Guidance

Use your .gov.uk domain name

What to do when your .gov.uk domain name is approved.

Set up your domain name

Ask your registrar or domain name system (DNS) provider to correctly set up your domain name.

For more information on DNS configuration you can follow guidance on keeping your domain name secure.

The Domain Management team may withdraw your domain name if your organisation does not follow the terms of use or fails to keep domain name administrator contact details up to date.

Terms of use for your .gov.uk domain name

Your proposed .gov.uk domain name must not:

  • host a website with persistent errors or security issues

  • redirect to a non-public sector domain like .co.uk, .org.uk, .info or .com

  • pose an immediate security threat or interfere with the secure and stable operation of the .gov.uk domain or the GOV.UK ecosystem

  • infringe on the intellectual property rights of another individual or entity

  • advertise products, commodities or services for private individuals, firms or corporations

  • be used for party political purposes

  • violate any UK laws, regulations or policies

  • violate the privacy or publicity rights of another individual or entity

Standards you must follow when running your .gov.uk domain name

Once your domain name is active, all digital services and applications including websites and email which use the .gov.uk domain must meet the:

Keep your contact details up to date

You must make sure the contact details of the domain name administrator are up to date with your registrar.

If your contact details are not kept up to date your domain name may be referred to the Naming and Approvals Committee for review and withdrawn.

Contact the Domain Management team

If you have any concerns about your domain name you can email domainmanagement@digital.cabinet-office.gov.uk or domainmanagement@service.digital.cabinet-office.gov.uk for help.

The Domain Management team may contact your organisation to help to make sure domain names are securely managed. The team may contact you to:

  • confirm that your contact details are up to date
  • let you know about any issues related to your domain name
  • ask about your usage and awareness of government services
Published 7 October 2019
Last updated 5 May 2021 + show all updates
  1. The Domain Management team has now moved to the Central Digital and Data Office. This update removes any references to the Government Digital Service (GDS).

  2. Updated to link to the 'Keeping you domain name secure' guidance and remove any repetition.

  3. Making it clearer who to contact for help by adding in a contacts section

  4. Clarifying guidance for protecting domain names

  5. First published.

  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. You are currently viewing: Set up and use your domain name
    1. Keep your domain name secure
  7. Step 7 Manage your domain name

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

    1. Renew your domain name
    1. 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
    1. What to do if your domain is compromised