From 8am Tuesday 10th June 2014, customers will be able to register .uk domains on its own for the first time e.g. domain.uk. However, the registration for .uk domains will work a little bit differently to normal domain registrations.
Normally when a new domain is launched, anyone can sign up any domain name. With .uk, this isn't the case as a large amount of domains have been reserved for existing .uk family domain customers (.co.uk, og.uk, me.uk etc.).
For the vast majority of .co.uk customers, their .uk equivalent will be automatically reserved allowing them to purchase their .uk first. This is a system called Right of Registration and was put in place in order to keep things fair and to protect the interests of any existing .co.uk /
e.g. if a customer owns mydomainname.co.uk then they will automatically have mydomainname.uk reserved for them to register from the 10th June.
There is one exception as follows:
If a .co.uk was registered after 23.59pm 28th October 2013 and an existing equivalent domain was registered before the above date (e.g. www.example.org.uk, www.example.me.uk etc) then the Right to Registration would be awarded to the first domain registered (in the following order)
Due to the way these rules have been setup, any new registrations of .co.uk domains made before 08:00hrs on 10 June 2014 (provided that no other equivalent .org.uk, .me.uk, .net.uk, ltd.uk or .plc.uk exists) will get the rights to the new .uk domain.
After launch on 10 June 2014 any new registrations within the .uk family (e.g. in .co.uk, .org.uk etc) no longer get automatic rights to register the new .uk domain. So these new .uk domains become available for anyone to register.
We can do a simply check using the following tool:
Simply click on the link above, enter the domain that you are interested in on the right and search. You will then be told which domain will have the Right of Registration.
e.g. Customer owns mydomainname.co.uk and wants to purchase mydomainname.uk. We enter mydomainname into the search box and push enter.
Once the results come back, we can see that mydomainname.co.uk has the right of registraion:
There will be three ways to register the .uk:
The Great British Bundle - special .co.uk / .uk pre order bundle (pre-order available now)
.uk Pre-Order and Registration for Existing .co.uk Customers (pre-order available now)
New .uk domain Registrations (Available from 8am Tuesday 10th June)
Starting today, existing .co.uk (UK2 and non UK2) customers can start pre-ordering their .uk domain names. We expect most queries / sales (180,000+ qualifying domains) to be from our existing customers who will be split as follows:
Group 1: Customers that will have 1 - 10 .co.uk domains - Order via website
Group 2: Customers that will have more than 10 domains - UK2 Sales will contact them
Group 1 (10 or less .uk domains) customers will be contacted via email and directed to the following URL where they will be able to order their equivalent .uk domains:
Using this system, customer can currently only purchase 1 .uk domain at a time and will need to setup a new CHI account. Each domain name requires to be authenticated separately to ensure that they have the legal Right of Registration.
Group 2 (More than 10 .uk domains) customers will be contacted individually by the UK2 Sales team and offered the opportunity to purchase qualifying domains (details will be sent separately)
If you wish to purchase 10 or more domains, you should be send an email with your, Name, email address, account name, and list of domains to purchase to email@example.com
If you are looking to just register the .uk domain name you can do so from 8am Tuesday 10th June as long as there are no existing domains with rights.
So to be clear, providing that all the equivalent .co.UK, .org.UK, .me.UK, .ltd.UK, .plc.UK and .net.UK domains are available for registration (as this will mean no one else can claim a Right of Registration) you can register the .uk domain.