Reserved .UK rights FAQs

What should I do if I think I may have been entitled to a reserved .uk domain and I have missed the deadline?

Unfortunately, you no longer have the rights to that domain name and it will be made available for registration by another party from 1 July.

In the first instance we advise that you contact your registrar, this is the person or company that manages your current domain, and they will be able to help you.

If you need any additional help or advice, please contact Nominet at the contact details above.

How was I made aware of the rights to my .uk domain over the last 5 years?

We have worked with registrars who in most cases have informed their customers about the right of registration.  We have also emailed or written to registrants directly, and ran an awareness campaign. Registrants are contractually obliged to provide up to date contact details for each domain, and outreach has been sent to the named contact.

Why is Nominet doing this?

We opened up the shorter .uk domain to increase choice for those seeking to register a domain in the .UK family.

We wanted to give existing customers a right to register the corresponding .UK domain.  At the end of this 5 year period, our priority has been an orderly end of the reservation period.  We have been working hard to raise awareness, without pressuring people to register a domain they may not need or want.

How many domains had rights reserved against them and how has this gone down over the last five years?

By the close of the rights period over 8 million rights holders out of the original 10 million have either taken up their rights to their equivalent .uk domain, or the rights expired.

If I haven’t taken up the corresponding .uk domain, what happens to my existing third-level registration, e.g. my .co.uk domain?

Your existing domain is unaffected and will continue as usual. Remember to continue to renew your registration at each renewal anniversary.

I don’t have any rights but there is a .uk domain that was reserved for someone else I would like to register. When will all the previously reserved domains for which the right to register has NOT been taken up become available?

Starting from 1 July 2019, any previously reserved .uk domains that have not been registered will be available on a first-come, first served basis, first served basis in a two stage process:

Stage One

A release process, running from the 1st to the 5th July inclusive, will make previously reserved names available in batches (one per day).

The release schedule for Stage One is as follows:

1st July – Batch 1: Domains beginning 0-9, a-b
2nd July – Batch 2: Domains beginning c-f
3rd July – Batch 3: Domains beginning g-m
4th July – Batch 4: Domains beginning n-s
5th July – Batch 5: Domains beginning t-z

Those interested in securing a particular .uk domain should contact a participating registrar.

Many offer a ‘pre-order’ service, which allows you to express an interest in a particular domain name, which the registrar will attempt to secure on your behalf. They will usually provide this service on a ‘no-win, no-fee’ basis or refund fees, in whole or in part, if the name is not secured.

Stage Two

All remaining .uk domains will become available in their respective batches one week after the initial release date.

So, domains that are released in batch 1 (1st July) but not registered will become generally available through the normal registration process, via any registrar, one week later, i.e. on 8th July at or after 14.00 BST (UTC+1).  Batch 2 will become available on 9th July, batch 3 on 10th July, etc.

The release schedule for Stage Two is as follows:

8th July – Batch 1: Domains beginning 0-9, a-b
9th July – Batch 2: Domains beginning c-f
10th July – Batch 3: Domains beginning g-m
11th July – Batch 4: Domains beginning n-s
12th July – Batch 5: Domains beginning t-z

Why would I want a second level domain name?

Nominet expanded the namespace to offer new and shorter options for those seeking memorable domain names, in line with the changing use and appreciation of domain names.

I registered my .co.uk domain name in the last five years – would I have had a right to register the .uk equivalent?

No. Only domains registered before 23:59hrs on 28 October 2013 acquired the rights to the equivalent .uk domain. Of course, there’s nothing to stop you registering the .uk domain name if it is available.

When exactly did the rights expire?

06:00 BST (UTC+1) on 25th June 2019.

Isn’t it a problem that someone else can register a very similar domain?

It is a feature of the global domain name system that the same set of characters before the dot – known as the ‘string’, can appear in names with different suffixes. For example, ilovedomains.co.uk, ilovedomains.org.uk, ilovedomains.uk.co, or ilovedomains.com might all be registered to different people. It is generally not problematic, and safeguards are in place so action can be taken if domains are used for illegitimate purposes.

I’m worried about someone taking a similar domain and using it to exploit my business. What can I do?

Those who breach our terms and conditions, including our abuse policy, will lose their registration. If you have any subsequent issues with the way in which any domain is being used, you can lodge a complaint with Nominet’s Dispute Resolution Service.