Norid AS

Abels gt. 5, Teknobyen

Phone +47 73 55 73 55

Norid is responsible for the domain name policy for the Norwegian top-level domain .no. When the domain name policy for .no needs to be changed or updated, it is done through a step-by-step process. Here, you will learn what is required to change the domain name policy and how the change process works.

Framework for the domain name policy for .no

The purpose of the domain name policy is to ensure that the allocation and administration of domain names under .no serve the best interests of the public and comply with the regulations and guidelines from Norwegian authorities.

Norid sets the criteria for the allocation of domain names under .no in accordance with the Electronic Communications Act (ekomloven) and the Domain name regulation (domeneforskriften). The allocation of domain names does not involve the exercise of public authority.

The fundamental principles in Section 3 of the Domain name regulation state that allocation rules must:

  • ensure cost-effectiveness and high technical quality
  • be non-discriminatory
  • ensure transparency and predictability
  • protect the interests of internet users, both individually and as a community
  • protect national interests
  • take consideration of international developments in the field of the Internet

These are overarching requirements, which means that we must weigh the various considerations against each other when designing and changing the allocation rules. For example, the consideration of ensuring high technical quality for .no as a whole weighs more heavily than the interests of individual subscribers who might prefer a less robust setup for their domain names.

In addition to establishing allocation rules, Norid must ensure that there is an extrajudicial complaints board for certain types of complaints related to domain names. We establish procedures for the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee (ADR Committee) in accordance with the principles in Section 7 of the Domain name regulation.

Allocation rules and complaint rules are part of the standard agreement that Norid has entered into with more than 300,000 domain subscribers who have one or more Norwegian domain names.

How Norid makes changes to the domain name policy for .no

One of Norid's tasks is to develop allocation rules and complaint rules that are tailored to the needs of the Norwegian society.

Some changes are irreversible. For example, it is much easier to liberalize a strict set of regulations than to tighten an already liberal set of regulations. Before making significant changes to the rules, we gather input from government and user representatives. The Norwegian Communications Authority (Nkom) supervises that the change process we use complies with the requirements of the Domain name regulation.

The process described below applies to the domain name policy for .no with attachments and not to other documents that are part of our daily work as a registry. We can deviate from the process in cases where an immediate change to the domain name policy is necessary to safeguard the stability and security of the top-level domain (force majeure).

The current change process for the domain name policy consists of six steps:

  1. identify a need for change
  2. analyze the need and develop proposed solutions
  3. gather input from the community
  4. adopt a potential change
  5. inform about the change
  6. implement the change

1. Identify a need for change

The first step is to identify whether there is a need to change the allocation rules or complaint rules. We do this primarily by looking at how the domain name policy work in practice and by seeking input from outside.

Is the domain name policy working in practice?

Norid uses the allocation rules in our daily operations and, therefore, has a good opportunity to see how they work in practice. We are often the first to discover that certain rules need to be changed because they prove to be difficult to implement, difficult to enforce, formulated in a way that leads to misunderstandings, not in compliance with other parts of the domain name policy, and so on. In addition, it may be necessary to adjust the allocation rules to open up new opportunities created by new technology.

We also receive input and experiences from the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee (ADR Committee), which uses the complaint rules in its handling of conflicts over the right to a domain name.

Is there a desire for change?

Interest organizations, government agencies, registrars, and individual actors who want changes to parts of the domain name policy can send us input by email to

We also conduct regular surveys to measure the extent to which the public agrees or disagrees with selected parts of the domain name policy.

If there seems to be a need for changes, the process proceeds

If we have discovered a need for change ourselves or have received enough signals from others to assume that there is a real need for change, we start the next step in the process.

There is one exception to this, and that is if the proposed change has already been addressed in a previous process. In that case, the situation must have changed significantly since the last time the issue was raised for us to start a new process. If not, the conclusion from the previous process remains in effect.

2. Analyze the need and develop proposed solutions

The next step is to examine the need for change and look at possible solutions.

Norid gathers input from relevant stakeholders, analyzes the issue, and develops one or more proposed solutions.

We carefully assess the consequences of each proposed solution. The proposals must be technically and practically feasible and must be evaluated against the overarching requirements that the Domain name regulation place on the allocation rules and complaint rules.

3. Gather input from the community

Before significant changes to the rules can occur, Norid gathers input from user representatives and government authorities.

The more significant the change is, or the more people it affects, the more extensive the process becomes to gather input. In some cases, we request input from one or more selected stakeholders. In other, more extensive cases, we send the proposed changes out for public consultation, where anyone interested can provide input.

If the proposed changes are irreversible, it is particularly important to confirm that the need for change is real, and that the community understands and accepts the consequences.

Exceptions - changes that are not significant or that Norid is ordered to make

If the proposed change is not significant enough to be considered substantial, this step is omitted, and the process proceeds to the next phase: adopting the change. Examples of non-substantial changes include linguistic adjustments and restructuring of text to make the content easier to understand, minor changes to the subscription fee for domain names, and similar changes.

Allocation rules or complaint rules may also need to be changed due to changes in external factors, such as changes in legal requirements or technical standards that must be met for the internet to function. In such cases, it is not relevant to gather input from the community, and the process proceeds to the next phase. An example is the adjustments we made to ensure that the domain name policy comply with the requirements of data protection legislation (GDPR) that came into effect in 2018.

4. Adopt a potential change

If we have gathered input from the community, the inputs are reviewed, analyzed, and assessed. Then we decide whether the domain name policy should be changed, what changes should be made if so, and how the revised domain name policy will be.

Since different groups in the community do not always agree on the best solution, we try to balance the interests of the various groups so that allocation rules and complaint rules take into account everyone as much as possible while still meeting the requirements of the Domain name regulation.

5. Inform about the change

As a general rule, we should always inform about planned changes to the allocation rules before they come into effect.

We notify Nkom and the registrars. In addition, information is posted on our website. The time it takes from when we inform about the change to when it comes into effect will vary depending on how extensive the change is. It can range from one week to a few months.

Exceptions - changes that must be implemented immediately

We may choose not to inform in advance about changes that must be implemented immediately, such as in a crisis situation or in cases where the planned change can be exploited before it comes into effect. In such cases, we inform about the change as it comes into effect.

6. Implement the change

When implementing changes to the domain name policy, we have two different transition processes that are relevant for different types of changes: first-come, first-served and lottery.

First-come, first-served

This method involves setting a date and time for the transition to the revised domain name policy. When the new domain name policy come into effect, we allocate domain names in accordance with the new rules following the principle of "first in time, best in right," provided that all the criteria for allocation are met. This means that domain name applications are processed in the order they are received by our registration service.

First-come, first-served is a good method when the domain name policy is changed in a more restrictive direction. A time is set for the introduction of the restrictions, and the new rule comes into effect from the specified time. We have also used the method for changes that open up for small groups of new applicants, such as when embassies were given the opportunity to register domain names.


This method involves setting a transition period during which it is possible to apply for domain names under the new domain name policy, but where we only check the applications for formal errors and then store them. At the end of the period, we close for applications. We remove duplicates (multiple applications for the same domain name from the same applicant) to ensure that there is no advantage in applying for the same domain name multiple times.

Then a lottery is conducted to determine the order for processing applications for the same domain name. We process applications in the order they are drawn, and domain names are allocated according to the new domain name policy.

After all applications from the transition period are processed, we open for regular receipt of applications under the new domain name policy. Applications received after that are processed in the order they are received.

This is a method we often use for changes that remove restrictions in the regulations. The lottery is a fair method for handling situations where many applicants want the same domain name. The method was used, for example, when we opened up for registration of domain names that only contain numbers and when we opened up for private individuals to register domain names.

The lottery method has several advantages:

  • The timing of submitting the application is not important as long as it happens during the transition period. This means that the organization or individual who wants the domain name is not dependent on how quickly the registrar submits the application. The applicant is not affected if temporary technical problems occur, such as failures in the registrar's systems.
  • A registrar can submit an application for the same domain name on behalf of more than one customer, instead of having to choose which of their customers to prioritize. This means that applicants can choose the registrar they normally use, if they want to.
  • The transition period allows us to check the applications for formal errors along the way and provide feedback to the registrar who submitted it if an application is rejected. This gives the registrar the opportunity to submit a corrected application before the end of the transition period, so that the applicant does not experience that minor errors in the application prevent them from getting the domain name they want.
  • The removal of duplicate applications means that an applicant will not be able to improve their chances by submitting multiple applications for the same name. Therefore, it will not be beneficial for an applicant to burden multiple registrars with the same application.
  • Norid's systems receive a more even load than with a transition based on the first-come, first-served principle. There is therefore less risk that the system will become overloaded.

Disputes about rights are handled afterward

Norid does not evaluate who has the most right to a domain name. Provided that all the criteria for allocation are met, we allocate domain subscriptions according to the principle of "first in time, best in right." In the case of a lottery, the order of processing applications determines who is "first in time," but the principle is otherwise the same.

Before registration, applicants must confirm that the registration of the domain name does not infringe on the rights of others. If a conflict arises between two parties about the right to a registered domain name, the dispute can be brought before the legal system, see Domain conflicts in the legal system, for more information about this. For domain names allocated by Norid, the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee (ADR Committee) also serves as a fast, inexpensive, and simple alternative in clear-cut conflict cases. You can read more about the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee (ADR Committee) here.

Do you have input on the domain policy for .no?

You can send input and suggestions for changes to the domain name policy to

Published: 20 October 2023
Updated: 26 October 2023