Delegating a generic top-level domain

This document provides a guide to the generic top-level domain (gTLD) delegation process.

What is a delegation request?

As part of the responsibilities for managing the root zone, ICANN’s IANA department is responsible for receiving requests to delegate domains in the DNS root zone. Note that this process is distinct from the process used to apply to be eligible for a new gTLD.

The delegation process results in the “NS” records being placed in the DNS root zone to make the domain active in the domain name system. This then facilitates the registry operator to commence the process to bring the registry service into production.

Submitting a delegation request

At the conclusion of the evaluation process for a new gTLD, i.e. following contract execution and pre-delegation testing by ICANN, a the registry operator will be provided with a unique delegation token and URL to ICANN’s IANA Root Zone Management (RZM) site for new gTLD delegations.

Registry operators that are ready to commence a request for delegation must visit the RZM site and enter their token in order to commence the procedure.

At the start of the procedure, the registry operator or its agent (requestor) is asked to provide an email address to serve as a contact point for the life of the request. This email address will be validated to ensure it works correctly.

Following this, the requestor will be asked to provide details on the sponsoring organisation (i.e. contracted party), its designated administrative and technical contacts, and its technical configuration. The requirements for these elements are the same as for other types of root zone changes. The request will follow the routine change processing steps as defined below. In addition to following the routine steps, a delegation report will be sent to the Root Zone Administrator.

Tracking status

Once a request has been lodged, an applicant can revisit the delegation page with their token in order to be provided with a view of the current status of their requests. Any questions regarding the process can be directed to root-mgmt@iana.org.

Review of Delegation Steps

  1. After Pre-Delegation testing has been successfully completed, the requester receives unique, secure credentials to initiate a request within the automated Root Zone Management (RZM) System.
  2. Requester uses provided credentials and URL to login to the RZM System.
  3. Requester provides a contact email address for use with the request. In order to confirm the email address works, a link will be emailed to it, and the requestor should follow the link to proceed.
  4. Requester completes form in RZMS including the fields for the following:
    • Manager: Also known as the “Registry” or “Sponsoring Organization”, this is the organization to which responsibility for the domain is delegated.
    • Administrative and Technical Contacts: These are contact points for the domain, responsible for responding to pubic enquiries concerning the domain, and also for authorising routine updates to the domain.
    • Name servers/DS Records: This is the list of authoritative name servers maintained by the registry to serve the top-level domain, along with the delegation signer records for DNSSEC.
    • Registration Information: Additional information pertaining to the domain, such as the location of its WHOIS server, and a web address where registration information can be found.
  5. The request will go through the steps of a routine root zone change request.