Can Anyone Buy a .gov Domain and Email? – A Detailed Guide

Initially, it was a bit easier as the only requirement for registering such domains and emails was a government organization's letterhead. However, times have changed, and it has become tricky to register a .gov domain or get an email.

As a website design service provider for the local government, we often come across the question, can anyone buy a .gov domain or email? 

Initially, it was a bit easier as the only requirement for registering such domains and emails was a government organization's letterhead. However, times have changed, and it has become tricky to register a .gov domain or get an email.

Lucky for you, Town Web is here to simplify the process. But, before we get into how we can help you, let’s break the whole process of registering a .gov domain and getting its email. Here’s what we’ll cover:

What are .gov Domain and Email Requirements?

To clearly understand the .gov domain and email requirement, we’ll be breaking them down into three distinct sections. 

Eligibility – Can Anyone Buy a .gov Domain? 

Only the U.S. government and public sector organizations can get a .gov domain and email. This bracket of organizations involves federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, and other publicly controlled entities. The detailed explanation of who comes under the government or public sector is explained by the United States Census Bureau.

Naming Requirements

As many of you would know that domain names need to be globally unique. The same is the case with .gov domains. However, in addition to being unique, the government agency domains must have identical or, at least, similar names to the organization or service. Other requirements are as under:

Required and Prohibited Activities

There are certain requirements and prohibitions concerning government agency domains and emails. They are:

Requirements

Maintain current and accurate administrative and technical contact information with the .gov’s official organization. 

Prohibited Activities

How to Get a .gov Domain and Email

Here’s how you can get a .gov agency domain and email:

Step 0: Select a Domain Name

The first step to registering a .gov domain is to decide on a domain name that reflects your organization or service. You’ll need to comply with general name requirements and specific rules

Don’t forget to check the availability of the domain name! 

Step 1: Choose DNS Host

You’ll need to either operate authoritative DNS servers on your own or secure the services of a DNS hosting service as the DNS hosting isn’t provided by the .gov. 

You can do this after requesting the domain, however, you’ll require it for activating the site. 

Step 2: Prepare and Submit the Authorization Letter

You’ll require an authorization letter from your authorizing authority to apply for a .gov domain. You’ll need a specific template based on your organization’s type. 

The process isn’t just limited to getting and completing the letter, the authorizing authority will have to submit the letter themselves, in PDF format, to registrar@dotgov.gov

Step 3: Complete and Submit an Online Form

After sending the authorization letter, you’ll have to submit an online domain request form at the .gov registrar.

Step 4: Wait for the Result

After the whole process’s completion, you’ll have to wait for the following number of days based on the type of organization:

Step 5: Registering a Name Server if You Haven’t Done It Earlier

Your .gov domain won’t activate without registering a name server to the .gov registrar. Therefore, if you haven’t done it before, then this will be your final and the most critical step. After all, what’s the point of having a .gov if you can’t activate, and hence, use it?

How to Get a .gov Email?

Similar to the general commercial websites, the .gov agency domains come with .gov emails, which you can provide to the various employees of the organization to conduct their business. However, ensure they don’t use it for illegal content, political promotion, or commercial purposes. 

Simplify .gov Domain Registration With Town Web

By now, you would have gathered that getting official government agency domains is no easy feat. Lucky for you, Town Web is here to secure national domain services for you with its over 15 years of experience. 

We started in 2007 by assisting clerks in posting relevant content, such as meetings and minutes, on the web. We expanded our business by providing website design and development services (including assistance in national domain services) to hundreds of municipalities and small communities.

Town Web offers affordable, ADA compliant, and easy-to-use custom websites with fixed pricing and unlimited support.

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If you’re looking to get an official .gov domain and email address for your organization without going through the long process or falling for scams, then get in touch with us for further information. You can call, email, or fill out our online form to receive personalized services. 

What could be better than getting your .gov domain and email registered and your whole website designed and developed with the necessary SEO protocols all at once?