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Information for Registrars and Registrants

Registration Information

An individual or legal entity wishing to register a domain name under a generic top-level domain ("gTLD") ( may do so by using an ICANN-accredited registrar. There are several hundred accredited registrars located throughout the world that provide support in local languages. For a list of all current ICANN-accredited registrars, please see The relationship between a domain name registrant and the ICANN-accredited registrar is governed by a Registration Agreement between the two parties.

Registrant Rights and Responsibilities

ICANN has published a Registrant Rights and Responsibilities document that identifies and summarizes currently existing registrant rights and responsibilities arising from the 2009 Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA), and within ICANN Consensus Policies and specifications, as they are incorporated in the RAA. This published document is the result of initial input from a joint working group of the GNSO and the At-Large Advisory Committee and subsequent consultations with the registrars. The Registrant Rights and Responsibilities document can be found here:

About ICANN-Accredited Registrar

Any entity that wants to offer domain name registration services under gTLDs with a direct access to the gTLD registries is required to obtain an accreditation from ICANN. To that end, the interested entity must apply for accreditation and demonstrate that it meets all the technical, operational and financial criteria necessary to qualify as a registrar business. The relationship between ICANN and every accredited registrar is governed by the individual Registrar Accreditation Agreements (RAA), which set out the obligations of both parties.

What We Do

ICANN staff provides registrars, registrants and the general public with information and general support with regard to ICANN-accredited registrars, and the ICANN RAA. Staff also assists prospective registrars with preparing and reviewing their accreditation applications, as well as maintaining registrar accreditations and ensuring registrar compliance with RAA obligations.

The ICANN-accreditation only applies for gTLDs. Any person or legal entity that wants to obtain information about registration or accreditation under a country code top-level domain should contact the corresponding registry operator.

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."