U.S. Government Internet Domain Names
RFC 2146

Document Type RFC - Informational (May 1997; No errata)
Obsoletes RFC 1816
Author Federal Council
Last updated 2013-03-02
Stream Legacy stream
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Network Working Group                         Federal Networking Council
Request For Comments: 2146                                      May 1997
Category: Informational
Obsoletes: 1816

                 U.S. Government Internet Domain Names

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  This memo
   does not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of
   this memo is unlimited.


   This memo provides an update and clarification to RFC 1816.  This
   document describes the registration policies for the top-level domain
   ".GOV".  The purpose of the domain is to provide naming conventions
   that identify US Federal government agencies in order to facilitate
   access to their electronic resources.  This memo provides guidance
   for registrations by Federal Agencies that avoids name duplication
   and facilitates responsiveness to the public.  It restricts
   registrations to coincide with the approved structure of the US
   government and the advice of its Chief Information Officers.  Two
   documents are recognized as constituting documentation on the US
   government structure: FIPS 95-1 provides a standard recognized
   structure into which domain registrations for .GOV and FED.US can
   fit; and, the US Government Manual [3], a special publication of the
   Federal Register, provides official documentation of the government
   structure. The latter document may be subject to more timely updates
   than the former.  Either document is suitable for determining which
   entities qualify for second-level domain registration within .GOV and

   As a side effect, this RFC reduces the number of .GOV and FED.US
   level registrations and reduces the workload on the registration
   authority.  Previous versions of this document did not address the
   FED.US domain.  This document anticipates the migration of the .GOV
   domain into the FED.US domain, in keeping with common practice on the
   Internet today.

Federal Networking Council   Informational                      [Page 1]
RFC 2146         U.S. Government Internet Domain Names          May 1997


   The .GOV domain is delegated from the root authority to the US
   Federal Networking Council.  The .GOV domain is for registration of
   US governmental entities on the federal level only.  Registrations
   for state and local governmental agencies shall be made under the .US
   domain in accordance with the policies for that domain.  Further
   references in this document to .GOV should be understood to apply to
   FED.US as well.  The most succinct form of the policy is "one agency,
   one name".  The agency may choose its own name, but an easily
   recognized acronym is suggested.  The following paragraphs enumerate
   the types of agencies eligible for registration and the types that
   are not eligible:

         1) The document "Codes for the Identification of Federal and
      Federally Assisted Organizations", FIPS 95-1 (or its successor)
      lists the official names of US Government agencies.  Either that
      document or the US Government Manual can be used to determine that
      an entity is eligible for registration as a second level domain of

              A) Top-level entities (e.g., those in FIPS 95-1 with codes
         ending in 00 such a"1200 Department of Agriculture"), those in
         the US Government Manual listed as "Departments, Independent
         Establishments (not Corporations), and all the Boards,
         Commissions, and Committees"), and independent agencies and
         organizations (e.g., "National Science Foundation" and other
         non-indented listings unless prohibited below) as listed in
         this document are eligible for registration directly under

              B) Cross-agency collaborative organizations (e.g.,
         "Federal Networking Council", "Information Infrastructure Task
         Force") are eligible for registration under .GOV upon
         presentation of the chartering document and are the only non-
         FIPS-listed or non-US-Government-Manual-listed organizations
         eligible for registration under .GOV.

              C) Subsidiary, non-autonomous components of top-level or
         other entities are not eligible for separate registration.
         International organizations listed in this document are NOT
         eligible for registration under .GOV.  Subsidiary components
         should register as third-level domains under their parent
         organization.  Other Federal entities may apply to the FED.US

Federal Networking Council   Informational                      [Page 2]
RFC 2146         U.S. Government Internet Domain Names          May 1997

              D) Organizations listed as "Federally Aided Organizations"
         in FIPS 95-1 are not eligible for registration under .GOV and
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