What is registrant contact verification (contact validation) and how will it be used?
Due to ICANN requirements, Openprovider is obliged to verify the validity of each e-mail address that is used in the owner contact details of any gTLD registration. gTLDs include all extensions that are not country codes (ccTLDs): common generics like .com, .net and .travel, and all new gTLDs like .guru, .berlin and .app.
It is very important to complete e-mail validation, as refusing to do so leads to unavailability of your domain(s).
This article contains the following sections:
- Triggers: when do we trigger a contact verification process?
- The verification process itself
- Suspension of domain names
- E-mail white labeling: format e-mails in your own style
- Duplicate verifications: sometimes you need to verify twice...
There are a few triggers that will cause e-mail validation to start. Note that the following procedure only covers gTLDs and not the ccTLDs.
- A new domain is registered / transferred in, and the domain uses an unverified e-mail address for the domain owner (registrant, domain holder)
- An existing domain is updated to a new owner, which has an unverified e-mail address
- An existing contact object, used as owner contact for one or more gTLD registrations, is updated with an unverified e-mail address
- Invalidated e-mail addresses: if information reaches Openprovider that a previously verified e-mail address is no longer valid, for example a complaint or a bounce on an e-mail that Openprovider sent to that address.
Unless one of the above events happens, existing e-mail addresses - addresses that are in use already - will not be subject to verification.
If any of the above events occur, the verification process is started. That process contains the following steps:
- An initial e-mail is sent to the domain holder (This email can be customized. with resellers own company details or company style), In the email to click a link to confirm domains owners e-mail address.
- If after 7 days no confirmation is received, a second e-mail is sent to the domain holder, urging him to confirm his e-mail address.
- At the same moment, an e-mail is sent to the reseller of Openprovider to inform him about the fact that the e-mail address was not yet confirmed.
- If after another 7 days still no confirmation is received, the verification fails, any linked domains are suspended and the customer of Openprovider receives a notification about this.
As soon as an e-mail address is confirmed, it will be marked verified in our systems. As long as it is verified, no new verification is required. Theoretically a verification can last forever (until information reaches us that the e-mail address is no longer valid).
View verification status
The verification status of an e-mail address is easily visible in the Contact verification overview page in the Domain management menu in the Openprovider control panel. Re-starting verification or re-sending the verification e-mail can be done from this page by clicking on a green Re-send button in the E-mail address section if the page.
The verification status for a specific contact or domain is also visible in the domain details pages and the customer details pages.
Tip: You can even start a verification process before you register the first gTLD on this name! That way, registration is not interrupted by the verification process.
If verification fails (after 14 days of no response), Openprovider must, according to ICANN contracts, suspend any gTLD registration that uses that e-mail address in the owner contact. Suspending a domain means that Openprovider puts the status to clientHold, causing the domain to be unresolvable. Website nor e-mail nor other related services will be functional anymore.
Failing to confirm an e-mail address might thus lead to suspension of many more domains. There are two ways of rendering the domain(s) active again:
- Complete the verification process. The link in the e-mail is still valid. If the e-mail was not received and the e-mail address still is functional, the e-mail can be sent again from the domain details page.
- Or change the e-mail address to another one. If that e-mail address was already verified, all domain names will be unsuspended immediately. If that e-mail address was not verified, domains will be unsuspended as soon as the new verification process is completed.
Status of a suspended domain
A suspended domain will have the status clientHold in the whois. The registry will not include domains with this status in their zone file. In other words: the domain does not resolve, it is unavailable. But the domain is still registered! That means that you can update the domain, renew it, transfer it or even delete it. As long as the domain is registered, registration fees are applicable.
For general information about e-mail customization (also called "white labeling" or "personalization"), Openprovider's blog post is a must-read.
Resellers can customize the e-mails that Openprovider sends to the end user: Resellers can use their own data in the following data fields; this functionality is multi-language and works based on tags, allowing resellers to create different templates for different (groups of) customers.
- company name
- sender e-mail address
- e-mail subject
- confirmation link
- full body text
Those customization features can be found in the menu Account > Settings. Technical details about the use of their own confirmation link (verification page) can be found on our dedicated knowledge base page.
In some cases, an e-mail address must be verified multiple times. For example, if a reseller register a .com domain at another registrar and resellers .net domains at Openprovider, both registrars will be required to verify the e-mail address. It is important that both verifications are completed, otherwise the other registrar might suspend your .com domain or Openprovider might suspend your .net domain.
Even within Openprovider multiple verifications might be required, as there are a few gTLDs that Openprovider does not handle yet via its own registry account. If you have any doubts about the legitimacy of an email, contact our support department.