Apply for a domain name

 

Before you begin

Use this guide if you want to apply for a vic.gov.au domain name and your organisation is a Victorian:

  • government department or agency
  • local government entity
  • library
  • hospital or health service
  • statutory authority
  • a defined government body

What is a vic.gov.au domain name?

A domain name is a unique web or email address. A Victorian Government digital presence is identified by  ‘.vic.gov.au’ after the domain name.

What does the Victorian Government recommend?

User test the domain name before you submit it for approval.

Why apply for and manage a vic.gov.au domain name?

A vic.gov.au domain name helps citizens identify a digital presence, for example, a website or email address, as belonging to the Victorian Government. It directs citizens to Victorian Government digital resources and reassures them they're reading legitimate government information.

What standards must be met?

IP address management

The WoVG Standard – Information Security – IP Address Management for publicly routable IPv4 addresses within the Whole of Victorian Government (WoVG).

 

Getting it approved

Digital Management Committee (DMC) approval

All new domain names must be approved by your department or agency’s Digital Management Committee (DMC) (or its local equivalent) before implementation and use. To do this, download a Domain Name Approval form from your intranet and submit a signed copy to your local DMC (or its equivalent.)

Once the DMC approve it, send to the vic.gov.au Product Lead, dna@vic.gov.au (Department of Premier and Cabinet, Product and Editorial.)

Step 1: Choose a domain name

Consider an existing domain name

Before applying for a new domain name, consider whether your needs can be met by using an existing digital presence, such as a website.

Consider a sub-domain

A sub-domain name is created by replacing the www with a word that describes the content.

For example, 'regions' is a sub-domain of engage.vic.gov.au: regions.engage.vic.gov.au.

Sub-domains don't need to be registered. However, your department or agency’s DMC (or its equivalent) needs to approve a sub-domain.

Use vic.gov.au unless there's a good reason not to

A vic.gov.au domain name is important to help citizens identify Victorian Government websites and content. If you want to use a domain name other than vic.gov.au you'll need to present the Department of Premier and Cabinet with a business case for doing so.

Check the name is available

On the Government Domain Names website, use the 'Apply for a new gov.au domain name' tool to check if the name is available.

Test your prospective name

User-test your domain name before submission. This includes checking Google Trends for keywords.

Don’t depend on the ‘www’

Make sure the website can be reached without the user typing in ‘www’ before the web address. Users now drop ‘www’ from website addresses and agencies should accommodate this. Have the domain name resolve to the ‘non-www’ version, with ‘www’ redirecting to it.

Tip: You’ll also need to store the digital presence on a server, referred to as ‘hosting’. Once you’ve finalised where to host your digital presence, you’ll have the ‘nameserver’ details.

Once you have the details, remember to update your domain name account details with this information.

 

Step 2: Manage your domain name

Assign an admin contact

Select an individual to take responsibility for the ongoing management of the domain name. They will take charge of registering the domain name, deal with all correspondence, and authorise changes. The Domain name guidelines provide a full outline of the role of the admin contact.

Provide accurate and up-to-date account details

All domain names must have accurate account details (that is, contact information) because the invoice and reminder emails are sent to the email address listed for the account. While you do need to use a personal name when you fill out the application, try to use a generic or positional email address, so emails are not lost if you or the owner moves on. (Note that the account holder is referred as the ‘registrant’.)

Renew your domain name

Domain names need to be renewed every two years. If a domain name isn’t renewed there’s a grace period of 180 days. (However, you can't update the details in the grace period.)

Step 3: Transfer domain names

You can transfer a domain name to another account holder (‘registrant’) if, for example, you need to move a domain name from one department or agency to another.

Step 4: Retire your unused domain names

Domain names should be retired when:

  • your website is being decommissioned or archived
  • a redirect is no longer being used
  • an email address is no longer being used
  • an internal application is no longer being used

The Domain name guidelines explain how to retire a domain name. The Domain Name Provider approves all deletion requests.

Related How-to guides

How to design and develop a digital presence

How to create a content strategy and manage content online

Join the conversation on digital

Get advice and share your insights about this topic with other digital practitioners on the WoVG Digital Group on Yammer (VPS access only).

Can’t access Yammer? Contact us by email: contact@dpc.vic.gov.au. (We may post your comment on Yammer for general discussion. Please tell us if that’s not OK.)