Be wary of requests for domain name Registry Keys and early renewal notices

Posted by Jo Lim on 22 March 2002

WARNING - Domain Name Licence Renewals

Registry Keys
A domain name "registry key" is the password or PIN number used to control access to changes in the operation and management of your domain name. It is issued by the domain name registry at the time the domain name is first registered.

The registry key can be used to:

  • check the expiry date of your domain name
  • change the Internet location reached by people using your web address or email address
  • change the contact details associated with your domain name
  • change the company authorised by you to make the changes above on your behalf

auDA is aware that some companies are sending out unsolicited ‘Renewal Advice’ notices implying that the registry key is now required to renew your domain name. This is NOT correct.

The registry key is NOT required if you renew your domain name with the company currently listed with the registry as providing your domain name services.

However, if you change that company then the registry key IS required so that the new company can show the registry that you want them to renew your domain name for you.

You are entitled to have your domain name renewed by any of the companies that offer the service. However, you should be wary of providing your domain name registry key in response to an offer to renew your domain name unless you are sure that you want this new company to renew your domain name for you.

There are many companies in Australia that offer domain name services at a range of service levels and prices. So, before you provide your registry key you should carefully review the cost and terms and conditions of the offer and compare those with the cost and terms and conditions offered by other suppliers.

Early Renewal Notices
Under the present system, your domain name cannot be renewed more than (approximately) 60 days before it is due to expire.

auDA is aware that some companies are sending out unsolicited renewal notices up to 6 months before your domain name is due to be renewed. If you renew through them, they will hold your money until such time as they can renew the name through the registry. This may not be a problem but you should be wary of paying money too early as there is no guarantee that the company will:-

  1. Still be in business when the renewal actually falls due or,
  2. Have systems in place to ensure that your name does in fact get renewed.

Please also read auDA’s previous Consumer Alerts:-

You can contact auDA for further information, by emailing

Chris Disspain
CEO - auDA