9. Use Only Approved Domains

Currently, the primary way users quickly determine if they are on an official U.S. Government website is to look for the .gov or .mil designation as part of the domain name.23 The .gov and .mil domains are widely viewed as zones of increased trust, where the public can confidently access government information and services in a secure environment knowing that the site is legitimate and authoritative. Requiring Federal websites to be part of the .gov or .mil domain instills greater confidence in Federal Agency public websites and digital services.

The requirements laid out in this section serve as the minimum criteria for continued operation on official government domains. Non-compliance with these criteria may jeopardize the integrity and reputation of the agency and the ability to perform its mission.

A. Requests by Executive Branch agencies for new Federal .gov domain names must be approved by the General Services Administration’s Office of Government-wide Policy (OGP). OGP will exercise its discretion and authority in considering approvals for new .gov domains and renewals for existing .gov domains, including denying requests for agencies that cannot demonstrate reasonable compliance with the policies identified in this Memorandum.

B. Each agency must use only an approved .gov or .mil domain for its official public-facing websites.

C. The requirement to use only approved government domains does not apply in circumstances where the agency is a user or a customer of a third-party website or service that resides on a non-governmental domain.

D. Within 60 days of this Memorandum’s publication agencies must update their list of non-governmental URLs that they operate at http://search.digitalgov.gov/developer/govt-urls.html, and maintain the list up-to-date thereafter.

E. Agencies must migrate all official public facing websites not currently residing on a .gov or .mil domain (excluding agency third-party services), to a .gov or .mil domain within 180 days after the publication of this Memorandum, unless the agency head explicitly determines a non-governmental domain is necessary for the proper performance of an agency function. Agency head determinations for this exception must be sent to: registrar@dotgov.gov.

All requests for new domains and renewals must be submitted by the Federal Agency CIO or equivalent using the process found on http://www.dotgov.gov.


Footnotes

23: This includes Fed.us sites which have already been grandfathered in. There will be no new registrations to Fed.us as it is transitioning to .gov.