About .ca domains

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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 Canadian Presence Requirements can apply 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 customer support.


  • 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 ELITE WEB Co.: 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 nocontactsfound@secureserver.net 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 ELITE WEB Co.: Supported
  • Transfer Lock: Supported
  • Transfers to another ELITE WEB Co. account: Supported
  • 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.
  • Contact updates: Supported
    • All contact updates can be submitted through your account, including the Canadian Legal Type.
      1. Go to the Domain Settings page.
      2. Under Additional Settings at the bottom of the page, click Edit next to .ca CIRA Agreement.
      3. Select the new Legal Type from the dropdown.
      4. Check the box to agree to the terms and click Save.

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 coolexample.ca and want to set up custom nameservers ns1.coolexample.ca and ns2.coolexample.ca, contact customer support 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

  • Want to register a .ca domain? Search for your domain today.
  • Check out our most common domain articles to get started with your .ca domain.