Two-Character ASCII Labels
Please note that the English language version of all translated content and documents are the official versions and that translations in other languages are for informational purposes only.
13 December 2016
Specification 5 Section 2 of the Base Registry Agreement requires two-character ASCII labels be reserved at the second level. Over a two-year period, members of the Internet community, the ICANN Organization, the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) and governments, gTLD registries and others, have worked together to establish a framework permitting the release of these labels. The two-year effort ultimately resulted in multiple authorizations, to release from reservation, the two-character labels. Below are links to the varying authorizations.
Authorization for Release of Non-Letter/Letter Two-Character ASCII Labels
Effective 1 December 2014, ICANN published a general authorization for release of all non-letter/letter two-character ASCII labels for gTLD Registry Operators. No further actions are required from new gTLD Registry Operators that seek to register and activate these two-character ASCII labels. The authorization is subject to compliance with all other terms of the Registry Agreement applicable to each individual TLD.
View Authorization for Release of Non-Letter/Letter Two-Character ASCII Labels [PDF, 142 KB]
Authorization for Release of Letter/Letter Two-Character ASCII Labels
Effective 13 December 2016, ICANN published a general authorization for release of all letter/letter two-character ASCII labels for gTLD Registry Operators not previously authorized by ICANN and not otherwise required to be reserved pursuant to Specification 5, Section 6 of the Registry Agreement. The authorization is subject to 1) implementing the "Measures for Letter/Letter Two-Character ASCII Labels to Avoid Confusion with Corresponding Country Codes" included in Appendix A; and 2) compliance with all other terms of the Registry Agreement.
View Authorization for Release of Letter/Letter Two-Character ASCII Labels [PDF, 378 KB]
Individual Authorizations for Release of Letter/Letter Two-Character ASCII Labels
Prior to 13 December 2016, ICANN had an intermediary process to authorize individual requests, by gTLD, to release letter/letter two-character labels. Effective 13 December 2016, the intermediary process was retired.
For historical information regarding the retired Authorization Process for Release of Two-Character ASCII Labels, please click here.
ICANN Organization Briefing Documents on the Development of the Process for Release of Two-Character Labels at the Second Level
On 22 January 2019, the ICANN org published two documents related to the procedure for release of two-character labels at the second level:
- Summary of ICANN Org Materials Re: Implementation of Procedures for Two Character Labels [PDF, 205 KB]
- ICANN Organization Memo on the Implementation of the Procedure for Release of Two-Character Labels and Standard Measures to Avoid Confusion with Corresponding Country Codes [PDF, 395 KB]
- Historical Overview of Events Regarding Two-Character Labels at the Second Level in the New gTLD Namespace [PDF, 500 KB]