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Domain Registration

  • How and where can I register my own domain?
  • How much does a domain registration cost?
  • How long does the process of domain registration take?
  • Can I reserve a domain name without obligation?
  • What does the name of a DE-domain look like? Which names and characters are not registered?
  • Can the @-character be part of a domain name?
  • Why are there no domain names with only two characters?
  • Why are German license plate codes not registered as domain names?
  • Where can I get information about registered (connected) DE-domains?
  • Why is a registered domain not to be found on the WWW?
  • What are contacts (so-called RIPE-handles) in the RIPE database and what are they used for?

  • How and where can I register my own domain?

    The registration (delegation, connection) of a DE-domain can be done via an Internet Service Provider (ISP), who is a member of DENIC eG or cooperates with one. Usually an ISP will bundle the domain registration with other Internet services. We recommend this procedure. Alternatively you can use our service DENICdirect.

    Should you decide to order your domain name via an ISP, then you perform the registration directly with this provider. We cannot estimate any costs, because they are calculated by the respective providers and differ between them.

    In any event, please read our Registration Terms and Conditions and Registration Guidelines.

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    How much does a domain registration cost?

    There are two ways to order a DE domain:

    Every Internet Service Provider, who is a member of DENIC eG, or a subprovider (reseller) of a member of DENIC eG can perform a domain registration.

    Depending on the services offered, every provider has his own pricing structure, which cannot be influenced by us. Therefore we cannot give you an estimate as to the costs you have to expect, when doing business with an ISP. The best option is to ask the ISPs directly, for example one of our members.

    Alternatively you can use our service DENICdirect. As a non-profit organisation we have to offer this service in a cost covering way. This is the reason why our prices are generally higher than the ISP's prices, who often have special bundles including webspace and other services.

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    How long does the process of domain registration take?

    Only members of DENIC eG can register domains with us. They send the domain orders to us via email, we acknowledge receipt of these emails and start working on their orders right away. The provider receives an error message or an acknowledgement as a result of this process. The duration of this process currently lies at two working days at most.

    Longer running times are not due to us, but please consider that your provider also might need some time to initiate the registration process. If your registration lags behind, please contact your ISP to verify that he indeed did initiate the registration process for you.

    Should any problems occur that cannot be solved by asking your provider, please contact us in writing and include your previous correspondence with the ISP. We will then try to help you solve the problem. Please note that we can neither give you written confirmation nor detailed information about the status of your domain registration. We ask you to exclusively contact your ISP with these questions.

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    Can I reserve a domain name without obligation?

    No, that is not possible anymore. According to a decision by DENIC eG from February 1, 1997, the processes RESERVATION and EXTENSION have been ceased. Existing reservations remained valid up to their expiration date (usually six months) and could not be extended anymore. However, activation (delegation) was still possible. Meanwhile all reservations have expired and new ones are not accepted anymore.

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    What does the name of a DE-domain look like? Which names and characters are not registered?

    A valid domain name must consist of numbers and letters (only A-Z) and the "-"-character (dash). It has to start and end with a number or a letter. National letters (e.g. German Umlaute) and special characters are not allowed. A domain name must contain at least one letter, otherwise it could be mistaken for an IP address. Domain names are case-insensitive and between 3 and 63 characters long (see RFC 1035.

    The names of existing top level domains (arpa, com, edu, gov, int, net, nato, mil, org), one- and two-letter abbreviations and German license plate codes are not allowed.

    A further division into sub-domains is possible (e.g. a direct sub-domain of is These sub-domains are, however, not registered by DENIC eG, rather they must be set up by you or your provider. If you would like to use the web address, then we register the domain name for you. The sub-domain must be set up by you or your provider.

    Every principal is responsible for compliance to trademark and other laws when choosing a domain name. Possible conflicts with third parties are to be resolved by the principal. By registering a domain he affirms that he does not violate the rights of third parties. DENIC eG cannot be held responsible for name conflicts. Therefore the domain owner must be registered with a full address (no P.O. boxes). The person, to which we will refer any conflicts, is the domain owner.

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    Can the @-character be part of a domain name?

    Generally speaking, a domain name can consist of a maximum of 63 letters, numbers and the dash, beginning and ending with a character or number. Other characters are without exception illegal. Therefore the @-character cannot be part of a domain name, it serves as delimiting character between the username and the hostname.

    Here is an example illustrating this concept: with the hostname is, the domain name, that can be registered with DENIC eG, is and naschkatze is a user on the host "obst". This notation is known from the email system.

    It is possible to configure a webserver in a way that URLs can be accessed that look like or similar. The whole string is the web address (URL), but the domain name is only and only that can be registered with DENIC eG or an Internet Service Provider.

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    Why are there no domain names with only two characters?

    Due to a bug in a widely used DNS resolver software, which occurs when using domains of the form "topleveldomain.topleveldomain" (e.g., it was decided not to allow any two-letter domain names or domain names that correspond to existing top level domains. The technical problems that can occur are not limited to the respective domain, but can also cause difficulties at other sites.

    The problem is described in detail in RFC 1535 - A Security Problem and Proposed Correction With Widely Deployed DNS Software.

    Four DE-domains with only two letters exist, dating from the time before this policy was implemented. These domains are retained, but there will be no more two-letter domains.

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    Why are German license plate codes not registered as domain names?

    DENIC eG reserves the German license plate codes, because the top level domain .de meanwhile contains more than 2.5 million domain names. In order to have the option to enlarge this namespace in the future, the license plate codes (which correspond to regions in Germany) are reserved for possible use as new second level domains (e.g. for interested parties coming out of the respective region.

    A few license plate codes were already registered, when this decision was made. These domains are retained, just like domains that previously did not correspond to a license plate code, but where this license plate code was later introduced by the Kraftfahrzeugbundesamt in Flensburg. This national authority publishes an official list with the current license plate codes once a year. This list corresponds to the list of names, that cannot be registered as domain names.

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    Where can I get information about registered (connected) DE-domains?

    Our web interface under gives you the possibility to check, whether a domain name has already been registered and which persons are connected with this domain name.

    The field "Status" tells you if the domain is connected, i.e. fully functional or not. The latter case occurs, if there has been an error during connection, which has to be corrected by your provider through an update or if the connection has been terminated due to other, for example legal, reasons. In any case the domain is not free to register.

    The last line but one contains the entry "letzte Aktualisierung" followed by a date. This date refers to the last time the data of this domain was updated. With domains, that are not registered yet, the date of today is shown.

    Our database is updated automatically every 15 minutes, meaning that an update will become visible after 15 minutes at most. The date after "Stand Datebank" is the date of the last of these database updates. Normally this will be the date of today.

    The date in the top right corner within the green bar under the logo is the date of the last update to the webpage and has nothing to do with how current the domain information on the page is.

    The field "Domaininhaber" shows the person or entity that is registered to be the owner of the domain. The administrative and technical contacts and the zone administrator appear as abbreviations. By clicking on the button "Inklusive Personendaten" their data is shown in detail.

    For reasons of privacy we can only show the data of persons, who are directly connected to a previously queried domain. An explicit search for persons without searching for a domain first is not possible due to privacy laws. For the same reason the telephone numbers of the domain owner and the administrative contact are not shown since October 1999.

    Because of misuse, spamming etc. we have taken down the alphabetically sorted lists of domain names.

    For all data provided by us the following copyright applies:

    Copyright (c) 2000 by DENIC eG
    Restricted rights.
    Except for agreed Internet operational purposes, no part of this information may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, recording, or otherwise, without prior permission of DENIC eG on behalf of the copyright holders. Any use of this material to target advertising or similar activities are explicitly forbidden and will be prosecuted. DENIC eG requests to be notified of any such activities or suspicions thereof.

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    Why is a registered domain not to be found on the WWW?

    There are a number of possible reasons:

    When a domain is registered it must be connected within one month of registration. This means that two nameservers, which can locate the domain, have to be specified, or, alternatively at least one NSentry entry, which can act e.g. as a mailserver. This also means that domains can be registered for up to one month without an actual server behind them.

    When the domain becomes fully connected, various Internet services can be offered over it (WWW, email, FTP etc.). Just because "" exists, it does not follow that there has to be a host called "". There is no obligation to create web pages and no rule that specifies which services have to be offered over a domain.

    Domain usage also exists, if the domain is only used for sending and receiving email or for doing file-transfer via FTP. It is also possible that web pages exist, but the server is temporarily not reachable. Perhaps even the specified URL is incorrect. Whether any kind of usage exists at any time cannot be determined, neither technically nor administratively, therefore usage is not a precondition for registering a domain name.

    In no case does the non-accessability of a webpage constitute the right to demand release of the domain name. This also applies to the "under construction" page.

    The public data of registered domains can be retrieved in our Online Domain Query.

    If you have a justified interest in the non-public data of a registered domain, please contact:

    DENIC eG - Rechtsabteilung
    Wiesenhüttenplatz 26
    60329 Frankfurt am Main
    Fax: +49 (0)69 / 27235-235

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    What are contacts (so-called RIPE-handles) in the RIPE database and what are they used for?

    These entries are created by the providers or other entities, that work with whois data, and describe persons, who are connected to domains (e.g. administrative contact for a domain).

    Contact entries at RIPE are protected by a so-called maintainer, preventing unauthorized tampering with the data. Every provider has his own maintainer so that only the provider, who has created the entry, can change it. There is an additional maintainer called "mnt-by: DENIC-P", which enables very member of DENIC eG to change the data. Unauthorized tampering with data is also impossible in this case.

    If you want to update your data (or create a new entry), simply ask your provider to do it for you. In any case the entry in the RIPE database has no influence on the technical connectivity of a domain.

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