Guidance

Apply for your .gov.uk domain name

Follow these steps to apply for a .gov.uk domain name.

How to apply

The domain name administrator is usually the person who is responsible for applying for a .gov.uk domain name together with help from a registrar.

For large organisations, the administrator will usually be a civil servant who is part of the domain management team. For smaller organisations like parish councils, the administrator will usually be the clerk or similar.

Step 1: Before you submit an application

You must make sure:

Step 2: Submit an application

Ask your registrar to apply for the .gov.uk domain name. You must provide the registrar with:

  • written permission from your organisation showing you can apply for the domain name

  • an up to date role-based email address like ‘domainmanagement@[your-organisation].gov.uk’ and phone number

GDS will not accept personal email addresses like ‘[your-name]@gmail.com’ or workplace email addresses of individuals like ‘[your-name]@[your-organisation].gov.uk’ for any of the domain contacts.

Step 3: GDS will confirm your identity

The registrar will submit your application to GDS for review. GDS will contact you to confirm your identity before reviewing your .gov.uk domain name application.

Step 4: GDS will review your application

GDS will approve or reject your application within 5 working days. If your application needs reviewing by the Naming and Approvals Committee, this may take longer and GDS will contact you to let you know timeframes and outcomes.

The Government Digital Service (GDS) may refer any .gov.uk domain name application to the Naming and Approvals Committee for a final decision.

Step 5: Appeal an application

You can appeal a decision if an application is rejected.

If you have any questions about the application process, email domainmanagement@digital.cabinet-office.gov.uk.

Published 7 October 2019
  1. Step 1 Check if your organisation can apply

  2. Step 2 Appoint a domain name administrator and choose a registrar

    You must appoint someone to register the domain name. The Government Digital Service (GDS) must be able to contact them.

    1. Appoint a domain name administrator
    2. How to choose a good registrar or Domain Name Service (DNS) provider
  3. Step 3 Choose your domain name

  4. Step 4 Apply for your domain name

  5. Step 5 Appeal your rejected domain name application

  6. Step 6 Use your domain name

    You must follow the Cabinet Office guidelines when your domain is live, or GDS will withdraw it. For example, you must keep your contact details up to date.

    1. Set up, use and protect your domain name
  7. Step 7 Manage your domain name

    You can make changes to your .gov.uk domain name.

    1. Renew, modify or transfer your domain name

    If your organisation no longer needs a domain name, you must take steps to protect it.

    1. Stop using your domain name