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Due to high volume, the review process for new domain requests may take 8 weeks or more. We’ll prioritize requests from election organizations and federal agencies. Sign in to check the status of your request.

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.Gov for executive branch federal agencies

Submitting domain requests

Federal executive branch agency requests for new .gov domains will be reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as required by M-23-10, The Registration and Use of .gov Domains in the Federal Government.

When submitting a request, you must describe:

  • What the domain will be used for
  • Who the intended audience is for the domain, including primary users
  • Why the specific domain name is needed and how it follows the naming requirements

All domain requests must have the approval of the agency’s Chief Information Officer, or the head of the agency.

Review of requests

OMB will review domain requests from federal executive branch agencies. Agencies can establish .gov domain names for any legitimate purpose, and are encouraged to register domains as needed to most effectively meet their mission. However, .gov domain names are a shared resource across all U.S.-based government organizations and agencies have a responsibility to carefully consider how potential domain names might impact the public and how they interact with government information and services.

OMB reviews all domain requests from the federal executive branch to:

  • Ensure agencies are following relevant policies and domain name requirements.
  • Help avert or resolve potential domain-naming conflicts between agencies.
  • Reduce confusion arising from overuse of similar domain names.
  • Reduce issues of misalignment between a domain name and its intended use.

In areas of domain name conflict, OMB will seek resolution with the agencies involved. OMB may deny a domain name request or a domain name renewal, or may request that an agency transfer ownership of an existing domain to another agency to remediate potential conflict or confusion. Agencies that do not follow the requirements and prohibitions below may have the relevant domain name transferred, terminated, or not renewed.

Naming requirements for executive branch federal agencies

A good domain name is memorable, no longer than necessary, and describes your organization or service in an unambiguous way.

Brand or product identity

A domain name helps establish brand identity. Be careful when establishing domain names as not everything an agency does warrants a separate brand or product identity.

Agencies should use domain names to delineate:

  • Organizations (e.g., the agency name or bureau name)
  • Products (e.g., an online tool)
  • Services
  • Programs
  • Initiatives

You are encouraged to establish a new domain name when there is a clear need to provide online information, tools, and services to a user population based on public or business needs. Related information, content, tools, and services should be collocated on one domain so that your users do not have to navigate multiple websites to complete tasks.

You are discouraged from establishing separate domain names for smaller or minor organizational divisions, products, or services. For smaller units, you are encouraged to use subdomains or URL paths on existing domains.


  • An agency wants to create a new initiative using rather than using a path within their existing URL ( The agency believes that it is easier to remember, and a shorter name works better for marketing materials (e.g., posters, pencils, t-shirts, commercials, etc.) to redirect to the existing site. Agency submits request to the .gov registry.

  • OMB reviews and denies the request for because the agency has not demonstrated that the public would benefit from additional branding or a new standalone domain name. Agency launches the new initiative at

Generic terms

Agencies may request generic domain names. Generic names should be used sparingly for:

  • Broad government-wide efforts
  • Multi-agency collaborations

Generic names may not be approved when an agency lacks significant or singular authority over a thematic topic. While a generic domain name is easier for people to remember than an unfamiliar brand, the intended use of the domain should match the potential public expectation for that domain name.


  • An agency wants to promote their available job openings through a new domain, The agency requests the domain name from the .gov registry.

  • OMB reviews and denies the request for because the domain would be used for job postings only for a particular agency, not for a broad government-wide or multi-agency initiative.

  • The agency should instead host their website as either a subdomain (e.g., or as a path (e.g.,

Unique and unambiguous

Agencies should avoid domain names that could be ambiguous or likely to mislead or confuse the general public, even if the domain is only intended for a specific audience or purpose.

If a domain name can be used to describe many different things in different contexts, agencies should request a domain name that is more specific.


  • An agency is getting ready to launch a new appeals board and submits the request for to the .gov registry.

  • OMB reviews and denies the request for because it will not be clear to the public which specific appeals board will be represented by that domain.

Length and characters

A good domain name is no longer than necessary. Agencies should strive to keep their domain name under 15 characters. Longer domain names are harder to remember, and more prone to errors when typed.

Domain names should:

  • Generally be at least three characters
  • Generally not longer than 30 characters
  • Include only letters, numbers, or a hyphen (other characters, including spaces are not permitted)
  • Not begin or end with a hyphen

Example: and

  • An agency submits a request for and to the .gov registry.

  • OMB reviews and denies the domain name request for because of the length (57 characters).

  • OMB approves the domain name request for, which is shorter in length and a more memorable domain name that describes the product or service which the domain will serve.


Agencies should avoid requesting unnecessary domain name variants unless there is a compelling need. Each domain name variation request will need a compelling justification, specific to that request.

Variations of domain names could include:

  • Alternative name
  • Different spellings, typos, or misspellings
  • Foreign language equivalents
  • Acronyms

You may not defensively register variations of a .gov domain name. While this practice may be common when registering domains open to the general public, the .gov domain space is not first come, first serve and agencies do not need to protect against unauthorized use of their brands. Additional domain names for the same use case may not be approved.

Example:,, and

  • An agency submits their request for,, and for a new initiative to the .gov registry.

  • OMB reviews and approves the request for, based on the agency’s justification for the use of the generic term.

  • OMB also approves the domain name because the agency’s justification is that the program is primarily targeted for Spanish-speaking Americans.

  • OMB denies because the agency’s justification was related to a hypothetical concern about typographical errors, and an additional domain with a redirect was not warranted.

Required and prohibited activities

Prohibitions on non-governmental use

Agencies may not use a .gov domain name:

  • On behalf of a non-federal executive branch entity
  • For a non-governmental purpose

Compliance with the 21st Century IDEA is required

As required by the DOTGOV Act, agencies must ensure that any website or digital service that uses a .gov domain name is in compliance with the 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act.

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