About ICANN’s New Domain Verification Rules

If you recently received an email asking you to verify your domain name, you may be wondering what it’s about (and if it’s legitimate). Please read on for some very important info.

ICANN Verification Process

Why are you getting this email?

Recently, ICANN (the international body governing domain names) instituted some very important new rules. These rules affect generic top-level domains (gTLDs), including .com, .net, .mobi, .org, .biz, .info, and .name.

This email (subject line: Important message from HostPapa regarding your domain) is sent when any one of the actions below occurs:

  • You register with HostPapa, for the first time, a new domain ending in a gTLD noted above.
  • You update your domain name account details (such as first name, last name, and/or email address of the admin, technical, billing or registrant’s contact information).
  • You transfer a domain and change the contact information for the domain.
  • When a WHOIS Data Reminder Policy email gets bounced due to an inactive email address.
  • When an Expired Registration Recovery Policy email gets bounced due to an inactive email address.

NOTE: ICANN has recently updated its transfer policy and instituted additional steps for authorization and confirmation. For more information about ICANN’s new transfer policy, see these Frequently Asked Questions.

The email contains a verification link. You must complete the verification process or your domain will get disabled. The verification window set by ICANN is short – 15 days – and we will send you multiple emails to do our best to reach you – but if you do not click on the link in this verification email yourself (sorry, we are unable to do it for you), your domain will be affected.

What happens when you click the verification link?

Clicking the verification link will open a webpage that displays the email address, first and last name that was used to register the domain. The validation email message also includes a link to the domain registration terms and conditions and a checkbox that you must click to indicate that you agree to those terms and conditions. The validation page looks something like this:


What happens if you don’t click the verification link in time?

If you don’t click the link within the 15 day timeframe that ICANN has mandated, your domain will be disabled. This means that your website will display an error page, or even a blank page.

What happens if your website appears to be disabled? How can you fix this?

If your domain has been disabled, clicking the verification link in the email and completing the verification process will fix this instantly.

What happens if you can’t find the verification email?

If you cannot find the verification email in your inbox and are certain you should have received one (ie. one of the actions listed above applies to you), we can resend the email to you through your HostPapa dashboard:

  1. Log in to your HostPapa dashboard: https://hostpapa.com/dashboard
  2. Click on My Domains.
  3. For any domain where you see the ! or X symbols in the ICANN Status column, click on that domain name to view its details.
  4. The ICANN Status appears in the lower right section. Click the Resend verification button. Note that the verification email is sent to the Registrant email address associated with the domain (ie. it may not be the same email address you have listed in your HostPapa dashboard billing section).
  5. Once you’ve received the email, click on the verification link and accept the terms and conditions to complete the process.

Still having difficulties? Please open a support ticket through your HostPapa Dashboard

What does it mean if you notice you’ve received a few of these emails?

We’re making several attempts to contact you, so if you happen to not check email for a few days, there may be a few messages waiting for you. Our apologies for that – we just want to make sure that you don’t miss the verification window and have your domain be disabled.

If you do not respond to the first verification email, 5 days later you’ll get a second email. If you’ve still not responded, you’ll get a third 5 days after that, then another 3 days after that, and another 2 days after that. On the 16th day after the first email is sent, if you’ve not completed the validation process, your domain will be disabled.

If you still have questions or need more information, please open a support ticket through your HostPapa Dashboard

If you require additional assistance, please create a new support ticket

This article is also available in: French Spanish German

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