Register your .CA

Registering a .CA domain name is quick and easy. Keep these helpful tips in mind throughout the registration process.

Find more information on:

  1. Searching for a domain name
  2. Choosing a Registrar
  3. Registering a domain name
A screenshot of the free .CA e-book

You can find out if a domain name is available by searching at the top of this page. If the domain name you want is not available, try selecting a suggested alternative that appears or searching again. If you’re still stuck, take a look at our free ebook, The ultimate guide to choosing a great domain name which provides some more in-depth information about domain names and helps guide you through the process.

You can also consult our domain name life cycle page that describes the To Be Released (TBR) process and provides information on how to find out when already-registered domain names expire.

Choosing a trusted Registrar

A person using a laptop

While CIRA manages the .CA domain name registry on behalf of Canada, .CA domain names are actually registered through online retailers called Registrars. All of our 150+ Registrars are trusted providers that are evaluated and recertified by CIRA every year. No matter which Registrar you choose, trust that you are in good hands.

When you search for a .CA domain name on our website, we display our certified Registrars with whom you can register your preferred .CA domain name. Your Registrar will be your main point of contact for the registration and management of your .CA domain name, so make sure you choose the right one for you.

If you're new to the world of domain names, you might not know where to start when choosing a Registrar. Here's our advice on how to choose the one that best meets your needs.

1. Determine which services you require

If you're interested in additional services like email hosting or if you require support in French, ensure that the Registrar you choose meets those needs. You can use the filters provided in our search to see which Registrars offer the services you require. 

For individuals registering a domain name: As part of the management of the .CA registry, CIRA operates an electronic look-up service called WHOIS that allows people to view information about domain names. For the .CA domain, WHOIS privacy is guaranteed for individuals registering domains. This means that when you register a .CA, your personal information, such as your name and email address, are not shared publicly in the WHOIS database. Some Registrars may offer a service that protects your WHOIS information, but as an individual, this additional service is not applicable.

2. Shop around

Shop around to get a good understanding of how much your domain name, and additional services, will cost. Registrars may offer bundles, packages, or special promotions. Keep in mind that cheapest isn’t always necessarily best.

3. Check references

Seek out customer reviews and testimonials, and ask friends or colleagues for a recommendation. You may find that some Registrars come highly recommended by your peers.

There may come a time where you may want to transfer your domain name to a different Registrar. Please review the process on how to transfer domains in the Optimize Your .CA section to learn more.

The three Rs of the domain name world

Confused about who's who in the domain name world? The three Rs: Registrars, Registrants and Registry, represent the important role you and your support organizations play in managing your .CA. 

Registering and protecting your .CA

Once you’ve chosen a Registrar, consider the following additional tips for registering and protecting your domain.

Always register the domain name yourself

Never let third parties, such as a marketing agency, complete a registration on your behalf. This can become a problem if you part ways and no longer have access to the account managing your domain name.

Choose a strong password

Use a unique password for your Registrar account to provide an additional layer of security to your domain name. Never provide this information to third parties, including your hosting company. The password should be changed on a regular basis.

Provide the right Registrant and administrative contact information

CIRA and Registrars only communicate with the Registrant and administrative contacts provided during the registration process. If this information is not accurate, you might not receive important information about your domain expiry date or renewal notices. These notices are critical to ensuring continued access to your .CA domain name.

Remember, for individuals, your contact information is guaranteed by CIRA to not be published on the WHOIS database. For businesses, some contact information is made available in the WHOIS database.

Choose a registration term length that works for you

You can register a domain from one to ten years at a time. Often, Registrars will have a discounted price the longer you register the domain name for. Many Registrars offer auto-renewal to ensure your domain name remains registered and active. Auto-renewal provides your Registrar with authorization to renew your domain name before it expires.

Register common variations of your name to protect your brand identity

If your company or product is commonly misspelled, register the alternate domain names and forward them to your primary website. This ensures no one else can register these domain names and protects your brand online.

Register a .CA with French accented characters

The .CA domain registry supports French accented characters within domain names: é, ë, ê, è, â, à, æ, ô, œ, ù, û, ü, ç, î, ï, ÿ. When a .CA is registered, all variations of your domain name with these accented characters are reserved for the Registrant and cannot be registered by anyone else. Please note these variations are reserved for you; if you would like to make use of these domain names you must Register them as well. If you would like to register a domain name with a French accented characters, register with a Registrar that offers this service. 

Whitelist the domain name for your service providers

To ensure anti-spam software does not filter out important messages regarding your domain name, add CIRA, your Registrar and other service providers to your email whitelist.

Protect your domain

Your .CA domain name should be protected like any other asset. You may be interested in several security products and initiatives that CIRA has developed to help .CA holders secure their part of the web.