By April 1, 2010, registrants of domain names ending in .RU must file proof of their identities with their registrars in order to maintain their existing domain names, and obtain new ones. The change comes as a result of the new Terms and Conditions of Domain Names Registration Under Domain .RU, which came into effect on October 1, 2009 and apply to both individual and corporate registrants.

The Rule

The Russian government authority responsible for administering .RU domains — the Coordination Center for TLD RU — now requires that registrars collect specific information and documentation from registrants before providing registration services. Specifically:

Where the registrant is a private individual, the registrar must obtain proof of his or her full name and address. According to RU-CENTER, the largest registrar in the Russian Federation, this requirement is satisfied by submitting a copy of the personal details and issuance data from the registrant’s passport.

Where the registrant is a corporation or other legally registered entity, the registrar must obtain a copy of its state registration, which must include the entity’s full name and address. For entities registered in the Russian Federation, this requirement is satisfied by submitting a copy of the registrant’s certificate of incorporation in the State Register of Legal Entities.

The Terms and Conditions specify that a registrar may cease to process an application for a new domain name if the applicant fails to provide proof of identity. Furthermore, the registrant of an existing domain name must satisfy a request for proof of identification within two months, or risk losing its registration. The Coordination Center has not yet announced the consequence for existing registrants of failing to file the necessary documentation on time. However, it is possible that they would face losing their domain rights.

How to Submit Your Information

The Terms and Conditions grant registrars the authority to develop their own procedures for the preparation, submission, and consideration of applications. RU-CENTER, for instance, will accept plain copies of a registrant’s documentation, but it reserves the right to demand notarized copies. RU-CENTRE also allows registrants to file their proofs of identity electronically.

Once a registrant has filed proof of its identity, it may renew its domain registration without having to resubmit its documentation.

When to Submit Your Information

While the new Terms and Conditions have already come into effect, RU-CENTER is granting its existing registrants until April 1, 2010 to submit their documentation. It is possible that some registrars will not formally request that existing registrants verify their identities until it comes time to renew their registrations. However, it is important to note that registrars have the authority to demand the necessary documentation at any time.