Register your own name in .gent, .vlaanderen or .brussels now
After the special period for companies and trademark owners, it is now the turn of Belgian citizens to have priority for registering their own name as a domain in .vlaanderen or .brussels. How to go about it? And what about .gent?
It was of course a smart move by DNS to publish the announcement on the 13th of November 2014 that the newborn Elliott Meulemans from Lubbeek got the very first personal .vlaanderen domain name. But the announcement was actually misleading. This little guy could not possibly have registered his own .vlaanderen domain yet – not because he is not a wunderkind, but because registration is restricted to Belgian citizens who have an eID card. And little Elliott obviously does not have one!
This announcement is clearly meant to draw your attention to the fact that, after the periods reserved for trademark owners and companies, it is now the turn of the ordinary citizens who want it, to register their domain name with a .vlaanderen or .brussels extension. During this period (from 11/13/2014 to 12/15/2014), every Belgian who owns an eID card can indeed register a personal domain name that matches his/her name.
How to proceed?
To start with, you must have an eID card reader at your disposal, as well as your electronic identity card (eID card). Next, you need to visit the DNS website in order to check if the name you wish to register is still available. You can combine your first and last names and in several ways: first name + last name, last name + first name, initial + last name, last name + initial, or just your last name. This means that e.g. johnwilson, wilsonjohn, jwilson, wilsonj and wilson.vlaanderen or wilson.brussels are all possible.
As soon as you know which combination is still available and you have decided which domain(s) you want to register, you go to the special eID wizard at DNS.be. After you have logged in and verified your identity via your eID card, you will get a list of the possible combinations. Choose one or several of them, after which you will receive a reservation code. With this code, you can then contact an official registrar like Combell, who will help you finalize the actual registration.
- At DNS, you only make the reservation; the actual registration has to be completed through a registrar like Combell.
- The desired name has to match the name that appears on your identity card. Nicknames or second names (Johnny instead of John, for instance) are not accepted. If the identity card of Richie Black says his official name is Richard, he is just out of luck…
- Accented letters (like à, é, ê) are, however, possible. Roland Duchâtelet thus becomes rolandduchâtelet.vlaanderen.
- A space or an apostrophe is not allowed. So, for De Meyere, that means demeyere.vlaanderen, while D'Hooghe becomes dhooghe.vlaanderen.
- The code that you received when reserving with DNS.be is only valid for 7 days!
- People who do not have an eID card will have to wait until the Landrush period (December 15 to mid-January) or until what is referred to as the “General Availability” period, which is when everybody, including non-Belgian companies, organisations or persons will be able to register a .vlaanderen or .brussels domain name on a first come, first served basis.
And what about Gent?
The registration of domain names with the .gent domain extension has already progressed to a more advanced stage. After the period reserved for trademark owners (from 9/4 to 10/4) and for inhabitants, companies, public services and organisations of East Flanders (from 13/10 to 13/11), the free registration period starts on November 24. So, be quick and pre-register your .gent domain name now! As you may know, Combell is one of the initiators of the .gent domain, so you have definitely come to the right place for your registration!