ICANN’s WHOIS Accuracy Program

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As part of the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement, ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) has enacted the WHOIS Accuracy Program Specification.  This specification requires domain owners to verify WHOIS contact information for their registered domains as valid for any generic top-level domains (gTLDs).

If your domain name is included in your services with IQComputing, our team works to maintain your domain name and to address these concerns so that you don’t have to. However, it’s a good practice to be aware of it.

ICANN requires that validation by email of WHOIS data is completed within 15 days once data is found to be inaccurate and the validation process begins, however registrars are setting their own policies which have been found to range from 72 hours up to 15 days.

During the validation process the registrant must respond to a validation request email (simply updating WHOIS data at this point is insufficient).  The email must be responded to within the time limit set by the Registrar and will contain some form of validation link. Failure to respond to the email within the Registrar’s set time frame of 15 days or less will result in the domain being suspended (clientHold and/or clientTransferProhibited status).  A suspended domain will prevent the domain from resolving in addition to causing site content and email services to be unreachable.

Validation by email of WHOIS data is required at three separate times:

  • Time of purchase or transfer of a domain
  • When the first or last name of the domain contact is changed
  • Whenever a data reminder or expiration notice email is bounced upon sending to the email address on record

If you are the registrant of a domain name and are responsible for maintaining WHOIS information you should take time each year to verify that your WHOIS data is correct.  Be vigilant and take action on any messages from your domain registrar that are directed to your WHOIS registrant/admin/tech email accounts.

  • Ensure that your WHOIS contact information includes the correct phone number
  • The phone number should be formatted to the ITU-T E.164 notation for international telephone numbers (example +1.2345678901)
  • Ensure registrant/admin/tech email addresses are correct and formatted according to RFC 5322
  • Ensure all zip codes/postal fields are consistent (city matches postal code, city exists in state)
  • Ensure postal addresses are properly formatted for the country or territory per UPU Postal addressing templates


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