CIRA Modernizes .CA Domain Registry: CIRA User IDs Begone!

CIRA Modernizes .CA Domain Registry: CIRA User IDs Begone!

If you own a .ca domain, then you are probably familiar with some of the peculiar quirks associated with registering said domain. Things like the purchase isn’t official until you activate a user ID with CIRA (Canadian Internet Registry Authority) or you update your contact information not with your registrar, but with CIRA itself. This was all because CIRA was operating on its own domain registry system and one that didn’t talk with registrars in the “usual” way. Ah but no more! Today CIRA officially flipped the switch on moving to the industry standard EPP system.

From the CIRA FAQ here is what switching to EPP does for Canadians registering domains:

  • Elimination of CIRA user IDs.
  • No longer need to confirm certain transactions with CIRA.
  • Auto-renewal of domain names.
  • CIRA no longer supports new 3rd and 4th level domain names (with the exception of 4th level municipal domain names, and CIRA will provide ‘grandfather’ support to existing 3rd and 4th domain names)

To the rest of the world, or if you’ve only ever bought a .com, .net, or .org domain, this is a “huh? (yawn)” moment. But for Canadians, we’ve been dealing with pretty arcane domain rules for years and finally, we can just buy domains and not have to manage an additional process. When I teach my “Building Websites with WordPress” class and students buy domains in class to use in the afternoon, I discouraged them from buying a .ca domain unless they really, really needed to just for the simple fact that it was a pain to register, then wait for CIRA confirmation, then be able to use the domain.

CIRA’s FAQ goes into a lot more detail on some of the changes and questions people may have but the big things for most people are:

  • No more CIRA user IDS
  • Auto-renew is now available

So if you have a critical .ca domain name and it isn’t on auto-renew with your registrar, now is the time to make the switch. For the rest of us we’ll really get to enjoy this the next time we register a .ca domain.

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