Compliance - Best Practices

Your .CA is an asset

Your .CA domain name is your online identity. It must be protected from loss or theft like any other business or personal asset.

Keep your .CA domain registration up to date

Despite its value, nobody owns a .CA domain name. Each domain is registered for a term by individuals or organizations. You can register a .CA domain name for a minimum of one year, up to 10 years, provided it's not already registered by someone else. If you opt for annual registration, you must be conscious of your renewal dates.

Choosing a Registrar

Registration of your .CA website is managed through commercial providers, called Registrars.  CIRA has over 150 certified Registrars through which you can  register a .CA domain name. Registrars have contractual obligations to both Registrants and CIRA. When you register your .CA website, you will enter into a legal agreement with both your Registrar and CIRA.

  • Registrars remain the main point of contact for .CA Registrants throughout the term of their contracts.
  • Domain names can only be registered or modified through a CIRA-certified Registrar.
  • The CIRA marketplace can help you to find a Registrar that is suitable for your company. Start by searching for your website address and then search for providers that offer the services you need

.CA domain life cycle

A roadmap of the .CA domain name lifecycle

Provide complete and accurate contact information for your domain registration

When you register a .CA domain name, you are asked to provide contact information as part of the process.

Each .CA domain name must have a Registrant Contact, an Administrative Contact and a Technical Contact.

The Registrant Contact is your personal or business name. This information is used in the official registry of .CA domain names managed by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA). The Registrant Contact is the name you provide at the time of registration with your Registrar (the organization with which you register your .CA domain). The Registrar, in turn, provides the information to CIRA.

Registrant information must be accurate and up to date

Registrant Contact information identifies the holder of a .CA domain name. Ensuring  your contact information is accurate helps safeguard your .CA registration and your online identity.  All notifications regarding your .CA domain will be sent to the contact you provide at the time of your registration.

Your Registrar, for example, will use your Registrant Contact information to notify you when your domain name is about to expire. CIRA will also use this information to notify you of any identified cyber security events related to your domain name. If there have been any changes to your account – for example, a request to change your domain account – CIRA will use this information to contact you. CIRA also relies on up-to-date Contact information to verify Registrants’ compliance with CIRA’s Canadian Presence Requirements for Registrants.

Add CIRA and your Registrar to your email contact list

Communications from CIRA and your Registrar regarding your .CA domain are most likely to come through email.  Adding CIRA and your Registrar to your spam filter’s approved list is good practice.  This will help to ensure you receive communication and notifications in a timely fashion.

Accurate information helps CIRA maintain the .CA Registry

As part of the management of the .CA Registry, CIRA operates an electronic look-up service called WHOIS that allows people to look up information about Internet domain names.

The .CA WHOIS directory system has built-in privacy protection options, which can be used to limit how much of your personal information is available to the public. For corporate Registrants, all contact information is publicly available through WHOIS.

For individual Registrants, (as opposed to organizations), the privacy protection options in WHOIS are turned on by default, which means your personal information is protected and not publically available.

If you choose to have your information made public, contact your Registrar to change your privacy protections.

CIRA’s Privacy Policy offers you detailed information on how your information is collected and used.

Renew your .CA domain name

Your Registrar will give you advance notice before your domain name expires, another reason to ensure your Registrant Contact information is kept up to date.

Upon initial registration you can opt to automatically renew your domain name at the end of each term. If you have not selected this option with your Registrar, you will need to contact your Registrar prior to your .CA expiry date to make the request.

Failure to renew your domain name by the expiry date, will render your domain inactive for up to 30 days.  Your associated website and email addresses will not work until you renew your .CA domain name with your Registrar.

If you do not renew your domain name, it will be released to the public 60 days following the expiry date.

If you forget to renew your domain name and someone else registers it, you may be able to initiate proceedings through CIRA’s Dispute Resolution Process (CDRP), provided you have registered a Canadian Trademark that resembles the domain name.