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Registering domain names in the US is the exclusive prerogative of the US Commerce Department. .us domain names may also be registered directly with any accredited registrars. Validity of registration can range from twelve months to several years & may be prolonged ad infinitum.

The cost of registering a domain name in the US can vary & depend on how many domain names are purchased, which registrar is involved, how long a domain name will be used & what additional services will be provided.

Registrars can transfer registration of a .us domain name to other registrars or competent 3rd parties. Depending on a registrar, the transfer procedure can differ & require a registrant’s involvement. Transferring a .us domain name registration also requires initiating specific legal & administrative proceedings connected with particular domain names.

A license is required to transfer authority to manage domain names. Qualified licensees can licence a domain name in the US without any restrictions; however, problems are likely to arise if a licensee has failed to claim & register .us domain names.

ccTLD vs gTLD 

Basically, registering a .us domain name involves following the same steps as registering a gTLD; however, a domain name owner must apply for registration of a .us domain name in North America. Meeting this requirement requires them to:

  • have a US citizenship;
  • reside permanently or have real estate in America;
  • run a US-incorporated organization;
  • have a US presence.

Establishing if an organization has a US presence includes making sure that registrants regularly conduct legal activities & have an office in the US for conducting revenue-generating, non-revenue-generating, training, or administrative activities.

Any data connected with .us domain names is to be made available to the general public; there’s no privacy laws regulating domain names in the US.


No particular procedure exists for informing TM owners about registering TMs as .us domain names. Tracking availability of .us domain names requires TM owners to periodically do their own search or hire an organization responsible for monitoring such domains. Cancelation or transfer of a .us domain name might require ICANN’s approval.

US: Resolving Disputes Over a Domain Name

usDRP is the most sought after procedure for resolving disputes over domain names through arbitration in America. Contesting legal grounds for owning a .us domain name requires following a different procedure; however, its use is quite limited. Using any other  ADR method would be highly unusual, provided it’s not part of a TM dispute which isn't only limited to resolving issues with a .us domain name.

After an applicant provides sufficient evidence, domain name dispute settlement in America is initiated. In particular, applicants must prove that:

  • their domain name or TM they’re entitled to is identical to a .us domain name;
  • a registrant of a .us domain name can have no right or legitimate interest in the domain name;
  • there’s enough evidence to believe that a .us domain name has been used or registered for fraudulent purposes.

Need help with registering or purchasing US domain names? Consider reaching out to IQ Decision UK! Our experts are going to be happy to give you a hand with this & many other domain name-related matters.