What can I do if I do not know (anymore) which provider is administering my .de domain?

The provider that administers your domain is your first contact for all issues related to your .de domain. But what if you no longer know or are not sure who is the provider that administers your domain?

You may proceed as follows:

  • Enter the domain name in the DENIC domain query. In the information that is displayed, a "General Request" contact point is stated under "Information for establishing contact".

  • With this e-mail address or with the online form made available you can establish contact to the party administering your domain. Please note that this contact point does not necessarily lead directly to your provider. You can, however, obtain information who the provider of your domain is.

Which name servers are authoritative for the .de zone?

DENIC is responsible for operating the name servers for the Top Level Domain .de.

The authoritative name servers for this zone can be found at


I have received an invoice from a company unknown to me requesting me to remit money for my domain. What should I do?

Before you pay anything, first of all take the time to check calmly what precisely it is that the payment is being demanded for. Make sure to always read the small print too.

Invoices for registering your .de domain and other services associated with it are sent to you only by the provider you yourself have commissioned to render these services. You will only receive an invoice from DENIC if you are a customer of our DENICdirect service.

Genuine written communication from DENIC is easy to recognize by

  • the unmistakable letterhead with the DENIC logo;
  • the explicit indication of the postal address of DENIC plus phone and fax number and e-mail as well as a contact at DENIC;
  • the explicit indication of the DENIC value added tax identification number (USt-IdNr.) and the bank details;
  • the explicit indication of the domain(s) concerned.

Our attention has been drawn to cases in which other companies have demanded payments from domain holders. These letters can be mistaken as invoices from DENIC. Thus, if another company unknown to you asks you for money for a domain service, you should check very carefully if the demand for payment is justified. If you have any doubt at all, you should contact the customer service department of your provider.

What can I do if false or imcomplete data are stored for my ENUM domain?

If you yourself are the holder of the ENUM domain concerned, you ought to contact your provider and tell them the correct data, so that it can be communicated to DENIC.

Why does DENIC not make available the zone files for .de?

The DENIC zone files contain – roughly spoken – a list of all .de-domains together with information on the name servers that belong to them. DENIC does not hand over these zone files (or parts of it) to any third parties. Such disclosure would run counter to the imperatives of data protection and would undermine the defence of domain holders against possible abuse. Germany's Federal Data Protection Act is rather far-reaching in this respect. Protected "person-related data" includes not only information that is related directly to a particular individual, but also any data that could be used to identify individuals. Since it would be easy to combine the zone file with DENIC's whois query to extract data and to link them to individuals, the data contained in the zone file is protected because it is person-related.

Generally, DENIC collects and processes data about domains and their holders solely for the purpose of domain administration, and that does not require the zone file to be published. Moreover, from the perspective of domain administration, there are no circumstances in which a third party could justifiably need such a file. On the contrary: there would be a big danger of the zone file being used for activities that might jeopardize the interests of domain holders. Spammers or hackers might use it easily as a data source, since there are all existing .de-domains listed in the zone file. Combined with the whois query, these domain data could be person-related. Once the zone file had been published or rendered publicly available, DENIC would have lost any means of monitoring or influencing its use or of establishing and preventing any breaches of others' rights. Even the copyright that DENIC holds for the zone file, prohibiting unauthorized copies and further dissemination, would not provide any real protection.

In this respect, DENIC can be reasonably compared with a bank. No bank publishes a complete list of all the account numbers it has issued; in the same way, DENIC does not make the zone files available either.

What is the meaning of RRI?

RRI is the abbreviation of Realtime Registry Interface and is an realtime interface with which DENIC-members can send requests in realtime to the registration system.

What are the organizational steps involved in a provider change?

A provider change runs in two phases: First you request your current provider to obtain an AuthInfo. Then the new provider can use this AuthInfo to move the domain.

At least four parties are involved in a provider change. These are the DENIC member who has been administering the domain to date, the DENIC member who is to take over administration in future, the domain holder and DENIC. If either the current provider and/or the future provider is not a member of DENIC, they will also both be involved in the process.

You, the domain holder, start the provider change process by telling your current provider that you want another provider to administer your domain in the future. In the next step, the current provider sends an AuthInfo to DENIC. If this provider is not a DENIC member, they first of all send the application to create an AuthInfo to the DENIC member with whom they cooperate. This member then forwards the application to DENIC. Before submitting any such application, the current provider must make sure that the change was really initiated by the domain holder and not by a third party.

You, as the domain holder, send the AuthInfo to your new provider, who will use it for the provider change request. Then the provider change is implemented and the data in DENIC's database are updated accordingly.

For additional information please refer to our special website.

How often are the .de name servers updated?

To become globally accessible, a newly registered domain must be included in the .de zone. Normally, this is done the next time the name servers are updated after the registration has been completed. The same applies to updates of name server records for domains that are already in the zone.

Normally, the update is implemented on a consistent basis, and afterwards the zone will include all changes that have been confirmed by DENIC prior to the update.

Can it happen that my domain is not accessible for a certain period of time in connection with a Provider Change?

Yes. That can happen. What matters here is how much time you want to allow for the transfer. For all provider changes, we recommend you to allow a certain period of time during which your domain will be accessible through both providers. That will permit you to set up your new Internet presence without needing to rush. You can ask your old provider to establish a link that will simply pass on any incoming message to your new homepage, then to complete the formal Provider Change and, finally, to close down your old homepage.

The more thoroughly you plan it, the less likely there are to be problems. DENIC's recommendation is to plan for a transitional period of 1 week.

I would like to change providers. What do I have to do and what do I have to bear in mind?

The initial request for the registration of a .de domain can only be submitted to DENIC through a company that is a member of the DENIC Cooperative or through our DENICdirect service. The same applies to any administrative measure affecting existing domains: it is still the same DENIC member or DENICdirect that is in charge. The DENIC member (or DENICdirect) in charge of administration is entered in the domain data at DENIC and is the sole organisation that has the right to submit orders from the domain holder to us to edit the domain data (such as a change of address or a deletion). If your provider is not on the list of DENIC members, they will cooperate with a DENIC member or with DENICdirect.

If you want to change providers, you should inform your current provider about your intention and request creation of an AuthInfo. The current provider will check if the request is issued by an appropriately authorised party (the domain holder or legal representative). The future provider will then submit a provider transfer request together with the AuthInfo to DENIC or, if they are not a DENIC member to the DENIC member with whom they cooperate. This request is then processed by DENIC and the domain is assigned to the new provider.

Sometimes delays occur at this point. They may be due to one of the reasons listed below:

  • You have informed your current provider about the intended transfer, but that provider has not yet recorded an AuthInfo.
  • You have forgotten to inform your current provider.
  • Your provider needs some clarification and cannot get in touch with you.

In all such cases, check whether an AuthInfo has been stored for the domain and whether you have received it. Your provider will certainly help you to solve any problems.

Please be aware of the following: In the past, there have been repeated cases when domain holders tried to change providers by terminating their contract with the first provider, authorising him to delete the domain, and then getting a second provider to register it again, on their behalf. Please note that a domain, following its deletion, can only be retrieved within a 30-day time limit - the so-called Redemption Grace Period (RGP) - by its former holder. Otherwise, as soon as the 30-day Redemption Grace Period ends, the subject domain will be released and will then be available again for registration by any interested party.

If you have any questions about the cost of a provider transfer, please contact your provider. Each provider defines potentially applicable fees themselves.

What is a Provider Change?

The term "Provider Change" is used when administration of a domain is transferred from one provider to another. Since the order to register a .de can only be submitted to DENIC through a member of DENIC or through our DENICdirect service, the provider change (CHPROV) transaction at DENIC refers to the transfer of responsibility for administering the domain from a member or DENICdirect to another member or DENICdirect. The DENIC member in charge or DENICdirect is entered by DENIC in the domain data. This DENIC member handles all communications with DENIC about the domain on behalf of the domain holder. Only this member is authorized to submit any customer orders to DENIC that might lead to modifications in the domain data.

Could you tell me whom I should normally contact if I've got questions about my domain or if there is any other matter concerning me?

The answer to this question depends on whether your domain is being administered by a DENIC member or by DENICdirect.

In the first case (your domain is being administered by a DENIC member), it is only your provider who is in a position to deal with questions and any other matters concerning your domain. If, despite that, you contact DENIC directly, there is nothing we can do except pass your message on to the DENIC member in charge, so there is no way that you can save time. If it happens that you can no longer contact your provider or if you make no progress with your provider, DENIC is able to give you provisional assistance until you find a new provider.

In the second case (your domain is being administered by DENICdirect), you can contact DENIC directly with any matter that may concern you. As a DENICdirect customer, you should realize that you can help shorten the processing time considerably and reduce the need for clarifying details afterwards by using the special standard forms that DENIC provides for many different types of transaction.

My website is no longer displayed when I call my domain in my browser. What has happened?

There are several different possible explanations for this. The first thing you should do is contact your provider or DENICdirect if you are a customer there.

If it has become impossible to contact your provider, if your provider is unable to help you or if a DENIC information page is displayed instead of your website, you should contact our Hotline for assistance.

What do I do if I want to arrange to have my domain deleted?

If you want to delete your domain you should contact the provider currently in charge of administering it. Make sure that you are as precise as possible, so that your provider really knows what you want and that there is no risk of misunderstanding what your intention is. Vague instructions like "I don't want my domain any more" or "please switch off my domain" do not indicate that you want to delete your domain for ever and that you want DENIC to remove it from its system. It might be that you just want to terminate the service contract with your provider. Many providers supply of a special form for requests for the definitive deletion of domains.

If your domain is being administered by our DENICdirect service, all you need to do is to complete and sign an original of the Deletion Form for DENICdirect Customers and send it to us.

Your domain is not immediately released and available for re-registration by a third party, following deletion. Instead, during the 30-day Redemption Grace Period (RGP), all deleted domains may solely be re-registered on behalf of their last domain holder (RESTORE). but instead initially enter a subsequent 30-day cooling-off phase, the so-called Redemption Grace Period (RGP) during which they can only be re-registered on behalf of the last domain holder or in the name of a third party defined by the domain holder.

RGP cooling-off provisions shall allow former registrants to redeem registration of the subject domain names, by having recourse to the related re-registration service, through a registrar. Only if no redemption is requested, during the 30-day RGP phase, the relevant domain names shall become available for registration by any interested party again.

I have received an invoice from DENIC. Why?

You receive an invoice from DENIC if you are a customer of our service DENICdirect, this is to say

  1. You requested our DENICdirect service to register a domain or to carry out a provider transfer, or

  2. Your .de domain is already administered by DENICdirect, or

  3. Your Domain went through the TRANSIT procedure and you complied with the demand for payment.

Why does DENIC insist on particular forms for our communication?

DENIC provides forms for many transactions. That makes the job easier for both you and us. All you have to do is print out the forms and complete them. This way DENIC can be sure it will receive the declarations needed. Clarifications become unnecessary and delays are avoided.

The reason why DENIC asks you to send in the provided forms signed by you or your legal representative is to prevent misunderstandings at some later date.

Is my provider entitled to levy additional charges from me for changing my domain data?

The short answer is perhaps. It will depend on what you have agreed in the contract with your provider. Naturally, DENIC cannot comment on such matters or check provider contracts. If anything is unclear, please contact your provider directly.

What can I do if false or incomplete data are stored for a .de-domain?

If you yourself are the holder of the domain concerned and if it is administered by a provider, you ought to contact your provider immediately and tell him/her the correct data, so that it can be communicated to DENIC. If you are the domain holder and if your domain is being managed by DENICdirect, you should send your corrections to DENIC without delay, making sure you use the form provided for the purpose.

If DENIC has provided you with information on the holder of a specific third-party domain, upon individual request (read more on the Eligibility Criteria for Domain Holder Data Disclosure to Third Parties), and if subsequently you find the disclosed data to be incorrect, you can send your relevant observations to DENIC, provided you also submit evidence of the inaccuracy of the data, or provided it is obvious that the data is wrong. For this purpose, dual evidence must be supplied including, first of all, evidence of the failure to deliver to the domain holder a document at their postal address stored in DENIC’s registration data. Suitable means of verification might either consist of an envelope sent to the domain holder and returned by the postal service bearing an "unknown at this address" or "moved to an unknown address " postmark, or of a notice, issued by a court, that a formal notification of documents could not be delivered to such address. In no way will it be adequate evidence to show that the domain holder simply refuses to accept letters or does not collect (registered) letters from a post office, since in such circumstances, the domain holder might actually exist at the address registered. A returned envelope bearing postmarks saying "delivery refused " or "not collected" will thus not be accepted by DENIC as an adequate evidence of a false address. Secondly, an official notice provided by an appropriate register (i.e. the residents' registration office, in the case of a natural person, or the companies' or trade register, in the case of a legal person) needs to be submitted, stating that no person or company of the relevant name is residing at the given address.

If, after receiving information on the holder of a specific third-party domain from DENIC (read more on the Eligibility Criteria for Domain Holder Data Disclosure to Third Parties), you find that the respective holder’s registered e-mail address does not work, DENIC will follow up a related notification from your end in case you will provide us with appropriate evidence (such as a screenshot of a notice of non-delivery).

What do I do if I find that my provider has been changed without my consent?

If your domain has been transferred for administration to another provider without your consent and without you even being informed, you should first of all contact your provider, who will try and sort the matter out for you. It is also advisable to seek the viewpoint of the new provider, since there may simply have been a genuine mistake, given that there is not always a malicious intent underlying such incidents. If you find that you are getting nowhere with these contacts, you can then get in touch with DENIC, who will need a description of all the steps you have already tried.

What can I do if I find that 'my' domain is not registered for me but for someone else?

If you have been assuming that a particular domain was registered for you and that someone else has been registered as the domain holder from the very beginning, the first thing you should do it to check if you have entered into some sort of agreement (possibly with your provider, your advertising agency or even someone else) whereby another person was to be named as domain holder and not you. If that is not the case, you'll have to resolve the matter directly with the other party registered as being the domain holder.

It might well be worthwhile applying to DENIC to have a DISPUTE entry placed on the domain, making it impossible for it to be transferred to anyone else. DENIC cannot do anything for you in this situation, since the person registered has become the domain holder in fact, even if something different was perhaps agreed with you or at least if that had never been your intention.

What can I do if I find that a new domain holder has been registered instead of me without my consent?

The first thing you should do is to make sure that there isn't a sound reason for the change in the domain holder. It might be that you have concluded an agreement of transfer or that either you or DENIC has terminated the Domain Contract (perhaps because a court judgement against which there is no appeal has gone against you). If that is not the case, you should next contact your provider and request an explanation and/or a reversal of the change. Sometimes such mistakes happen without any form of malicious intent, and they can be corrected immediately with little fuss and outlay. If your provider is unable to help you, you can then turn to DENIC to investigate the matter. You should send DENIC all the documents that might be helpful in clarifying the situation.

What happens to a domain when its holder dies?

Fundamentally, holding a domain is inheritable, so the heir of the late domain holder replaces the deceased person. Such an heir will need to show evidence of the inheritance to their provider and will then be entered in DENIC's database as the new domain holder. The heir, of course, also has the right to delete the domain or to transfer it to someone else.

What happens to the domain if its registered holder is a legal entity that suffers insolvency or is dissolved?

The insolvency of a domain holder has no impact on who holds the domain. It may, however, be that the right to dispose of it is transferred to a liquidator.

When a legal entity is dissolved, all its remaining assets are realized, and that includes any domains it may hold. That means that it is the liquidator who decides on what is to happen to these domains. DENIC cannot simply delete them.

Why is my e-mail rejected by DENIC?

Please understand that we do not accept e-mails in the following cases for security reasons:

  • The address of the e-mail recipient is invalid. Please check the recipient's address on typing errors. You find valid e-mail addresses of DENIC eG on our contact page.
  • The e-mail exceeds the size limit. Please check if your e-mail contains large file attachments and/or if the file attachments can be compressed or split into several e-mails.
  • The e-mail is identified as spam. Please check the content of your e-mail and notify your system administrator.
  • The e-mail contains a virus. Please check the content of your e-mail and notify your system administrator.

If the DENIC mail server rejects an e-mail for any of the aforementioned reasons, it will communicate this to the mail server of the sender. Whether you as the sender receive a delivery error notification to your inbox depends on the configuration of your mail server. If you are not sure about this, please contact your system administrator.

I am a name server operator. What do I have to do to protect my domains by means of a DNSSEC signature?

First of all, you need DNSSEC-capable name server software to be installed on your primary and all your secondary name servers. An additional tool for carrying out the signing of your domains would be helpful. You will find practical information about DNSSEC operation in the RFC 4641. When you have completed the preparatory work, you need a provider who supports DNSSEC in order to have your key material stored in DENIC's registration database.

However, there are service companies and software that will do this detail work for you. We have compiled some examples for you at the fourth DNSSEC Testbed Meeting.