Domain Name Request System FAQ

1. Q: How do I renew my domain each year?

A: During the renewal period, one month before June 1, the Domain Name Request System will send you a reminder email with a direct link to your domain’s info/renewal page.  Fill out any missing items noted on this page with a red asterisk or check box, and the Renew Domain button at the bottom will become enabled.

If the email does not work for you for any reason, here is a viable workaround to complete the renewal:

  1. Navigate to https://domainnamerequest.cdt.ca.gov
  2. Click Manage my existing domains and requests
  3. Click on the domain that is expiring
  4. Complete any required fields marked with an asterisk or check box
  5. Click Renew Domain

2. Q: What is the CIO or CIO Equivalent Approval Document?

A: The CIO Approval Document can be in any format as long as it contains:

  • Name (of CIO or CIO equivalent)
  • Title (usually CIO, but can be Director or other executive position – for organizations that don’t have a CIO so another position performs the duties of a CIO)
  • Domain name
  • Statement of approval/concurrence (“I approve of the domain xxxxxx.ca.gov”)

As an example, the most common submission is a copy or screenshot of a one-sentence email from the CIO saying “I am the CIO of xxxxxx and I approve of the domain name xxxxxx.ca.gov” with their name and contact info in the signature block.

The CIO Approval document is a one-time requirement.  You don’t have to upload it again if you already have one on-file.

3. Q: I administer multiple domains. Do they each need a unique CIO or CIO Equivalent Approval Document? 

A: Although you have to upload a CIO or CIO Equivalent Approval Document for each domain, you could upload the same document for each of them as long as the document specifically contains all the domain names (and other required fields, see Q&A # 2 above)

4. Q: I checked and updated contacts less than a year ago. Why is it asking me to renew already?   

A. The annual re-certification deadline for all “ca.gov” internet domains is June 1. If your domain is newly created within six months before June 1, you get until June 1 of the next year to re-certify. If your domain was created within six months after June 1, you still have to re-certify during the next upcoming June 1.

5. Q: I worked here for years and never had to do this before. Why do I have to do the renewal?  

A: This is a new process.  The system and the policy that mandates it (SAM 5195 and SIMM 40A) launched in May 2017, with the first renewal in mid-2018.  It is important to know who to contact when something comes up.  Previously, contacts on file could have retired for many years, or the domain itself is no longer in use and is confusing the public.  The annual renewal process ensures this information stays relatively current, and any discrepancies discovered during annual renewal can be addressed quickly.  This is also mandated by the federal government which ultimately owns everything under .gov.

6. Q: Is there anything I need to do if I already have a CA.gov domain registered with the Department of Technology (before the Domain Name Request System launch?

A: Yes please log in to the domainnamerequest.cdt.ca.gov website and verify that correct contacts are listed for your domain and that all fields are filled out. If not, please add/edit/delete information accordingly. If you are an official contact for a domain but do not yet have access to edit that domain, in this system, go to the home screen of domainnamerequest.cdt.ca.gov and select “Join an existing domain.” Once your claim is confirmed by the California Department of Technology, you will have access to edit information.

7. Q: How do I request a new domain?

A: Please see SIMM 40A (PDF) Section 4 for detailed instructions for new requests.

8. Q: What if my existing domain is not compliant with the Internet Domain Name Taxonomy nomenclature standards?

A: Existing domains will be grandfathered-in. As with all existing domains, renewal is required each year to validate the existing domain is in use, the contacts are current, and certify compliance with federal policies and guidelines. Here are rules for some unique situations that you may encounter:

  • If you have a non-compliant domain, and want to request a compliant domain:
    • You will be granted the new, compliant domain, but you are to phase out the existing non-compliant domain within one year from the date that your new domain is approved.
  • If you already have both a non-compliant domain and a compliant domain:
    • You may keep both, but you are encouraged to phase out the non-compliant domain within one year.
  • If you already have one or more non-compliant domains:
    • You may keep them, but you are encouraged to phase out non-compliant domains within one year, and instead use subdirectories (i.e. dmv.ca.gov/xxxx) or subdomains (i.e. xxxx.dmv.ca.gov) going forward, as defined in SIMM 40A.

9. Q: Why doesn’t the Domain Name Request system recognize my 4th level domain (xxxx.dmv.ca.gov)?

A: The Domain Name Request system tracks only 3rd level domains (xxxx.ca.gov), which require approval by the California Department of Technology (CDT) and must follow nomenclature standards found in SIMM 40A. Once your 3rd level is approved, or grandfathered-in, you can add 4th level domains at will, without further naming approvals as long as your 3rd level domain owner concurs. Since CDT approvals are not needed for your 4th level domain, any requests for technical work for 4th level domains should be directed to CDT’s ServiceNow System, or CDT Customer Engagement if you do not have a ServiceNow account.

  • 1st level domain: .gov – owned by the feds
  • 2nd level domain: ca.gov, az.gov, ny.gov – delegated by the feds to the state governor
  • 3rd level domain: dmv.ca.gov, edd.ca.gov, xxxx.ca.gov – the governor allows each independent state entity to use one, as long as state and federal rules are followed, with policy authority delegated to the Government Operations Agency (GovOps). GovOps assigned CDT to handle registrations and processing. See State Administrative Manual (SAM) 5195.
  • 4th level domain: NewProgram.dmv.ca.gov, xxxx.dhcs.ca.gov – check with your department

10. Q: I already work with CDT on technical requests for my domain via ServiceNow. Why is this system separate from CDT’s ServiceNow ticketing system?

A: ServiceNow handles technical work requests while not all matters of domain ownership require technical help.  The Domain Name Request System tracks domain ownership even if the owner does not currently need technical help.  The Domain Name Request System is available for current non-customers of CDT (new departments, newly-formed independent commissions) to check if the ca.gov domain name they want is available and to get immediate, real-time answers before deciding if they want to pursue a domain.  The Domain Name Request System also enables domain administrators to log in at any time to check and update contacts instantly.  For your convenience, starting in 2020, the Domain Name Request System will have buttons linking to ServiceNow, in case you need to request technical work.

11. Q: I got my domain approved via the Domain Name Request system, now how do I request CDT technical services, e.g., associating my domain to an IP address, alias redirects, email account setups, etc., or report an incident related to my Domain Name(s)?

A: Starting in 2020, the Domain Name Request System will have buttons linking to ServiceNow.  Until then, if you have a CDT ServiceNow login ID, you can submit a ServiceNow “DNS Services” request or a “Report an Incident” request, as applicable.  If you do not have a ServiceNow login ID, please contact CDT Customer Engagement for assistance.

12. Q: What if my CA.gov domain is not currently hosted by CDT?

A: Although all agencies/state entities are encouraged to have domains hosted by CDT, it is acceptable to have domains hosted elsewhere as long as they are in compliance with state and federal policies and guidelines. However, no matter where it is hosted, all 3rd level “ca.gov” domains must be renewed annually via Domain Request per SIMM 40A instructions.

13. Q: Is there a cost for CDT to host Agencies/state entities domain records?

A: No. The California Domain Name Service is offered at no cost to all Agencies/state Entities that have an approved domain name.

If you have additional questions, contact us.