Frequently Asked Questions

With .US, you get a unique domain name that helps you stand out in a digital landscape.

Definitions

Key terms from the .US Domain space

A TLD, or top-level domain, is a name at the head of the Domain Name System (DNS) naming hierarchy. It’s the string of letters following the last (rightmost) “.”. Examples of TLDs include .biz, .CO, .club and .US.

A ccTLD, or country code top-level domain, is a domain extension reserved by a country, sovereign state or territory. Country code top-level domains are typically denoted by only being two characters, like .US, .UK or .DE. There are several ccTLDs that are also used as generic brand domain extensions, or gccTLDs, including .CO, .US, .ME, .WS, .GE or .LY.

A registrant is a company, organization or individual who desires to register and use a domain name.

A registry maintains a database of all domains in its TLD namespace and ensures domains can be found by Internet users all over the world. A registrar, on the other hand, is an accredited partner of a registry. Registrars sell domain names and other web services to customers. Registrars choose to offer a variety of TLDs like: .US., com., .net, or .CO to name a few.

A reserved name is a name that is not available for general public registration, and is subject to additional rules, restrictions or processes.

A WHOIS database provides information on individual domain registrations. The usTLD Administrator is required to maintain a WHOIS database with details about registered domain names as well as contact information about the owners of such names. The information typically includes the domain name, sponsoring registrar, key transaction dates, name server information, and contact information. Information for .US domains may be found at www.WHOIS.us.

General Information

Learn more about .US and the usTLD Administrator

Registry Services, LLC manages the .US domain name on behalf of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and is a world-class provider for many of the most recognizable top-level domains. Registry Services supports all marketing efforts and operates the technical infrastructure of the .US domain. The company provides full technical, operational, policy, and marketing support.

As a ccTLD, the usTLD registry is not bound by ICANN policies, nor does it currently have in place any accountability frameworks or exchange of letters defining any specific accountabilities. This said, we have great respect for the ICANN global consensus process and have implemented many ICANN- supported best practices on policy and procedural matters in developing the .US Top-Level Domain.

We have become a member of ICANN’s ccNSO, which is an independent process that entails developing policies that are binding for ccNSO members within the limits of national law. We will continue to reference and consider ICANN supported policies and watch with interest the evolution of policies and practices as the Departmetn of Commerce continues to define and refine registry policies.

The usTLD registry is deeply committed to ensuring the safety, security and integrity of the .US namespace and will continue to monitor and implement best practices promoted by ICANN and other industry leaders as we move forward.

Yes, provided your company or organization agrees to the marketing guidelines and terms and conditions described in the .US Brand Identity Guidelines. You must agree to the .US Marketing Guidelines in order to download or use any .US collateral. You may find .US marketing assets and resources by clicking here

It is the official country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for the United States within the global domain name system (DNS). Just as .UK is the country code domain for the United Kingdom, .US is the country code domain for the United States. Country code domains are typically denoted by only being two characters. .US is overseen by the U.S. Department of Commerce who has contracted with Registry Services, LLC to manage the namespace.

.US is the online destination of choice for anyone with a dream to chase, an idea to share, a cause to champion, or a business to promote. Whoever you are, wherever you come from, the .US community is the online place to share your story, think globally and connect locally.

.US is the web address for American dreams of all kinds. The business you started. The cause you embrace. Your home and family life. With .US, you get a unique web address that helps you stand out in a digital landscape. It’s a great way to differentiate yourself as the Internet becomes more crowded than ever.

.US can be registered by any individual, business big or small, blog or organization that is a citizen of, or licensed in, the USA including federal, state and local governments. In addition, .US may be registered by foreign entities that have a bona fide interest or presence in the United States. For more information on the .US Nexus Policies, please click here.

Market-based retail prices for .US domain names are established by .US-Accredited Registrars and their resale channel partners. The pricing structure is an annual subscription fee; multi-year subscriptions are also available.

Domain Management

How to register, manage, and maintain your .US domain name

You may search and register for your .US idea, business or blog website name by clicking here. Once found, you may register with your preferred .US provider or one of the retailer choices we offer.

Proxy, or privatized registrations, are not permitted under current policy.

The usTLD has an ongoing interest in ensuring that its top-level domain is administered in a secure manner and that the information contained within the authoritative database is reliable, accurate, and up-to date. One of the mechanisms to ensure the integrity of the .US namespace is the through the collection of true registrant information. The usTLD Registry employs an algorithm to detect the inadvertent or intentional registration of proxy, anonymous and/or private domain name registrations, and enforces a registrar’s obligation to not offer such services to .US domain name registrants.

.US does not currently offer IDN registrations, however we suggest you periodically check the official .US website for updates.

Names are reserved to protect important local and national naming resources to reserve spaces within .US for future enhancement of the domain and to protect technical Internet interoperability. Policy changes relative to the reserved list are subject to Department of Commerce review and approval prior to implementation.

The complete list of reserved names can be found here. Below are the following categories of reserved names:

  • All numbers five digits and higher
  • All numbers in the format five digits-four digits (zip codes)
  • All telephone numbers including toll-free numbers
  • Tagged domain names — all labels with hyphens in the third and fourth character positions (e.g. “bq–kn2n4h4b”)

A .US domain name that has been established as a Permanent Domain Name Reservation will need to be activated through the purchase of a Lifetime Registration. Please direct questions to our .US customer support at: support@about.us.

Domain name transfers fall in one of two categories:

  • Registrant Transfer or Name Change — Each registrar has unique requirements for making changes to the registrant field of a domain name. Registrants must contact the sponsoring registrar for information regarding Registrant Name Changes and/or Transfers. The sponsoring registrar appears in line 3 of each domain name’s WHOIS record (www.whois.us).
  • Registrar-to-Registrar Transfer — usTLD policy requires that a domain name be registered for a minimum of 60 days before it can be transferred to another registrar. If your domain name meets these requirements, contact your current sponsoring registrar and request for the < AUTHINFO > code, which the gaining registrar will use to initiate the transfer process for your domain.

An < AUTHINFO > code is a six- to 16-character “password” assigned by your sponsoring registrar to be used during domain name transfers. It identifies your domain name in the Registry. No domain name transfer request can be successfully executed without this password. Registrars are contractually required to provide this code upon registrant request. Registrants are advised to protect their < AUTHINFO > codes to avoid unauthorized transfers of their domain names.

The Redemption Grace Period (RGP) is the 35 days following the deletion of a .US domain name. The purpose of RGP is to allow registrars and/or their registrants to correct for inadvertent deletions. During the first 30 days of Redemption Grace Period, registrars may request the Registry to redeem a deleted domain, and thus restore it to its original status prior to deletion. Redemptions may not be performed during the final 5 days of RGP. The WHOIS record indicates if a domain is eligible for redemption. Domains that are eligible are marked “PendingDelete (RESTORABLE)”. A domain that is “PendingDelete (SCHEDULED FOR RELEASE)” cannot be redeemed. All redemption requests must be submitted through your registrar.

When deleted, all domains that have been registered for more than 5 days are initially placed on PendingDelete status before being purged (or dropped) from the Registry database and made available for registration. The exception to this rule is domains that are deleted within the first 5 days of initial registration. These domains will be dropped immediately, and not be placed in PendingDelete status. Domains remain on PendingDelete status for a period of 35 days before being dropped, unless they are “redeemed” by the sponsoring registrar. This period is known as the Redemption Grace Period (RGP). See below for more information on RGP and domain redemptions.

A list of upcoming .US domain deletions can be obtained from our .US Expiration Reports found here.

If you believe that your trademark rights are being infringed upon by someone who has registered a .US domain name, you can contact the domain owner directly by finding their contact information on the .US WHOIS. If direct contact does not resolve the conflict, then you have the option to utilize the usTLD Rapid Suspension Dispute Policy (usRS) or the usTLD Dispute Resolution Policy (usDRP) which have been implemented by the usTLD Administrator for domain dispute resolution.

To obtain access to the .US Zone file, you must complete, sign and return the .US Zone File Access Agreement. For additional information, including the ability to execute the agreement please contact .US support at support@about.us.

Domain Security

Answers to your top domain security questions

The Administrator for usTLD has implemented procedures to rapidly take down any website in cases where phishing, pharming, malware, or other significant security threats have been identified through a threat mitigation platform that protects the .US namespace with a centralized abuse detection, investigation and reporting system.

Through relentless monitoring the service not only detects malicious activity, it thoroughly investigates such activity and takes remedial action as required.

DNSSEC stands for Domain Name System (DNS) Security Extensions, which enable DNS clients (resolvers) to (1) validate origin authentication of DNS data; (2) confirm data integrity; and (3) authenticate denial of existence.

When implemented end-to-end, DNSSEC protects end users from exposure to DNS cache poisoning. Cache poisoning is a corruption of the DNS that enables the spread of viruses, worms, and other malicious files/content. Cache poisoning occurs when data is provided to a caching name server that did not originate from an authoritative Domain Name System (DNS) source. Once a DNS server receives non-authentic data and caches it for future use, it will then supply that non-authentic data to its client servers. The impact of cache poisoning on end users is that they may be directed to IP addresses they did not intend to reach, and may not be aware of the associated risks.

DNSSEC does not solve Denial of Service (DoS) or Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on any system. DNSSEC does not prevent incorrect data entry into a zone (if the IP address is entered wrong, it will not be corrected). DNSSEC’s improvement to other applications is limited to ensuring that applications get correct/authenticated information and nothing more. Phishing attacks are still possible through carefully crafted email and spam delivery. Sensitive information such as credit card numbers on a web server are encrypted via secure socket layers (SSL), and not through DNSSEC.

DNSSEC uses cryptographic electronic signatures (referred to as public and private keys) to determine the authenticity of data. DNS clients that are DNSSEC-enabled will validate any DNS response received by automatically checking the authenticity of the cryptographic signatures. If the key is missing or not recognized, the response is not validated and the DNS will not pass the false information on to the user.

.US accredited registrars are not required to implement DNSSEC. Support for DNSSEC is optional but recommended to help secure and prevent cache poisoning in the .US namespace.

At this time, DNSSEC is fully deployed on the usTLD and is accepting submissions known as DS records, since July 15, 2010. .US accredited registrars will be able to register DNSSEC information on their customers’ behalf. For more information on how to submit DS records, please contact your specific domain name provider.

If the customer is using a DNS managed service provider, they should contact the provider for instructions to turn on DNSSEC. If the customer is operating their own DNS setup, there are a number of steps to perform. First, make sure the tools in use are capable of DNSSEC. This may mean upgrading the DNS software. Second, after preparing and documenting a plan, create cryptographic key pairs and enter them in the zone. Third, run a DNSSEC zone signer (dependent on the tools in use) to generate the first signed zone. The process of signing will have to be repeated as the signatures will have a limited lifetime. The final step is to publish the zone. The managed service provider should be able to provide guidance along the way.

A general collection of information on DNSSEC can be found here.

.US Locality Management

Everything you need to know about .US Locality Domain Management

Registrations in the locality space reflect the oldest part of the usTLD domain namespace. These registrations represent the political geography of the United States based on two-letter state abbreviations and divided further into localities, including cities, counties, parishes, townships, or local names (e .g., Alexandria.va.us). In addition to geographical locality names, the usTLD locality space also includes certain affinity names, for example, STATE, FED, K12, LIB, and NSN (Native Sovereign Nation). Locality and affinity names collectively compose the "locality space."

The usTLD Administrator currently serves as Registry, Registrar, and Delegated Manager for all undelegated third-level locality domains (i.e. all third-level locality domains that do not have an assigned Delegated Manager) and their child domains (fourth/fifth/sixth level domains). Additionally, under the current contract, the Administator becomes the Delegated Manager by default for any third-level locality domain whose existing Delegated Manager decides to relinquish management of that delegation. The usTLD Administrator provides continued administrative oversight to ensure usTLD policies and requirements are met by both Delegated Managers and their locality-based registrants.

.US Locality domain names are registered and managed through Delegated Managers. The usTLD Administrator currently serves as Registry, Registrar, and Delegated Manager for all undelegated third-level Locality domains (i.e. all third-level locality domains that do not have an assigned Delegated Manager) and their child domains (fourth/fifth/sixth level domains). The Administrator is currently unable to process new third-level domain name requests. For new fourth- or fifth- level domain requests connected to a currently approved .US Locality delegation, please contact .US Customer Support at locality-support@about.us .

The administration of the usTLD Locality namespace is managed by entities and/or individuals called Delegated Managers who follow comprehensive technical and service requirements. Individually and as a group, Delegated Managers play a valuable role in the management of the usTLD Locality namespace. Delegated Managers work directly with the usTLD Administrator to maintain their usTLD Locatlity delegation(s). In order to ensure common and widespread best practices among Delegated Managers for the benefit of the Locality space users, the usTLD Delegated Manager Agreement sets forth the relative rights and responsibilities of Registry Services, as the usTLD Administrator, and each Delegated Manager. For existing Delegated Managers, an executed usTLD Delegated Manager agreement is required to continue delegation management services. The usTLD Administrator currently serves as Registry, Registrar, and Delegated Manager for all undelegated third-level locality domains (i.e. all third-level locality domains that do not have an assigned Delegated Manager) and their child domains (fourth/fifth/sixth level domains).

In order to update and/or change your .US Locality domain name information, Registrants must provide the updated information for any contact or nameserver changes on the usTLD Locality Domain Name Contact Form (provided by .US Customer Support). In addition, the usTLD Administrator requests authorization that the updates may be completed. This authorization process protects your domain name data from being accessed or changed by an unauthorized party. For further information on updating your .US Locality domain name information and/or authorization procedures, please contact .US Customer Support at locality-support@about.us.

Contact and/or nameserver requests must be received by submitting a form to .US Customer Support (locality-support@about.us) for all domains which the usTLD Administrator is the Delegated Manager. If all information is filled out correctly and authorization procedures have been met, changes are generally processed in 3 to 5 business days. For changes or updates to Locality domain names which the Administrator is not the Delegated Manager, registrants must contact their designated Delegated Manager.

Third-, fourth-, fifth- and sometimes sixth-level domain names are included.

For more information and assistance pleace contact .US Customer Support at locality-support@about.us. Please be sure to include your domain name with the request and we will advise on whom to contact.

Currently, no new delegation requests are being accepted. In accordance with its contract, the usTLD Administrator operates as the Delegated Manager for all Locality domains not serviced by an existing Delegated Manager. If a Delegated Manager chooses to end their responsibilities, the Administrator will then assume the Delegated Manager (or Registrar) responsibilities and continue to provide delegation and resolution services to those Locality registrants.

Registrars & Resellers

For those interested in becoming a .US Accredited Registrar

Any organization that meets the .US Accreditation criteria can become an Accredited Registrar partner for .US domain names. The accreditation process and criteria may be found by emailing us at support@about.us.

The Department of Commerce has chosen Registry Services, LLC as its Administrator for all .US domain name services including technical, marketing, policy and operational support. Registry Services is the world's largest provider of digital naming services and with a team of industry pioneers, has played a role in the growth and evolution of nearly every aspect of the domain name space.

For technical support for .US Registrars or Resellers, please contact your Relationship Manager or .US customer support at support@about.us.

Still Have Questions?

You may contact us for additional information.

Learn more about the usTLD

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Stats & Trends

As new users are using new devices from disparate locations around the world to access the Internet, this has resulted in an increased load and demand for critical assets.

Policies & Governance

.US can be registered by any individual, business, blog or organization that is a citizen of, or licensed in, the USA. In addition, .US may be registered by foreign...

Meet the Stakeholder Council

Increase visibility for your business with online local listing services; publish to 100+ local search platforms, mobile applications, navigation systems, and directories at one time - from one place.

Meet the Stakeholder Council


Increase visibility for your business with online local listing services; publish to 100+ local search platforms, mobile applications, navigation systems, and directories at one time - from one place.

Learn More

Here are a few quick links for learning more about the .US top-level domain.

Here are a few quick links for learning more about the .US top-level domain.

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