Become a Domain Name Registrar

Become an IDN Registrar

Verisign internationalized domain names (IDNs) follow Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Standards related to IDN.

By adding IDNs to their .com, .net, .tv, .name and .cc domain name options, registrars have the opportunity to expand services and help increase revenues. For assistance or questions, please contact the Verisign Customer Affairs Office at +1-703-925-6999 or send an email.

Add IDN

Registrars are welcome to download the IDN Software Development Kits (SDKs) and implement IDN offerings into your domain name registration service.

Technical Considerations

You must first become a registrar of one or more top-level domain names before you can offer IDNs as an additional option.

Become a Verisign Domain Name Registrar

Verisign IDNs follow Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Standards related to IDN. There are important points to consider when registering an IDN.

IDN Registration

The Verisign Shared Registration System (SRS) allows a registrant to register IDNs through a registrar in any script supported by Unicode. The registrant's IDN is stored in the Registry’s database in an ASCII-compatible representation as defined by RFC 3492 (Encoding Scheme: punycode). The uniqueness of a domain name registration is determined by its Unicode representation. Valid characters for IDNs are those identified within the Unicode 3.2. For more information, see Policy for IDN Code Points.

Dispute Policy

Verisign processes IDN transactions on first-come, first-served basis in the same manner as with all registrations in the .com, .net, .name, .tv, and .cc registries. If a dispute occurs, Verisign follows any and all policies established by ICANN to uniformly administer the domain name transfer dispute process.

To assist with potential disputes, Verisign has created the IDN Conversion Tool, which works as follows:

  • Any user may input an IDN character string into the tool and click Convert.
  • The tool will perform the conversion and display the string, after applying Name Preparation, and the punycode character string for the prepared domain name character string (e.g., xn--yal93qak4a).
  • Under Whois Query, the user may select either Domain or Nameserver, then click the Query button to query Verisign's Whois for the punycode character string.
  • The Verisign Whois displays the appropriate registrar for the punycode character string, and the user may continue with normal procedures for researching, preparing, and submitting a complaint under the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP).

Please contact Verisign Customer Service if you have any questions.

Registrar Tools
Sample user interfaces (UIs) for domain name registration highlight possible implementations of language tags into the purchase flow.

Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) FAQ

What are Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs)?

Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) are second- and third-level domain names or Web addresses, represented by local language characters. The native language domain name is followed by the Latin script top-level domain (TLD) such as .com or .net. An example of an IDN is: 스타벅스코리아.com (in punycode: xn--oy2b35ckwhba574atvuzkc.com).

Why are IDNs needed?

IDNs enable more Web users to navigate the Internet in their preferred script and more companies to maintain one brand identity in many scripts. Most domain names are registered in ASCII characters (A to Z, 0 to 9, and the hyphen "-"). However, languages that require diacritics such as Spanish and French, and those that use non-Latin scripts such as Kanji and Arabic, cannot be rendered in ASCII. As a result, millions of Internet users struggle to find their way online using non-native scripts and languages. IDNs improve the accessibility and functionality of the Internet by enabling domain names in non-ASCII characters.

What languages are supported by IDNs?

Please reference scripts and languages for more information.

How do I use IDNs to navigate to a website?

To use IDNs, you must have an IDN-enabled browser such as Microsoft® Internet Explorer or Firefox. When a user enters an IDN using local language characters or follows a link, IDN-enabled applications encode the characters into an ACE string that the DNS understands. The DNS processes the request and returns the information to the application.

How do I register an IDN?

If you own a website or provide other Internet-based services and would like to use IDNs to help your customers, you may register an IDN in available characters through participating ICANN-accredited and Verisign-certified registrars. A registrant requests an IDN from a registrar that supports IDNs. The registrar converts the local-language characters into a sequence of supported characters using ASCII-compatible encoding (ACE). The registrar submits the ACE string to the Verisign® Shared Registration System (SRS), where it is verified and encoded. The IDN is added to the appropriate TLD zone files and propagated across the Internet. Find a Registrar

Can several IDNs share the same IP address?

In keeping with current domain name standards, multiple IDNs may share IP addresses.

May hyphens be used in internationalized domain names?

Yes. However, just as current standards do not allow names to begin or end with a hyphen, the ASCII transformation cannot begin or end with a hyphen. A hyphen cannot exist in third or fourth position in an IDN.

What is the maximum number of characters allowed for an IDN?

The encoded form of the IDN (including the characters for .com, .net or .name) may contain up to 67 characters. The characters may be letters, numbers or hyphens. A domain name may not begin or end with a hyphen. The IDN transformation software will reject a domain name if the encoded conversion exceeds the character limit.

What are the newly allowed characters for an IDN in Unicode 6.0?

The newly allowed characters in Unicode 6.0 are listed below.

0527 A78E
0620 A791
065F A7A1
0840-085B A7A3
093A-093B A7A5
094F A7A7
0956-0957 A7A9
0973-0977 A7FA
0D29 AB01-AB06
0D3A AB09-AB0E
0D4E AB11-AB16
0F8C-0F8F AB20-AB26
135D-135E AB28-AB2E
1BC0-1BF3 11000-11046
1DFC 11066-1106F
2D7F 16800-16A38
31B8-31BA 1B000-1B001
A661 2B740-2B81D

What is the IDN Software Developer's Consortium (IDNSDC)?

To complement the IDN initiatives being driven by ICANN, Verisign is helping to organize a new consortium to facilitate adoption of IDN capabilities in standard client software. An inaugural in-person meeting was held at ICANN Brussels meeting in June 2010. Verisign is excited about the opportunities presented by the introduction of IDNs, and urges the Internet community to participate in the consortium. For more information about the IDN Software Developer's Consortium, please contact IDNSDC@verisign.com.

IDN Registrar FAQ

Why add IDNs to registrar options?

By adding IDNs, registrars have the opportunity to expand services and potentially increase revenues with their existing infrastructure. A single .com domain name may be registered in as many as 350 different native languages.

How do I become an IDN registrar?

To offer IDN options, you must first be a registrar for a particular TLD. Verisign, a pioneer in domain name technology, is a leader in the propagation and adoption of IDNs. Verisign has made IDNs available through the .com, .net, .name, .tv and .cc registries via the IDN SDKs. To calculate the potential for IDNs to expand your domain name business, please download our IDN ROI Calculator (XLS).

How does IDN registration work?

The Verisign® Shared Registration System (SRS) allows a registrant to register IDNs through a registrar in any script supported by Unicode. The registrant's IDN is stored in the registry’s database in an ASCII-compatible representation as defined by RFC 3492 (Encoding Scheme: punycode). For example, the Japanese characters ドメイン translate to the English word “domain.” The punycode encoding of those characters will be stored as "xn--eckwd4c7c.com". The uniqueness of a domain name registration is determined by its Unicode representation. Valid characters for IDNs are those identified within the Unicode specification. Learn more about the policy for IDN code points.

What is a registration variant?

Resolving an IDN requires the DNS to interpret characters in local languages and connect them to the relevant domains; however, there are many more languages than scripts. For example, in two different Latin-based languages the "ø" and the "ö" characters may be interchanged. The registration "thørn.com" could be a registration variant of "thörn.com". These characters are considered character variants and their overlap requires a special solution. Learn more about character variants.

What happens if the same domain name is registered twice?

Verisign processes IDN transactions on a first-come, first-served basis in the same way as it does with all registrations in the .com, .net, .name, .tv and .cc registries. If a dispute occurs, Verisign follows relevant policies established by ICANN to uniformly administer the domain name transfer dispute process. To assist with potential disputes, Verisign has created the IDN Conversion Tool, which converts an IDN character string into punycode so that you can check Whois for the punycode character string.

How can developers IDN-enable their applications?

Libraries that implement the IDNs in Applications (IDNA) standard for a variety of programming environments are available in the public domain. Verisign encourages and supports the work of such developers and provides links to these libraries. Application developers should choose the library that best fits their application requirements. Verisign offers a complete IDN SDK in Java and C to application developers. It fully supports the latest IDNA specification. You can find it on the IDN SDK download page.

Are there separate EPP codes for IDNs and name servers?

The registration failure/error codes for IDNs and name servers are the same as those in the current EPP. Additional codes have been added to support errors specific to IDN conversion and encoding.

How will the Verisign Whois handle IDNs?

IDNs appear in Whois results in punycode. The domain name, registrar name, Whois server, referral URL, name server record and updated date are recorded using ASCII characters (the current standard). Because Whois will not accept native language queries, Verisign has created the IDN Conversion Tool, which converts an IDN character string into punycode. Keep in mind that domain names are unique registrations for each language. Therefore, a user must perform a Whois query for a domain name in each language (native character set).

IDN Language Tags FAQ

What is an IDN language tag?

ICANN Registry Implementation Committee (RIC) guidelines require that each Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) be associated with a specific language using a "language tag." The registrant selects the IDN language tag during the registration process. If an IDN combines more than one language, the registrant must select the most appropriate language.

Why are language tags required?

Language tags allow appropriate language rules to be applied to the domain name to prevent the registration of domain names that may confuse IDN users. Learn more about character variants.

How is a language tag used during registration?

The language tag is checked against a list of languages that have character inclusion tables or character-variant mapping tables. These tables are applied to the Unicode code points that make up a registration and determine whether the registration is valid for a specific language. If a registration fails for one language, the character set may still be available with a different language tag.

Can I use a default language tag in my registration process?

A default language tag may be used; however, registrants seeking domain names in a different language may be rejected because appropriate language rules have not been applied. For example, if a registrant submitted a registration using Cyrillic characters and the default tag set by the registrar was Chinese, the registration would be rejected because Cyrillic characters are not permitted under the Chinese character inclusion table.