About .ca Domain Names

The .ca country-code top-level domain name (ccTLD) is an extension that represents Canada. A .ca domain name broadens your site's audience to Canadian residents, as opposed to .com, the generic top-level domain name (gTLD) designating commercial activities. This extension is particularly beneficial for companies that conduct business in Canada by making their URLs more recognizable for Canadian residents and businesses.

Domain names can be up to 63 characters, and can contain letters (a to z), numbers (0 to 9), and hyphens (except as the first or last characters of the domain name). You cannot register domain names with special characters such as & and #. We support the following French IDN (Internationalized Domain Name) characters: é, ë, ê, è, â, à, æ, ô, œ, ù, û, ü, ç, î, ï and ÿ.

Who can register .ca domain names?

Only the individuals and entities that meet the requirements in the Canadian Presence Requirements can apply to CIRA to register .ca domain names, on a first-come, first-served basis. However, .ca domain names use the bundle approach. This means the registrant of a .ca domain name has exclusive rights to every variant of that particular domain name. For example, only the registrant of grace.ca has the rights to register grâce.ca, and vise-versa.

Individuals and entities that meet the registration requirements inlude Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada, aboriginal people indigenous to Canada, or legal representatives of Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Non-individual registrants include all other legal registrant types, such as corporations. Applicants must meet the Canadian Presence Requirements.

If you registered a .ca domain name with the University of British Columbia (UBC) registry before November 8, 2000, you satisfy the Canadian Presence Requirements, unless the UBC registrant for the domain name no longer exists or you transferred the domain name to another registrant.

NOTE: CIRA periodically audits domain names to ensure they conform to eligibility requirements. If CIRA cannot confirm your eligibility status or you become ineligible to own a .ca domain name, CIRA might request information from your registrar to prove your eligibility. You must send us the requested information within the specified time frame to avoid deactivation of your .ca domain name(s). Do not send the information directly to CIRA.

To Register .ca Domain Names

  1. On our Home page, in the New Domain search field, enter the domain name.
  2. Select .ca from the list, and then click Go.
  3. If the domain name you want to purchase is available, click Continue to Registration.
  4. In the Create your domain registration information section, enter valid domain name contact information, and pay special attention to the following requirements:
    • If you are an individual registrant — For First Name and Last Name, enter your legal first and last name. Company Name is optional but cannot contain any terms reserved for non-individual registrants, such as corporation or business.
    • If you are a non-individual registrant — For First Name and Last Name, enter your legal first and last name. For Company Name, enter the full official name of your entity. If it isn't part of the full official name, include the Canadian jurisdiction (such as Ontario) and, if applicable, the Canadian registration number.
  5. In the .CA Domain Eligibility Information section, do the following, and then click Next:
    • Preferred Language — Select the language you want to use.
    • Select the legal type that best describes you — Select the individual or non-individual legal type that describes you. For more information, see the Canadian Presence Requirements.
  6. On the Domain Registration Information page, read the .CA Domain Agreement, select I have read and agree ... , and then click Next.
  7. Complete the purchase. We send you an email message that contains the information you need to complete the registration of your .ca domain name.

    NOTE: Your .ca registration is not complete until you accept the CIRA Registration Agreement and enter the Contact ID that we provide in the email message. If you do not complete the registration within seven days, CIRA deactivates your .ca domain name and we issue a refund.

Which registry controls .ca domain names?

Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) is the registry for .ca domain names.

For how long can I register .ca domain names?

You can register .ca domain names for a minimum of one year and a maximum of 10 years.

When can I renew .ca domain names?

CIRA automatically renews .ca domain names on their expiration dates. If you do not pay for the renewal within 42 days of the expiration date, you can attempt to recover your .ca domain name, and there might be a fee to do so. See Recupero dei nomi di dominio scaduti for instructions.

NOTE: Renewals are refundable during the 45-day grace period after the original domain name expiration date.

Can I transfer .ca domain names to my account with you?

Yes. See Trasferimento dei nomi di dominio su GoDaddy for more information about the transfer process in general.

The following are exceptions to the transfer process for .ca domain names:

  • When a domain transfer takes place, it must be initiated for every variant (IDN) of that .ca domain name. If all variants of the same domain name are not transferred, the transfer will fail.
  • On the Pending Transfers page in the Domain Manager, your administrative contact's email address displays as nocontactsfound@secureserver.net because we cannot access your Whois contact information.
  • We normally send the transaction IDs to the administrative contact's email address. For .ca transfers, we send them to the email address on file in your account with us.
  • Transfers normally take five to seven days from the time you authorize them. However, a .ca transfer goes through immediately after you enter the transaction ID, security code, and authorization code, and then click Finish.

If the domain name expired, you have 30 days from the expiration date to transfer it to us. To transfer a .ca domain name to us within that 30-day expiration grace period, contact our Support department for assistance.

WARNING: For security purposes, CIRA locks .ca domain names for 60 days after transfers and new registrations.

During that 60-day period, you cannot update your domain name's registrant contact information or transfer it to another registrar. For more information, see section 8.1 of CIRA's General Registration Rules.

How do I transfer a .ca domain name from you to another registrar?

For general information about transferring your domain name to another registrar, see Trasferimento di nomi di dominio a un altro registrar.

For most domain name extensions, transfers take five to seven days from the time you authorize them. However, .ca transfers go through immediately upon authorization.

WARNING: For security purposes, CIRA locks .ca domain names for 60 days after transfers and new registrations.

During that 60-day period, you cannot update your domain name's registrant contact information or transfer it to another registrar. For more information, see section 8.1 of CIRA's General Registration Rules.

Can I add private or protected registration to .ca domain names?

CIRA automatically applies its own private registration to new .ca domain names that individuals register. Specifically, CIRA limits the personal information that displays in the Whois database for the following legal types:

  • Canadian citizens
  • Permanent residents
  • Legal representatives
  • Aboriginal persons

If you registered a .ca domain name as an individual registrant, you can contact our support department to cancel or re-add private registration.


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