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Starting on January 1, 2014, there are some pretty big changes coming to the way domain names are purchased and managed courtesy the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

ICANN is the organization that oversees generic domain names (i.e. .com, .net, .info) and they are implementing a registrant verification system that all domain name registrars will have to support starting in 2014.

As part of this new process, registrants will be required to verify the email address that they use to register generic top-level domains if the combination of first name, last name, and email address on the domain registration has not been verified before.

You can read more about this policy change at ICANN's website using this link.

1. For new domain registrations

It will mean that shortly after you register a domain, you'll receive an email with a special link. You'll need to click that link in order to verify that the email address you provided is valid, and that it is in your control. That verification must happen within 15 days.

2. For domains that you already own

There are a couple of things that could cause you to have to verify (or re-verify) your email address:

  • If a reminder or renewal email sent to the email address you use in your domain registration bounces, you'll need to re-verify that email, or update it to one that works.
  • If you change either the first/last name or email address on one of your domain registrations, you'll have to verify the new information.

After verifying your contact information, our system will update your domain name from a "Pending WhoIs" status to a "Verified" status within 24 hours.

If you do not receive a verification email, and have not verified your contact information before, you should:

  • Check your email spam and junk folders.
  • Update your registrant contact info with an email address you have access to.
  • Make sure our email isn't on your blocked sender list.
3. Failure to verify

Failure to verify the email address associated with your domain within 15 days will result in that domain being suspended.

In other words, your website, email, or Google Apps will stop working until you verify the address (or provide a new one and verify it).

It's a bit complicated, but you won't always trigger the verification process when you register a new domain or make a change. It all depends on the specific circumstances around your domain registration.

For example, if you already own a domain that has a verified email address, and you register a new domain with the exact same first/last name and email address, that new domain is considered verified. Similarly, if you change contact information on a domain to information that exactly matches another verified domain, you won't need to verify the change.

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