Websites

Answers

Only U.S.-based government and public sector organizations are eligible to obtain a .gov domain. This includes any federal, state, local, or territorial government entity, or other publicly controlled entity. It also includes any tribal government recognized by the federal government or a state government. Eligibility is determined by the DotGov Program, which will be informed by the United States Census Bureau’s criteria for classifying governments.

.gov domains are free to all U.S. based government entities.

Email your authorization letter to registrar@dotgov.gov, or fax a copy to 540-301-0160.

The Domain Name System (DNS) is an internet service that translates your domain name (i.e. yourname.gov) into an IP address. This makes it possible for people to access your website by typing in the domain name instead of the website’s IP address.

This is often done through your domain registrar, like GoDaddy or NameCheap. Since DotGov is managing the top level domain, local governments need to host their own DNS. We recommend CloudFlare for this because they are best in class and have a generous free tier that many of our customers find more than sufficient.

Commercial purposes

A .gov domain must not be used for commercial purposes, such as advertising benefitting private individuals or entities.

Political campaigns

A .gov domain must not be used for political campaign purposes.

Illegal content

A .gov domain must not be used to distribute or promote material whose distribution violates applicable law.

Malicious cyber activity

.gov is a trusted and safe space. .gov domains must not distribute malware, host open redirects, or otherwise engage in malicious cyber activity.

Annually. As a domain contact, you’ll receive several reminder emails. If your domain names are not kept current, they will be removed from active status.

Support is available 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. eastern time on federal working days, and 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for emergencies.

The DotGov Program is managed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

Close window