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.CA Domains General FAQs

.ca Domains

How does .ca differ from .com?
.ca is the country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) designating Canada. .com is the generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) designating Commercial. The policies and administration of the .ca Domain name will be set by CIRA, and governed by Canadian law. The gTLDs are managed in the United States under American law.

What additional services do I get with a .ca registration?
You receive a free business card web page, e-mail forwarding, and domain forwarding with each .ca domain registration.

What is CIRA?
CIRA stands for the Canadian Internet Registration Authority. It is a not-for-profit organization mandated by the Canadian government to operate the .ca top-level domain. CIRA was incorporated in 1998 to set policy for and operate the .ca domain. It assumed responsibility on December 1, 2000 from the University of British Columbia. CIRA significantly changed the rules and requirements for .ca domain registrations making .ca domain registrations easier and more accessible to a wider range of Registrants. For example, it is now possible for Registrants to register an unlimited number of domains. .ca 2nd level domains are now available to anyone with a Canadian presence (not just Canadian corporations).

How do I register a .ca domain name?
Ordering .ca domain name is easy. Just enter your domain name in the search box located on any page and follow the steps.

Are Registrants automatically members of CIRA?
A description of CIRA membership can be found on the CIRA website in Membership in CIRA shall be limited to Registrants who become Members at the time of becoming a Registrant. Registrants shall have the right to refuse or rescind membership at any time. Members who cease to be Registrants or fail to pay membership fees, if any, or Registrants fees (in accordance with the Corporation's policies) shall no longer be Members of the Corporation forthwith after such event.

Can I be a Registrant if I don't have a domain names?
CIRA offers the option of becoming a Registrant without a domain name. This effectively enters a Registrant's information into the CIRA database following the Registrant's confirmation and acceptance of the CIRA Registrant agreement. This is available to anyone who does not currently have a ".ca" domain registration for the same fee as a 1-year registration. Asia Pacific IT will process orders for this service if an e-mail is sent requesting the service.

NOTE: This procedure registers a Registrant without a domain name. However, following its registration, the Registrant has 90 days to register at least one (1) domain name in order to retain a Registrant record in the CIRA database. The advantage of this service is that it allows a Registrant to be registered in the CIRA database by confirming and accepting the CIRA Registrant agreement. Once a Registrant is entered into the CIRA system, all subsequent domain names that are registered using the Registrant's confirmed information will automatically be registered without the need of reconfirming and accepting the CIRA Registrant agreement. This would appeal to someone who anticipates registering a large number of domains in the near future but does not currently have any domains registered through CIRA.

What are the Canadian Presence Requirements?
CIRA has determined that the .ca domain space should be developed as a key public resource for the social and economic development of all Canadians. Accordingly, those registering a .ca domain name must meet certain Canadian Presence Requirements. The new Canadian Presence Requirements still require a connection to Canada but enable a much broader group of people to register .ca domain names than the old regulations.

How long can I register my ".ca" domain for?
You may register domain names for a period of one (1) to ten (10) years.

How many characters can my ".ca" domain have?
Domain names must be not less than two (2) and not greater than fifty (50) characters long.

Are there any restrictions to what I can register through CIRA?
Acceptable Characters:
No characters other than a combination of the following characters may be used for a domain name registration:

  1. Letters a through z (no accents will be accepted). Note that domain names are not case sensitive. This means there will be no distinction made between upper case letters and lower case letters (A = a);
  2. The numbers 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and/or 9; and
  3. The hyphen character (although it cannot be used to start or end a domain name). Length. Domain names must be not less than two (2) and not greater than fifty (50) characters long.
Reserved Names:
CIRA maintains a list of reserved names that are not available for registration in the CIRA Registry. This list includes, but not is limited to:
  1. .all the existing and future generic top level domain (gTLD) three letter names (including,,,,,,; and
  2. .the names, and all abbreviations of names, of Canada, of Canadian provinces and territories as well as the names of major Canadian cities and landmarks. A detailed list may be found at CIRA reserves the right to periodically review and amend this list and to grant registrations of any of the names on the list as it deems appropriate. Geographical names may be made available to corresponding government entities under special conditions to be determined by CIRA in its discretion.
Conflicting Names.
A domain name will not be registered if, at the time the Registration Request is made to CIRA, the domain name is an exact match in all respects to a domain name that is registered in the name of another person in the CIRA Registry at any level, whether second, third or fourth, unless such other person consents in writing to the registration of a domain name at a level different than the one for which the domain name is registered. For example, if (third level) is registered, another person cannot obtain a registration for , (second level) or (fourth level) without the written consent of the registrant of CIRA may request DomainPeople to provide evidence of such written consent. Other Restrictions. CIRA, in its sole discretion, has the right to reject and refuse to register any domain name for any reason whatsoever. A domain name Registration may be suspended by CIRA pursuant to the Registrant Agreement (see Section 12) and may be cancelled by CIRA pursuant to the Registrant Agreement (see Section 13).

How do I confirm my registration with CIRA?
If this is the first domain name registration for the Registrant, Asia Pacific IT will provide you with a link to the CIRA confirmation login page, and supply you with a customer number and password required to complete the confirmation. It is the applicant's responsibility to confirm their registration with CIRA within 5 days of submitting the order. The CIRA confirmation page will display the following three choices:

  1. Confirm (this will confirm the Registrant's registration for this and future domains)
  2. Confirm later (this will keep the domain reserved for the remainder of the five (5) days to allow the Registrant to request Asia Pacific IT to make any corrections to the Registrant information. These requests must be sent to
  3. Cancel (this will cancel the registration request)
NOTE: If the registration is not confirmed or canceled within five (5) days of placing the order, an administrative fee of $10.00 CDN will be charged.

Can I register a ".ca" domain directly with CIRA?
No. Registrants must go through a CIRA Certified Registrar such as Asia Pacific IT . As part of the CIRA Registrar certification process, Asia Pacific IT (and other Registrars) must provide all registration services including customer and technical support, which CIRA does not provide to Registrants directly.

How many ".ca" domains can an organization or individual register?
Any qualifying individual or organization can register an unlimited number of .ca domain names. These new rules are posted at CIRA found at

Can anything be registered as a domain name?
No. Applications for the registration of domain names will be considered and either accepted or rejected in accordance with the CIRA rules found at

What is the dispute resolution process?
CIRA's dispute resolution process to address disputes between domain name Registrants and those who claim trademarks and related rights. The dispute resolution process takes into account the interests of domain name and trademark owners, as well as, Canada's intellectual property laws. More information regarding CIRA's Domain Dispute Policy can be found on its website at

How do I find out the Whois information on a .ca domain name?
To find out who has registered a .ca domain name or to verify that your own domain name is in the CIRA registry, go to the CIRA web site at and click on Whois. Be aware that it can take up to 24 hours to show up as registered from the time you registered your domain name.

What is Change Without Approval (CWA)?
CWA enables .ca domain name Registrants to grant their Registrar the ability to submit changes to the Registrant's administrative contact information without the Registrant having to go to CIRA's confirmation/approval site to enter their CIRA user account number and CIRA private password, to further approve the changes. More importantly, CWA enables manual changes to administrative contact information to be completed without further approval on CIRA's site. This will expedite the process and will save you the administrative fees charged for the manual service.

How does CWA benefit me?
One advantage of CWA is that it enables you to manage and maintain your domain contact information as quickly and efficiently as a .com domain. Another benefit is that you can avoid paying extra processing fees should you ever require us to assist you with a Manual Administrative Contact change for your .ca domain(s).

How do I add/remove CWA to my .ca domains?
All new .ca domains registered through Asia Pacific IT will have the CWA request submitted to CIRA along with your registration. You simply have to confirm and approve CWA on CIRA's website as part of the usual registration confirmation process. If you have a .ca domain that does not have the CWA flag activated, you can add CWA through your Once Click Domain Manager (OCDM).

Once you're logged in, click on the ?CWA Flag Status? menu item under the domain section and follow the instructions. You can also add CWA on the administrative contact change form of OCDM. The CWA option can be enabled and disabled at anytime through the OCDM. Any new activations of the CWA status will result in an email from CIRA requiring confirmation on the CIRA website. We recommend that you leave this option active to save time and the service fees in case you require a Manual Administrative Contact change in the future.

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