month transition period where existing third level .au domain name owners have priority access.
If you have an existing domain name ending with .au (such as .com.au or .org.au), you will be given first rights to get the matching .au domain name, reserved until 20th September, 2022.
If a third level name does not already exist, it can be registered from 24th March 2022.
For example, moretonbaywebsites.au will only be available for purchase by Moreton Bay Websites until 20th September, 2022.
If you happen to share the same domain name as someone else, it will depend if you are a priority category 1 or priority category 2.
- Priority category 1 – domain names created on or before 4th February, 2018
- Priority category 2 – domain names created after 4th February, 2018 and before 24th March 2022
If you hold the only priority category 1 domain name, you will have first rights to acquire the new .au Direct domain name. It then falls through to priority category 2. If there is more than one owner at the same priority categories, it is up to those owners to negotiate who will have the .au domain name.
Priority Status Tool
Below is the results for checking brownsigns.com.au. The tool returned all related .au domains matching brownsigns, including brownsigns.net.au.
You can check your domain name from the auDA Priority Status Tool.
Note that the priority is based on when the domain name was last created, not when it was first created. We acquired brownsigns.com.au in 2019 after it was abandoned. It was first created much earlier than this but it is the 2019 date that is considered as last created.
How To Apply For .au Direct Domain Name
Application for a second level .au domain will begin on 24th March, 2022.
If there are no third level .au domain names existing (prior to 24th March, 2022), you will be able to register the .au Direct domain name as you would any other .au domain name.
Where a third level domain name already exists, a Priority ID Token is required.
If you are an existing customer of Moreton Bay Websites, we will have special introduction pricing. Get in contact with us and we can assist you through the process.
How To Get a Priority ID Token
If you have your qualifying domain names with us already, we will be able to organise the Priority ID Token for you when it becomes available. If your domain names are elsewhere, you will need to request the Priority ID Token from auDA directly.
At this time, auDA do not have a page available to request a Priority ID Token. When the page is available, it will show something like below.
To retrieve the token, the domain name and name of the person making the request is submitted on this form. An email is sent to the registrant email address associated with the domain with a temporary link. The link will provide the Priority ID Token.
Registering New Domain Names
If there are no existing domains, you will be able to register .au Direct domain names from the 24th of March. Third level .au domain names can be registered before 24th March, and they are still our low price of $15/year.
If you have an existing domain name registered through someone else, you can transfer domain names to us to enjoy our low prices.