In June 2014, we launched the new shorter, sharper domain name .uk into our UK Domain family. If you are an existing customer and own a .co.uk, .org.uk, .me.uk, .net.uk, .plc.uk, or .ltd.uk, the matching .uk domain name may have been reserved especially for you until 25 June 2019.
What does this mean?
We have reserved the rights to some .uk domains until 25 June 2019. For example, this could mean if you own yourwebsite.co.uk, your equivalent .uk domain, so yourwebsite.uk, may have been reserved. After 1 July 2019 any reserved .uk domains that have not been registered will be released into the public domain. This means they can be registered by anyone.
Checking if you have a reserved .UK domain
A quick and easy way to check whether you already own the rights to a .uk domain name is to use our ‘Rights lookup’ tool below. Simply enter your current .co.uk, .org.uk, .me.uk, .net.uk, .plc.uk, or .ltd.uk domain below. You’ll then be shown one of the following three options:
- Your .uk domain name followed by your .co.uk, .org.uk, .me.uk, .net.uk, .plc.uk, or .ltd.uk under a ‘Right of registration’. This means you have the rights to your equivalent .uk domain name.
- A list of details including domain name, registrant, registrar, and date of registration. This means the .uk domain name has already been registered.
- A no match notification with option to get domain now. This means the .uk domain name is available to register today and has no rights associated with it.
View rights of registration
How to register a reserved .UK domain
If you have the rights to register a reserved .uk domain name, please contact your registrar (the company you registered your original domain name with).
Alternatively, you can choose to register your .uk domain with a different registrar. For instructions on how to transfer your existing website across to your .uk domain name we recommend you speak directly to your hosting provider.
If you need any help or advice, don’t hesitate to contact us via phone; +44 (0)1865 332244 or email; [email protected]. We’ve also answered some frequently asked questions below.
How can I check if I have a reserved domain?
You can check your rights to a shorter .uk domain by visiting our online checker above or you can contact your registrar. Further support is available from our customer support team on +44 (0)1865 332244.
I qualify for rights and I’m interested. How do I register my second level domain?
You will need to register the .uk domain name yourself before 6am BST (UTC+1) on the 25th of June 2019. We suggest contacting your current registrar who will be able to help you with this.
What happens if I don’t register the corresponding shorter .uk domain?
When your rights elapse on 25th June, the ‘reserved’ domain will be available for registration by someone else.
If I don’t take up the corresponding .UK domain, what happens to my existing registration?
Your existing domain is unaffected and will continue as usual. Remember to continue to renew your registration each year.
I don’t have any rights but there is a .uk domain currently reserved for someone else I would register if available. When will all the second level domains for which the right to register has NOT been taken up become available?
The second level domains will be made generally available from 1 July 2019. If you are interested in a particular domain, please contact your registrar who should be able to help. Some registrars offer a service to ‘catch’ rights or domains as they drop. If you are concerned that other people might also want to register the domain name you are interested in, and your registrar does not already offer this service, consider finding a registrar who does. 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.
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. You may also wish to secure your second level domain name as a brand asset or for brand protection purposes.
I registered my .co.uk domain name in the last five years – do I have 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. If you are unsure, please check above. Of course, there’s nothing to stop you registering the .uk domain name if it is available.
When exactly do 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. So 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.
Have other country code top level domain (ccTLD) registries offered second level domain names?
Almost all country code domains allow registration at the second level. New Zealand and Japan are two examples of countries that, like .UK, previously didn’t allow registrations at the second level, but have recently opened up this area of their namespace.