CA Domain FAQ

You may already know that CA domains are underutilized and have been doubling or tripling in number every year.

CA domains are:

  • a globally recognized domain type
  • as globally accessible as .COM and other domains
  • available to all Canadian Citizens/Residents, organizations with a presence in Canada and owners of a registered Canadian Trademark

  • available now, reserve the name you want for an unlimited time, even for future use
  • give you a national identity with global scope
  • give you a shorter name which is easier to remember
  • make it easy to track a website targeted specifically to Canadians
  • are inexpensive to own
  • are inexpensive annually to retain

Domain Name Selection Guidelines
The only characters allowed in a domain name are letters, digits and the dash (-). These names are reserved: names and abbreviations of the provinces and territories when used in and domain names, single letter names, ac, arts, ca, canada, co, com, domain, edu, eg, firm, gov, gouv, int, internet, mil, net, nom, nui, org, mil, rec, store, tm, www, obscenities. You may include the reserved word in your domain name; it just can't be the only word in your name. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can anyone register a .ca domain?

If you are a Canadian Citizen, or have a physical presence in Canada or own a Trademark registered with Industry Canada. 

Can I register more than one domain?

You may register as many .ca domains as you'd like. 

When did the rules change?

Most rules began transition 09/18/00. Rules in place for over 10 years were abolished 10/22/00. The one domain limit was removed 11/08/00. Domain name format qualifications were removed 11/08/00. Domain names became blocked at other levels 11/08/00. The 08/01/00 registration restriction to upgrade was removed 12/01/00. The ability to register new municipal domains was added 12/14/02. The ability to release a blocked domain was added 12/20/00. Protection for domains registered prior to 10/22/00 was removed 02/01/01 and all domains not registered a 2nd time were returned to the pool of available names. Domain transfers between registration companies and between owners was added 02/05/01. First cancelled domains rescheduled for release 01/24/02. The ability to register top level Municipal domains added 04/18/02. As of 10/21/02 new Newfoundland/Labrador domains registered end in or .ca, your choice (instead of On 06/10/08, WHOIS display of ownership information for individuals was blocked, internet-wide. In October 2010, the ability to register new provincial level domains was removed (Existing domains are grandfathered for renewal only - if you own a for example, you may keep it.) January 2013, domain names with french accents accepted.

How do I register a .ca domain now?

There are 3 steps: Pick the name you want Lookup the name, make sure the domain is still available. Register it right away, online

Can individuals register a .ca domain?

You may register as a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident.

Can I register any name I want?

In most cases.

See domain name selection guidelines above. For registered trademarks, or a domain name including the trademark will register. 
Is CA Internet Domain Name Registration free?

No. The central registry for the .ca domain was maintained by volunteers at no cost to domain owners for over 10 years. A new central registry has taken over the role and there are fees to own .ca domain names and there are annual fees to retain domain names. 

From time to time, promotional contests are run or domain names are donated to help charitable organizations with fundraising efforts. Winners of free domain names are posted here.

How are National, Provincial and Regional level subdomains issued?

National level domains are issued with the extension .ca. Provincial domains are issued with the extension Regional level domains are issued with the extension Any level domain can be registered as long as the domain name is available at all levels. National level owners can issue their own subdomains as or or without registering them. More information on issuing your own subdomains is available here
Domains ( or are issued to individuals and organizations meeting one (1) of the following criteria: Incorporated (Federal or Provincial) Registered Unincorporated (registered Proprietorship or Partnership) Canadian Citizen Permanent Resident Association Trademark Owner Trademark 9(1) Owner Government Organization Political Party Legal Representative Educational Institution Hospital Library or Museum Trade Union Trust
A legal representative must be acting on behalf of a Canadian or a Canadian organization. The only exception to the Canadian/Canadian presence requirement is a Trademark registered with Industry Canada. In this case, the domain will register if your address is outside Canada, your domain name matches or includes your trademark and you provide your TMA number. In the case of a 9(1) Trademark, provide the application number instead of the TMA number. Trademarks search

Provincial subdomains ( are registered to maintain a provincial identity. Any level domain can be registered as long as the domain name is available at all levels.

Regional level domains ( are registered to maintain a regional identity. Any level domain can be registered as long as the domain name is available at all levels.

Do I have to register more than once?

Yes. If you registered prior to September 18th, 2000. All .ca domains are held in a registry database. This database was maintained by volunteers for over 10 years. As of November 1st, 2000, the volunteers stopped maintaining the database. A mostly government organization assumed the role. A 2nd time registration was required to put your domain into a new database. If you have not registered again yet, you may still register by submitting a new application for the domain name here
What is a web administrator?

An unattended password protected secure server website which allows you to update your information anytime at the click of a button. 

Can I change my registration information?

Registered domain owners keep their domains up to date and working as they should with a 24-hr realtime web admininistrator. All contact information and dns are updated through a password protected website. Especially important when you need to make name server changes right away or your website or email is down. Convenient password recovery utility prevents access delays. An unlimited number of changes can be made throughout the year. Use the Update button on the button bar, or link to Domain Updates to make changes.

Can I use the web administrator to update DNS?

Yes. Login and use the make changes menu. If you would like your .ca zone secured with DNSSEC, please visit and choose DNS manager to activate service. We are CIRA certified to provide DNSSEC service.

What if I can't find my password?

Use the password recovery utility and we'll email your password. 

Can I use the web administrator to update my domain information if I didn't use to register my domain?

Yes. Click here to start service.
Your domain ownership years remain intact and registration fees you've already paid elsewhere do not need to be paid again to use this service. You do not have to wait for your domain to be up for renewal. You can move a domain over to now and start receiving 24 hour access to make updates. Even add an activation service. Extend your ownership term for a year... or more.  

Here is more information to help you make a decision regarding service.

Can I update all my domains here?

You may use the web administrator to manage your domains in realtime. You choose one or more domains to manage here. There is no limit and no minimum.

How do I correct/change the name of the owner for my domain? How do I transfer ownership of my domain to another party? How do I re-register my domain to another party?

Changes to all domain owner contact information are made at the web administrator anytime. Domain owners receive email to approve the changes right away. When the domain owner name is also changed, it requires re-registration to the new owner. 

The security on the domain email address is so high, that we cannot make changes over the phone. This is for your protection and why we point you to online (requiring a login) and printed resourses (requiring signature). However, if you do have questions about updating information, please contact

Why do I register without a domain the first time I register a domain?

You need an account that qualifies to register .ca domains before you can register domains. At the two transactions (the account and domain registration) happen online sequentially to ensure your first and subsequent registrations are error free.  

What happens during a domain ownership change?

Domain Re-Registration is used either to make a correction to the current domain owner (company or individual) or to transfer ownership of the domain to another party. Re-registers the domain name to another domain owner. Use the web administrator to update the domain owner name and contact information. The current owner and new owner receive email to approve the information twice. Approval re-registers the domain to the new owner. Re-registering a domain to another party is $50.00. The fee is payable by the new owner upon verification of the new registration information. The pre-paid registration term transfers with the domain. 

What are the registration fees for?

The fees are for ownership of the domain and for making the domain accessible to your provider of website and/or email services. The fees are for web administrator services to keep your domain information updated and syncronized throughout your ownership term with the domain registry database. The fees are for processing email and website submissions which update your domain application quickly and accurately. The fees are for processing registration applications.

Can I register a domain now, then pay the bill at my Bank later?

All popular methods of payment are accepted. For your convenience, domain registrations can be paid online or by phone or fax using any major credit card, by cheque, by money order and through ATM's, OnLine banking, or Telephone banking through your Financial Institution. news... 

To get started, search to find an available name at using the whois search box. Complete the form and select your method of payment. 

When are my fees due?

All registration fees are pre-paid for the ownership term you select. For example, if you select 2 years for your ownership term (to take advantage of multi-year discounts), your 2 year fee is due at the beginning of the 2 years. Your registration fees become payable when you visit the verification website where your ownership information is recorded. Credit card orders are billed at this time. If paying by Cheque or Money Order or Bank Account, we start processing your registration immediately upon receipt of payment. 

Renewal fees are due before your renewal date. We send you notice well in advance. If you choose not to renew, the domain may be returned into the pool of available domain names 30 days after your renewal date. At our discretion, we may hold the domain for you pending payment so you don't lose it. 

Who do I contact about billing issues?
Financial transactions are processed securely by TransCanada Network Services, 6007-2100 Bloor St W Toronto ON M6S 5A5 Canada (416) 652-6418. 
What if I change my mind?

Please be sure that you would like to register a domain. Registration fees are pre-paid and non-refundable. Also make sure that you have the legal right to register the domain. If you require our immediate assistance in closing your account, for legal or other reasons, before it expires, termination service is available. To close your account before it expires, email Alternatively, you may let your account expire. All domain services will remain available until your account expires. If you choose not to renew, the domain name will be returned to the pool of available names for registration by anyone 30 days after your account expires. 

I already have a domain I want to keep. I really want another .ca domain. The domain I want is still available. Can I register? Yes. You may register now. 

If I register now can I use my domain now?

Yes. Domain parking or an activation service is included in your registration fee for one year as an incentive to sample hosting service. Or you may choose to activate the domain with your service provider immediately upon registration. Or you may add/change your service provider's name server information for dns at any time, an unlimited number of times, throughout your registration term.
What are the rules for upgrades?

Some and domain owners may upgrade to "". If there are no other domains of the same name currently registered to other owners. Enter the domain name you want to register here to find out if an upgrade is possible. 

What is a blocked domain? What are the rules for owning the same domain name at different .ca, and levels?

If there are other domains of the same name currently registered, domains at other levels are blocked by existing domain owners. 

How do I register a blocked domain?

The blocked domain can be registered with the permission of the other domain owner(s). Enter the domain name you want to register here and find out who owns the other domain(s). Click on the domain name(s) to obtain contact information. Request consent. Suggested text for consent is available here  

Do I have to grant myself consent if I'm also the only owner of the existing domain(s)?

If you are already a domain owner with, consent is not required.

How do I register a domain if I already have an account?

You can add as many domain's as you'd like to your master account. No need to set separate accounts. One login makes domain management easy.

Enter the new domain name you want to register here:
Enter the existing domain name you already own here:
Enter your email address here:


If you are a domain owner with another registration company, yes. We need your consent. Suggested text for granting consent to release a block is available here.

Repeat this process for each blocked domain you want to register.  

How do I register a TBR domain?

Enter the new domain name you want to register here:
Enter the existing domain name you already own here*:
Enter your email address here:
* If you do not already own a dot ca domain, enter the domain in the 2nd existing domain name box, then overtype all the blanks with your information when the registration template displays.

Can I keep both my current domain and my upgraded domain?

Yes. Registering both domain names will allow you to keep both. 

Can I have an overlap period while I switch everything over to the upgraded domain?

Yes. Your existing domain will remain accessible over the Internet until it expires. Then only the domain(s) you've chosen to register/renew and keep will remain 'live'. In order for the domains to co-exist, they both need to be registered. 
When will my upgrade start working? Within 24 hours of registration. 

I already have a domain I want to keep. I really want another .ca domain. The domain I want is still available. Can I register? Yes. You may register now. 

Is there a fee for updating the link between my domain name and my website if I upgrade?

No. All activation services will be transferred to your upgraded domain name at no charge. 

Can I link my upgraded domain to my website and keep my existing domain activated?

Yes. Select the DomainLink option to add service for the new, upgraded domain. 

Registration information is verified.

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