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The Domain Name Registration Process

Domain names may be registered with one of more than two thousand ICANN-accredited registrars or their resellers. The terms of your domain name registration, including fees, transfers, and renewals, are governed by the agreement(s) between you and your registrar. ICANN-accredited registrars have agreements with registry operators and the ICANN organization to offer domain name registration services. A current list of ICANN-accredited registrars can be found here.

Resellers are companies affiliated with or are under contract with registrars to register domain names and offer other services provided by registrars such as web hosting. Resellers are bound by their agreements with the registrar(s) and are not accredited by ICANN. Registrars remain responsible and accountable for any registrar services provided by their resellers that are required under the registrar's agreement with ICANN.

Every year, millions of individuals, businesses, organizations, and governments register domain names. The person or entity that holds the rights to the registered domain name is called the registrant. Each registrant must provide identifying and contact information that includes name, postal address, email address, and phone number. Learn more about registrants' benefits and responsibilities here.

Country code top-level domain (ccTLD) names are generally registered through ccTLD operators. Visit IANA's Root Zone Database for a list of delegation details of top-level domains, including gTLDs such as .com, and country-code TLDs such as .uk.

Both registrars and registries have responsibilities when it comes to registering and maintaining domain names. Registrars are responsible for registering domain names while registry operators are responsible for maintaining the registry for each top-level domain. The responsibilities of the registries include accepting registration requests, maintaining a database of the necessary domain name registration data, and providing name servers to publish the zone file data (i.e., information about the location of a domain name) throughout the Internet.

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."