Having a .gov domain can be crucial for some public bodies and a stamp of professional authority. If you are curious how you can get one of these, this is our guide to the process.
Check You Can Apply
Knowing whether you can even have a .gov domain is the first step. They are assigned on a first-served basis by the Cabinet Office. You can only apply for a .gov domain if you are:
– A government department
– Fire service
– A Council
– A unitary or joint authority
– Police and crime commissioner
Choose a Registrar
A member of your organisation must register and manage the domain. It should be someone easily contactable by the Government Digital Service.
Choose A Name
To find a domain name, it should meet the GDS guidelines. When choosing one, it should be:
– Be between three and 63 characters long
– Contain only alphanumeric characters
– Not include abbreviations
Apply for Your Domain Name
Once you have met the preceding steps, your registrar can submit your application. The baseline cost for a new domain is £80, plus VAT, for the first two years. After that, the renewal fee is due every two years and costs £40 with additional VAT.
The registrar, when making the application, requires the following:
– Written permission from your organisation stating that you can apply for the domain
– A current, role-based email address, such as ‘email@example.com
– A phone number
Confirming Identity and Application Review
The GDS will review the application. They will contact you in order to confirm your identity before reviewing your domain application. Once your identity is confirmed, the GDS will reject or approve your application within five working days. If there are aspects of your application that require reviewing by the Naming and Approvals Committee, this will take longer. The GDS will contact you to inform you of the potential timeframe and any outcomes.
Appeal an Application
If your application is rejected, you can lodge an appeal. Do not resubmit your original application, but provide your domain registrar with new information on why your organisation should have the domain you originally requested. This will then be submitted to the Naming and Approvals Committee. They will make a final decision within five working days.