FAQs: Domain Name Registrant Contact Information and ICANN’s WHOIS Data Reminder Policy (WDRP)
January 6, 2021
- Why do I need to keep contact information associated with my domain name registration up-to-date?It is very important to keep your contact information up-to-date at all times so that you receive important notifications about your domain name from your registrar. These notifications are typically sent via email, and if your email is not updated, you may not receive important notifications that are designed for your protection. For example, your registrar will notify you of changes to your account and domain name registrations so that you can confirm the changes. If your email information is not up-to-date, unauthorized changes could be made to your account without your knowledge. To learn more about why it’s important to keep your contact information updated, read ICANN’s blog on why it’s important to keep your contact information up to date.
- What is the WDRP?The WHOIS Data Reminder Policy (or WDRP) is an ICANN policy designed to protect domain name registrants. The policy requires your registrar to formally remind you once a year to review and update your contact information. The reminder, which is also referred to as a WDRP Notice, is usually sent via email and asks you to review the WHOIS information, including contact information, associated with your domain name(s) and make corrections or updates when necessary.
- I received a WDRP notice, but my information is correct. Is any action required on my part to ensure my domain registration is not affected?No. When sending WDRP notices, registrars are required to remind you that the providing false WHOIS information can be grounds for cancellation of a domain name registration. If your information is correct, your domain name will not be cancelled or deleted, and you do not need to take any action. If you have questions about what action you may or may not need to take, it’s always a good idea to contact your registrar to inquire.
- I use a privacy and/or proxy service, do I still need to update my contact information?Yes. Even if you are using a privacy and/or proxy service it’s still important to make sure your contact information is up to date to be sure that you receive all notifications and requests from your registrar.
- I registered a domain name two weeks ago, but now it doesn’t work, what happened?There are multiple reasons why a newly registered domain name does not resolve to its intended location. One of the most common reasons is that the registrant did not confirm the accuracy of their contact information with the registrar. When you register a domain name, you must give your registrar accurate and reliable contact information. After registration, your registrar will contact you (typically by email), to verify that the information is correct by requesting your affirmative response. Failure to respond to the registrar’s request within 15 days will likely result in suspension or even cancellation of the domain name registration.In addition, you are required to correct and update your information promptly if there are any changes to it during the registration period. If you give wrong information on purpose, or do not update your information promptly when there is a change, your domain name registration may also be suspended or cancelled. This could also happen if you do not respond to inquiries from your registrar if they contact you about the accuracy of your contact information during the term of the registration period. Contact your Registrar to update your contact information. ICANN org does not (and cannot) verify or update your contact information. Only your Registrar or its Reseller can assist you with contact information updates.
- What do you mean my contact information is public and searchable in the WHOIS database?Some of your contact information associated with your domain name registration may be made publicly available in the Registration Data Directory Service (also commonly known as the WHOIS database or the Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP)). Similar to a traditional telephone directory or book, publication of registration contact information is done to allow others to contact you about your domain name or its website information, as well as for public safety reasons. When you register a domain name, you may have the option to mask your some of your contact information using a privacy/proxy service. Contact your registrar to find out more about your options for masking your public contact information. You can use https://lookup.icann.org/ to see your domain name contact information which is publicly available. Recently, new global data privacy regulations such as the European Union’s Global Data Protection Regulation have restricted the amount of public information that your Registrar needs to make available, to help protect the privacy of registrants.
- I received a WDRP notice, and I need to update my contact information. How do I make an update?In order to update your contact information, you will need to contact your registrar.
- I received a WDRP notice. How do I know this is a legitimate notice and not spam?The purpose of the WDRP notice is to remind you of your obligation to update contact information on file for your domain names. This is for your benefit and protection. Although you should always be wary of phishing messages and other fraudulent emails, a legitimate WDRP notice email serves an important purpose. Contact your registrar if you are unsure about email notices regarding your domain name registrations.
- Does receiving a WDRP notice mean that someone complained about my website or domain name?No. Annual WDRP notices are sent to all domain name registrants of gTLD domain names (such as .com, .org, .info, etc.). If you received one of these notices, it does not mean that someone complained about your website or your domain name.
- Why am I receiving WDRP notices from ICANN when ICANN is not my registrar?The ICANN WHOIS Data Reminder Policy (WDRP) requires registrars to send WDRP notices to domain name registrants once a year. ICANN does not send WDRP notices. Some registrars or resellers might send WDRP notices from an “icann@” email address, but this does not mean that they come from ICANN. You should review all WDRP notices carefully and update your contact information if necessary.
- My developer set up my account and is not returning my calls, how do I do a change of registrant?To update the registrant information or to transfer your domain name to a different registrant, please contact the registrar that registered the domain name. For information about the domain name, including the registrar name, conduct a search of the public Registration Data Directory Service at https://lookup.icann.org/. The registrar’s name will be included in the result. A list of registrars and links to their websites is on the ICANN-accredited registrar list.
- I can’t “access” my domain name or my domain name management account because the domain name was registered by someone else, such as my web developer/administrative contact – what now?You may not be able to access the domain name if you are not the administrative contact/registrant of record of the domain name. You should contact the individual or entity who registered the domain name to obtain access credentials/details or update the domain name’s administrative contact/registrant of record.You should contact your registrar right away if your domain name manager/administrative contact is unreachable, has gone out of business, etc. to update your information. Once you are able to become the administrative contact/registrant of record, this will ensure that you have full control of managing your domain name and allow you to find someone else to help you manage your domain name, if you so choose. It’s a good idea to keep a record of your domain name management credentials at all times, even if you choose to outsource some administrative/management duties to a third party.
- I need to contact another registrant but their contact information is unavailable in the public WHOIS. How do I contact them?Registrars are permitted and sometimes required to mask otherwise publicly available registrant contact information in the Registration Data Directory Service (such as WHOIS or the Registration Data Access Protocol (or RDAP)). The registrar of the domain name related to the registrant you are trying to contact should provide a web form or other type of communication method for you to contact a registrant if their contact information is unavailable publicly. Use https://lookup.icann.org/ to lookup the registrar of the domain name related to the registrant you would like to contact.
- Who should I contact for any other questions I may have?Most questions about your domain name registration can be answered by your registrar. To locate your registrar, visit whois.icann.org to perform a WHOIS search for your domain name. The results of the search will display the name and web address of your registrar.