In the previous article in this series, we took an indepth look at all the contacts that make up a domain name registration. In this article we'll look at the peculiar case of the .ie domain.

An .ie domain name registration is protected by the IE Domain Registrar (the IEDR) in that your 'ownership' of the .ie domain name is assured. When you buy from one of their approved resellers, the iedr.ie rules are such that you must be declared Registrant ('owner') and that, you, or someone from your company, must be nominated as the Admin Contact for your .ie domain name. The reseller will be nominated Billing and Technical contact. And, of course, the reseller is the Account Holder.

How the IE Domain Name Registrar (the IEDR) differs from non-IE Registrars

  1. iedr.ie is the ONE and ONLY IE Domain Name Registrar for the .ie domain name
  2. The rules for getting a .ie are governed by the iedr.ie
  3. It is difficult, though not impossible, to register your domain name YOURSELF directly with iedr.ie

iedr.ie discourages anybody other than its Resellers to undertake domain name registrations as you can see from this sign on their website.

IEDR encourages you to buy from an official reseller

There are 2 major obstacles to buying direct from IEDR

  1. It's phenomenally more expensive to buy direct from iedr.ie
  2. There are no help files on the iedr.ie website to show you how to register directly

This is a highly unusual situation. Most top level domain registrars sell directly to consumers for less not more! My own opinion, right or wrong, is that it's an "irish solution to an irish problem" and it came about due to strong pressure on the iedr.ie from the Irish Resellers.

That puts you into the hands of an official .ie Reseller, which means -

  • Reseller is the Account Holder with username and password access to the domain name account
  • You are the Registrant('owner')
  • You, or anyone you nominate from your company, is the Admin Contact
  • Reseller is the Billing Contact
  • Reseller is the Technical Contact

This is the official iedr.ie position on how a licensed .IE Reseller will normally proceed to nominate the legal entities of your .ie domain name. And the iedr.ie will rectify any 'mistakes' should you find your position is different from this, just ring them. (Learn about using the WHOIS service to find out who all the contacts are for your domain.)

Advantages of registering domain with an official .ie reseller

  • You are both Registrant('owner') and Admin Contact
  • Possibility of significantly cheaper prices
  • Protection under Irish law
  • Reseller performs the .ie domain name registration (which is notoriously difficult)

Disadvantages of registering domain with an official .ie reseller

The disadvantage, as always, is if a dispute arises between you and your .ie reseller. You may be refusing to pay them any more money and they, in turn, may be refusing to cooperate with you.

These types of problems can be further exacerbated because you may be purchasing more than just a domain name from them. In many cases, you may also be using the .ie resellers company as a webhost too.

If you have not paid your bills (for whatever reason) then the .ie reseller company may be within their rights as Billing Contact of your domain to withhold your domain name fee to iedr.ie. This will only happen if your domain name falls due for renewal. You can get that date by checking your domain name information using the WHOIS service. If iedr.ie are not paid, your domain name account will go into a state of "suspension", after which it will be deleted. It's best in these circumstances to ring the IEDR (+353 1 2365400) and let them know that you are in a dispute with your official reseller. That might buy you some time.

If your dispute occurs before you owe them money, you can change your Billing Contact to another .IE Reseller, or to whomsoever you please, including yourself, if you want to.

.IE Resellers and the Registrar Lock

The iedr does apply a Registrar Lock, but it is not used in the same way as other (non IE) Registrars.

The Registrar lock will apply in a Reseller situation, but only for a short period of time. When you first sign-up with a Reseller, your domain name is put into LOCK status and will remain locked until the Reseller pays your fee to iedr.ie. If the Reseller doesn't pay the fee (perhaps because you haven't paid the Reseller?), then iedr.ie will eventually delete the domain name.

The Registrar lock will also apply when there is a change of Billing Contact. A change of Billing Contact requires a payment in advance of the full domain name fee. When payment is received by iedr.ie, the Registrar Lock will be removed.

While the Registrar Lock is ON -

  • You cannot request a change of Billing Contact
  • You cannot transfer your domain name to a new Reseller

The Registrar Lock does not affect your rights (except for the short time period that it comes into effect) to transfer to a new Reseller, or to change your Billing Contact.

Some Q&A

The short answer is yes, if you want it. If your current reseller doesn't provide you with a domain name account, then just contact iedr.ie and explain that you are the Admin Contact of your .ie domain name and that you want username and password access to your IEDR domain name account. They will email the details to whatever email address was provided at the time of registration concerning the Admin Contact details. (The username in iedr.ie is also called the NIC Handle.)

If you registered your .ie domain name through a licensed .ie reseller, then your reseller is the Billing Contact. You will notice that the Billing Contact information will be 'greyed out' in your IEDR domain name account (if you have access to it - so even with access, you cannot change this information by simply logging into your account!)

If your new Billing Contact is going to be another reseller, then just contact the 'new' reseller and ask them to transfer you out - they do this all the time.

If you want your new Billing Contact to be you, then the Admin Contact of your domain name (probably you) will need to fax a request up to iedr.ie on your official company paper. Once approved, you will get a direct login on the iedr.ie site where you can pay your bills and manage your nameservers yourself.

Either way you do it, if you change your Billing Contact, you will have to pay a years domain fees immediately, either at the reseller rate, or the IEDR rate whichever applies.

The short answer is no. Go through an official .ie reseller instead and benefit from the cheaper prices and the inherent protection you have under Irish law.

Absolutely, yes. If your business is aimed at Ireland, then you'll benefit from the .ie domain. Country TLDs (like .ie) are always preferred in local search results over generic TLDs (like .com, .net). So likewise, if you were targetting the UK, then you'd go for a .co.uk domain.

Tagged under: Domain Names Legals

Last updated: 23 May 2018