Domains Help

About .ca Domains

Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) is the sponsor and our backend provider for the country-code domain (ccTLD) .ca extension that represents Canada.

Who can register .ca domains?

Only individuals and entities that meet the requirements in the Canadian Presence Requirements can apply to CIRA to register .ca domain names.

Registration restrictions

When registering a .ca domain, you must follow specific requirements.

  • Must use: 3-63 characters
  • Can use: Letters (a-z characters), numbers (0-9) and hyphens (except in the 1st or last characters of the domain name)
  • Cannot use: Special characters (e.g., & and #)
  • IDNs: Supported - é, ë, ê, è, â, à, æ, ô, œ, ù, û, ü, ç, î, ï and ÿ
    • If you own an existing .ca, you have your IDN variant reserved, but they must be independently registered. The registrant and registrar must match the existing domain. To register the matching .ca IDN that has been reserved for you, you’ll need to contact a GoDaddy Guide.


  • Registration length: 1-10 years
  • Renewal length: 1-10 years
    • CIRA automatically renews .ca domains on their expiration date.
    • If you don’t pay for the renewal within 30 days of the expiration date, you can attempt to recover your .ca domain. There may be a fee.
  • Backorders: Not supported
  • Transfers to GoDaddy: Supported
    • Exceptions:
      • CIRA restricts domains from transfer during the first 65 days of registration.
      • When a domain transfer takes place, it must be initiated for every variant (IDN) of the .ca domain. If not, the transfer will fail.
      • Transfers normally take five to seven days from the time you authorize them. However, a .ca transfer goes through immediately after you enter the authorization code and click Finish.
      • When viewing the status of a transfer, your administrative contact's email address displays as because we cannot access your WHOIS contact information.

      Note: If your domain expired, you have 30 days from the expiration date to transfer it to us.

  • Transfers away from GoDaddy: Supported
  • Transfers to another GoDaddy account: Supported
    • When you move a .ca domain to another account you cannot change the registrant's first name, last name, organization or legal type. Choose the "do not change" option for the contact information.
  • Basic privacy protection: Not supported
  • Protection plan upgrades: Supported
    • CIRA automatically applies its privacy protection to new .ca domains. It limits the personal information that displays in the Whois database for the following legal types:
      • Canadian citizens
      • Permanent residents
      • Legal representatives
      • Aboriginal persons
    • For more information about what CIRA keeps private, see CIRA's requirements and CIRA's Privacy Policy.
  • Cashparking: Not supported
  • Contact updates: Supported
    • Update the Canadian Legal Type for your domains anytime through your account.
      1. Sign in to your GoDaddy Domain Portfolio. (Need help logging in? Find your username or password.)
      2. Select the checkboxes next to the domains you'll be updating. Or, select the checkbox next to Domain Name and then choose Select All.
        screenshot of multiple domains selected
      3. Select .CA CIRA Agreement from the action menu.
        • Depending on your screen size, you may need to select the More menu and scroll down to see .CA CIRA Agreement.
      4. Change your preferred language and select a new Legal Type from the available options.
      5. Select the checkbox to agree to the terms and select Save.

      You'll see a Success confirmation letting you know the settings have been updated.

Nameserver requirements

  • Must use: 2-6 Nameservers, unique IP address
  • Can use: Only one IPv4 per host, only one IPv6 per host
  • Cannot use: DNSSEC, Vanity nameservers

You must register .ca-based nameservers with CIRA prior to adding them to your domain. For example, if you have and want to set up custom nameservers and, contact our GoDaddy Guides to get them registered.

Once your .ca nameservers are registered, add them to your .ca domain, then assign the nameservers to your domain.


For details on refunds, see our refund policy. Most domains will follow the Standard Refund Terms, but certain domains may have exceptions or may not be refundable at all. Review the information under Products with Special Refund Terms > Domain Name Registrations/Renewals and Products Not Eligible for Refunds.

Tax information

All .ca registrants must pay the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Other taxes may include Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), which is GST, and the Provincial Sales Tax (PST).

More info

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