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In our previous post talking about the 2013 ICANN RAA (Registrar Accreditation
Agreement), we described the changes mandated for the public WHOIS format.
Now, let’s take a look at another critical requirement from the RAA, which
stems from the Whois Data Accuracy Specification. The requirements from this
specification will have a considerable impact on customers and domain
holders, and we are about to make certain changes in the system to fulfill

Verifying the Registrant’s contact information

As a part of the Whois Data Accuracy specification, ICANN expects the
Registrar to verify the contact information for the Registrant contact of
each gTLD domain name, within 15 days of

* a domain name being registered with unverified contact details,

* a domain name being transferred in, or

* the contact information of the Registrant contact information being

If the domain holder does not verify the contact information within 15 days,
the Registrar must suspend the domain name until the verification is
completed. This requirement comes into effect from January 1st, 2014 –
domain names that are already registered are not subject to such
verification unless their contact information is modified.

How we shall comply with this requirement:

To fulfill our obligation, we are developing the capability to verify the
email address of the Registrant contact. Starting January 1st, 2014, the
Registrant contact of a domain name will receive an email notification to
verify the email address. This mail will contain a link that the Registrant
must click on, to complete the verification, within 15 days.

If the registrant does not complete the verification in the allotted time,
we shall modify the name servers of the domain name to stop its resolution
and point the domain name to a white-labeled holding page. This page will
simply instruct that the domain name has been disabled due to the Registrant
information being verified, and instruct the Registrant to contact their
service provider to make it active again.

Some important aspects of this process:

1. The verification email will be sent out as soon as the email address
is associated with a domain name. Additional reminders will be sent on the
7th and 14th day, if the verification isn’t done until then.

2. The verification email will be sent out from the Reseller’s email
address. It shall be a compulsory system mail, which shall not be customized
or turned off.

3. In the 15 day verification notice period, the domain name will
continue to resolve. The domain holder will not be obstructed from using
their domain name in any way, unless they don’t complete the verification
process in the allowed time.

4. Once an email address has been verified, then all subsequent
registrations, transfers or contact updates that use this email address will
not require any verification.

5. Once a year, we send out a Whois Data Reminder email to the
Registrant of the domain name, in accordance with ICANN guidelines. We shall
monitor the delivery status of these emails – if the mail sent to a
registrant email address of a domain name were to bounce back, our
compliance team will review the case and take appropriate action against the
domain name.

This new mandate from ICANN is just another measure that illustrates how
important it is to have accurate contact information for the domain name
holder. For our resellers, we recommend that you communicate with your
customers to ensure they understand this requirement and watch out for these
compulsory emails in the future.

If you have any doubts or questions about this new process, please reach out
to our support team or your account managers, and we’d be happy to discuss
it with you. Additionally, in case you missed it, we also recommend going
through the webinar conducted by our Compliance Manager that highlights all
the important aspects of ICANN’s 2013 RAA.

You can find the webinar presentation here.