Skip to main content

Domain Name Registration Data Policies and Related Requirements

The policies and requirements related to domain name registration data are developed by the ICANN community through its Supporting Organizations (SOs) and Advisory Committees (ACs), and then implemented by the ICANN organization (ICANN org) as directed by the ICANN Board of Directors. Information on the existing requirements and ongoing work related to domain name registration data can be found below. For more on developing policy at ICANN, click here.



On 17 May 2018, the ICANN Board passed a resolution adopting a Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data (Temp Spec). The Temp Spec expired on 18 May 2019, and the Interim Registration Data Policy for gTLDs became effective on 20 May 2019. As part of that Interim Policy gTLD registries and registrars are required to implement a Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP) service within 135 days of ICANN org requesting implementation. The Temporary Specification also called for a gTLD RDAP Profile, SLA, and registry Reporting requirements to be developed prior to RDAP deployment. For more information, click here.


Click here for a listing of the ICANN agreement provisions, policies, advisories, and Bylaws obligations related to gTLD Registration Data Directory Services (RDDS), Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP), and WHOIS.


Click here for a full archive of ICANN communications to contracted parties regarding specific policies and contractual obligations, including those related to domain name registration data.


Click here for more information on ICANN's Consensus Policies.


The ICANN community is currently working on domain name registration data policy and implementation in the below areas. This includes the ongoing negotiations between ICANN org and members of the Registries Stakeholder Group (RySG) and the Registrars Stakeholder Group (RrSG) to add the reporting requirements and Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for RDAP to the Base gTLD Registry Agreement (RA) and the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA).


Policies for generic top-level domains (gTLDs) are developed within the Generic Names Supporting Organization's (GNSO) policy development processes (PDPs). More information on current GNSO PDPs can be found here.


Once the policy recommendations emerging from these PDPs are approved by the ICANN Board, ICANN org implements them according to guidelines established in the Consensus Policy Implementation Framework (CPIF). For more information on policy recommendations in the process of implementation, click here. Additional information on implementing policy at ICANN is available here.


ICANN provides biannual updates to ongoing projects related to Registration Data Directory Services (RDDS). Click on the below versions to download a PDF of the roadmap.


ICANN reviews are important accountability mechanisms that are required by the ICANN Bylaws and critical to maintaining a healthy multistakeholder model. Specific reviews are conducted by community-led review teams which assess ICANN's performance in reaching its commitments.

Registration Directory Service (RDS) Review: A review to assess the effectiveness of the then current gTLD registry directory service and whether its implementation meets the legitimate needs of law enforcement, promoting consumer trust and safeguarding registrant data.


For information on WHOIS, click here.

Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."