Here you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions received by our support team concerning registration, administration and our dispute resolution services.
The costs of registering or renewing a .fr, .re, .tf, .pm, .wf or .yt domain name are freely set by each Registrar, depending on the associated services (hosting, etc.)
We recommend you compare the prices and services offered by the accredited Registrars.
The retail price of the rights to a .fr or .re domain name marketed by a Registrar includes a registration fee paid to Afnic. For example, at 1 July 2022, the amount invoiced by Afnic to the Registrar for a .fr domain name is €4.56.
In France, Article L.45-4 of the Post and Electronic Communications Act provides that domain names are assigned by Afnic through the intermediary of accredited Registrars. Afnic cannot therefore receive requests for registration or renewal of domain names directly; or any requests for operations of a technical and/or administrative nature.
Subject to meeting the eligibility requirements for individuals or organisations, there is no limit to the number of domain names that you can register, including at the same time. Caution: filing a domain name involves the payment of an annual fee to maintain your rights to that name. The amount of this fee is set by your Registrar and depends on the services it offers.
Yes, a private individual resident in one of the Member States of the European Union or in Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Norway or Iceland can register a domain name under any of the TLDs managed by Afnic. The name chosen may correspond, for example, to your family name, your first name or a nickname. It may also reflect something you’re passionate about, a personal project or a favourite place.
To register a domain name under one of the TLDs offered by Afnic, it is sufficient to be located (registered office or main place of business) in one of the Member States of the European Union or Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Norway or Iceland.
The name chosen may be your organisation’s name or that of a project, a brand or an event.
No, because not all Registrars necessarily offer IDN registration. We recommend you contact them to check whether they offer this kind of registration if it is not specified on their website.
Registration is open to natural persons resident in a Member State of the European Union or in Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Norway or Iceland, without necessarily having to be of legal age.
It is therefore possible for a minor to register a domain name under any of the TLDs managed by Afnic providing this registration relates to everyday acts of modest importance.
However, parents’ attention is drawn to their responsibility in the event of acts committed or damage caused by minors.
French laws and the Naming Charter require you to follow a few simple rules when choosing a domain name. Before registering it through your Registrar, make sure the name chosen:
– does not include terms that might impinge on public order or morality or rights guaranteed by the French Constitution or French law,
– does not include terms that might infringe intellectual property rights or personality rights, unless you can show that you have a legitimate interest and are acting in good faith,
– is not identical or similar to that of the French Republic, a regional or local authority or group of regional or local authorities or a national or local public institution or service, unless you can show that you have a legitimate interest and are acting in good faith,
– has not already been registered with Afnic (before filing, use the availability check),
– conforms to the rules of syntax specified in the charter,
– does not appear on the list of terms subject to prior review.
Yes, subject to meeting all the conditions for registering a domain name. To do so, you must complete the registration procedure through your Registrar. This will have the effect of publishing the domain name in the Whois directory and thus protecting it during the entire registration period by indicating that you are its sole holder. A second procedure, activation, also conducted via your Registrar, remains necessary in order to use this domain name on the internet (for a website or as the basis of an email address).
A minimum and a maximum number of characters must be adhered to: 1 character minimum for .fr domain names and 3 characters minimum for overseas domain names (.re, .tf, .pm, .wf and .yt.). For both .fr and overseas domain names, the maximum length is 63 characters.
ASCII domain names consist only of alphanumeric characters, i.e. the letters of the alphabet, the digits 0 to 9 and the dash “-”. (for example: ecole-123.fr).
Since 3 May 2012, it has also been possible to register ‘international’ or ‘internationalised’ domain names with diacritic characters (IDN) (accents, cedillas, etc.) under all the TLDs managed by Afnic.
Here are the alphanumeric characters accepted:
a, à, á, â, ã, ä, å, æ, b, c, ç, d, e, è, é, ê, ë, f, g, h, i, ì, í, î, ï, j, k, l, m, n, ñ, o, ò, ó, ô, õ, ö, œ, p, q, r, s, t, u, ù, ú, û, ü, v, w, x, y, ý, ÿ, z, ß, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, -(minus sign).
The following ASCII and IDN domain names cannot be registered: those longer than 63 characters; those starting or ending with a dash “-”; those having a hyphen “-” in the third or fourth position except for versions encrypted in ASCII with the label prefix “xn--”.
To find out more, consult the Naming Charter.
Homonymous domain names can co-exist in different TLDs. There are currently more than 1,500 top-level domains. Cases of identical domain names in different TLDs are therefore frequent.
Before registering a .fr domain name, however, make sure that this does not infringe the rights of a third party (company, brand, private individual) eligible to register a domain name in France.
In France, Article L.45-4 of the Post and Electronic Communications Act provides that the assignment of domain names under the top-level domains corresponding to the French country codes: .fr (France), .re (Réunion), .pm (Saint Pierre and Miquelon), .tf (French Southern and Antarctic Lands), .wf (Wallis and Futuna) and .yt (Mayotte) is carried out by Afnic through the intermediary of the accredited Registrars.
Afnic is not therefore able to receive requests for registration and renewal of the domain names referred to directly; or any requests for operations of a technical and/or administrative nature; or requests concerning other top-level domains and notably generic TLDs such as .com, .org, .net, .info, etc. It is for your Registrar to approach the organisations authorised to carry out the registration of these domain names.
Afnic also partners with businesses and local authorities that have chosen to have their own TLD. For more information on registration under these TLDs, we encourage you to contact a Registrar or consult the respective websites of these TLDs:
– .paris : www.bienvenue.paris
– .alsace : www.mondomaine.alsace
– .museum : www.welcome.museum
– .bzh : www.pik.bzh
– .corsica : www.puntu.corsica
The rule that applies is ‘first come first served’. In the majority of cases, we advise you to wait for the chosen name to become available once more or, failing that, to register another name close to that which you had initially chosen (adding a distinctive geographical or personal indication, for example).
If, however, you believe that the registered domain name infringes your rights, you may resort to one or other of the procedures existing for disputes.
Afnic does not keep a waiting list. It is up to you to note the renewal anniversary date of the domain name that you’re interested in and to check whether or not it is renewed on this date. If not, you can then try to register it in turn. You should note, however, that a 30-day Redemption Grace Period is granted to the holder before the domain name becomes available once more.
IDNs exist in two forms, the Unicode version and the version encrypted in ASCII (starting with “xn--”) known as ACE.
It is more than likely that even if your Registrar does not accept an IDN in Unicode form, there will be no problem using the same IDN in encrypted form.
Afnic provides an IDN conversion tool on its website that provides a ‘simple’ response to this problem.
However, if your Registrar does not offer IDN registration at all, you can transfer your domain name to another Registrar that does offer this service and request the IDN version as soon as the transfer is completed.
The holder is the natural or legal person on whose initiative one or more domain names are registered and maintained. The holder holds the rights and responsibilities associated with the domain name(s) registered.
The holder of a domain name must imperatively designate an administrative contact at the time of applying for registration and maintain an administrative contact throughout the life of the domain name.
The administrative contact may be the holder or, at the holder’s option, a third party (natural or legal person), including the holder’s Registrar. Where the administrative contact is not the holder, the administrative contact has no rights to the domain name. The same eligibility rules as for the holder apply to the administrative contact (namely resident in a Member State of the European Union or in Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Norway or Iceland, and be contactable).
To find out more, you can consult the Practical Guide for Domaine Name Holders (PDF).
Yes, this protection of personal data is possible for private individual holders (natural persons). It is up to the Registrar in charge of your domain name to apply, by default and without charge, restricted publication of your personal data. The personal data (name, address, telephone, etc.) that you provided upon registration are recorded but are replaced by the mention “Restricted publication, non-public data” on the form corresponding to your domain name in the Whois directory. These contact details are accessible upon express request with reasons, to Afnic’s Legal Department and on certain conditions. Please note that this restricted publication of personal data does not apply to business contact details provided by the representative of a legal entity (holder, administrative contact or technical contact) or to individuals who have voluntarily chosen to have their data published (choice made when registering their domain name with their Registrar).
Registration is the administrative procedure for registering a domain name with the registry, via a Registrar. It includes publication of information about the declared domain name in the Whois directory.
Activation is a technical procedure that lists the name servers to allow publication in the DNS, the Domain Name System. Generally, when requesting the creation of a domain name, the Registrar will request registration and activation together.
Registration of domain names under the TLDs managed by Afnic is available 24/7, subject to validity, thanks to an automated service made available to Registrars by Afnic. It only takes a few minutes to register, protect and publish a domain name in the Whois directory. If immediate activation is requested, this is effected on average within one hour of the registration’s approval.
The name and contact details of your Registrar are published in the Whois directory. Enter your domain name and choose the TLD to display them.
To activate your domain name that has already been registered, contact your Registrar. Its contact details are published in the Whois directory. On receipt of your request, your Registrar will send Afnic a request for technical update.
No, there is no time limit for activating a registered domain name. Make sure, however, that the domain name in question is not approaching the end of its period of validity.
You do not have to declare anything to Afnic. However, if your website uses personal data such as the names or contact details of your visitors, you should consult the website of the CNIL (French Data Protection Authority) to find out which rules apply depending on your status and the use you make of these data. To complete your information, also consult the website of the APP.
No, it is not mandatory in any case. There is nothing to stop you keeping the same Registrar if you change ISP. However, don’t forget to inform the Registrar and, if necessary, request a technical update so that the redirect to your new servers is carried out correctly. As for the change of ISP, this has no effect on your domain name.
To change Registrar, you must first contact the Registrar you are about to leave to inform it of your intentions and obtain the “Auth_info” code which will allow you to initiate the transfer of the domain name to the new Registrar. Without this code, the new Registrar will not be able to request the transfer of your domain name with Afnic. Next, you must select a new accredited Registrar and ask it to carry out the transfer with Afnic.
Obtaining your “Auth_info” code is free of charge.
The transfer will be charged for. Its cost varies depending on your Registrar’s commercial policy.
The “Auth_info” is a password associated with your domain name. This code is created when the domain name is registered by the Registrar, who must give it to you free of charge or give you a way to obtain it. The “Auth_info” replaced the former “holder’s password” procedure on 30 March 2009. It is used to secure operations and to confirm a change of Registrar or a change of holder (‘update domain’ operation).
Technical and administrative update operations (change of IP address, updating of information concerning the holder or administrative and technical contacts) as well as requests for deletion are carried out free of charge by Afnic.
However, the registration, renewal, transfer, restoration and forced transfer of a domain name are invoiced by Afnic to the Registrar who makes the request on your behalf. These operations may or may not alter the expiry date of the domain name.
It is up to you to check your Registrar’s tariff policy.
Your domain name has been deactivated by Afnic as a result of a problem. Deactivation entails the deletion of the corresponding DNS registration which enabled the link to your Internet resources. A blocked domain name is still published in the Whois directory and still belongs to its holder, but any operation, even back-end, is prohibited during the period of blockage. To find out the reasons for the blocking and how to get it unblocked, contact your Registrar as soon as possible.
Afnic is not authorised to freeze, block, delete or transfer a domain name on its own initiative, nor even on simple request.
The conditions under which these actions are permitted are laid down in the legal framework.
To find out about the implementation of each of these actions, please refer to the Naming Charter.
To request the deletion of your domain name, apply to your Registrar. From Afnic’s point of view, this operation is free of charge and can be carried out at any time. However, we advise you to make sure beforehand that the service contract concluded with your Registrar allows you to do so. To find out more, consult our explanatory page.
You are free to transfer your domain name (free of charge or for a fee) to any natural or legal person that meets the conditions required to register a domain name. It is up to the person to whom you assign or resell the domain name to choose a Registrar who will handle the operation to change the holder (‘update domain’ operation).
Caution: if the domain name is included in the list of terms subject to prior review, the assignee’s Registrar will have to justify its customer’s request to Afnic in order to obtain an authorisation code.
No, the redemption period applies only to deletion requests made by the Registrar at the request of the holder. In the context of judicial proceedings or as a result of a fruitless request for justification of compliance (verification of contactability and eligibility), deletion is immediate.
Contact your Registrar, since it alone has the necessary technical information to solve this problem. It is also possible that the failure may be linked to a temporary malfunction of its domain name servers. If you have chosen to manage your domain name servers yourself, we advise you to contact a specialised IT service provider.
Contact your Registrar after making sure that other email addresses, such as those assigned by your Internet Service Provider (ISP), are working properly. It may be that the failure is linked to a temporary malfunction of its domain name servers. If you have chosen to manage your domain name servers yourself, we advise you to contact a specialised IT service provider.
Contact your Registrar, which alone is authorised to send Afnic a request for the relevant technical update.
In general, Afnic cannot interfere in a dispute between a holder and an accredited Registrar.
According to the provisions of the Naming Charter, Afnic has no role as an intermediary between the Registrar and the holder and cannot be held responsible for the competence of the Registrars.
Thus, you will have to decide what measures you consider appropriate, but it is unnecessary to involve Afnic in the dispute.
On the other hand, certain provisions of the registration contract between Afnic and the Registrar may provide for intervention by Afnic if the Registrar fails to meet certain of its obligations towards you (e.g. provision of the “Auth_info” code).
The certificate of ‘ownership’ is given to the domain name holder only at the time the request is made or during the period in which the holder held the domain name.
Simply send an email to email@example.com indicating the identification data entered when creating the domain name, namely:
– surname, first name, address and date of birth if the holder is a natural person (a document attesting to the identity of the holder is required);
– company name, SIREN number or trademark number if the holder is a legal person.
Upon receipt of these items, Afnic will send the requested certificate by email, or by post if explicitly requested.
Report it to Afnic without delay, since it is a breach of the Naming Charter (the obligation to update is indicated in the Naming Charter). On the basis of this notification, Afnic will assess the data; in particular, it will make sure of the eligibility of the holder and the accuracy of the administrative information provided.
You can use the verification form to make this notification, which must be accompanied by the documents required to substantiate the request.
This operation, which lasts a maximum of 2 months from the start of the assessment, may result in the deletion of the domain name. Please note that the sender of the notification does not have priority to re-register the domain name after it has been deleted.
No, that is not necessary. All you have to do is send us a copy of this order by email or post. The provisions will be carried out as soon as possible.
Attention: for all other types of orders, service by court bailiff is OBLIGATORY.
You can make a request for disclosure of personal data if you consider that knowledge of the identity of the holder is important for the constitution of your file.
However, the request for the opening of an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedure can be initiated without knowing the identity of the holder.
Afnic will transmit the information to the holder referenced in its database.
There are several possible reasons for termination of a contract between a Registrar and Afnic (collective proceedings or cessation of activity in the field concerned in particular). It is the responsibility of the Registrar to notify its holder customers of this. Failing this, Afnic will notify the holder and, where applicable, the administrative contact, of the need to change Registrar.
Domain names administered by the Registrar in question are considered ‘orphan domain names’ and holders must choose a new Registrar.
The Naming Charter sets out the conditions and procedure to follow.