From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

.gov TLD logo.svg
IntroducedJanuary 1, 1985; 36 years ago (1985-01-01)
TLD typeSponsored top-level domain
RegistryGeneral Services Administration
SponsorGeneral Services Administration
Intended useGovernmental entities
Actual useOnly the United States government; formerly only federal government but later expanded to include state and local government
Registration restrictionsMust meet eligibility requirements and submit authorization letter
StructureRegistrations at second level permitted
DocumentsRFC 920; RFC 1591; RFC 2146
Dispute policiesNone
Registry websitedotgov.gov

The domain name gov is a sponsored top-level domain (sTLD) in the Domain Name System of the Internet. The name is derived from the word government, indicating its restricted use by government entities. The gov domain is administered by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), an independent agency of the United States federal government.

The U.S. is the only country that has a government-specific top-level domain in addition to its country-code top-level domain. This is a result of the origins of the Internet as a U.S. federal government-sponsored research network. Other countries typically delegate a second-level domain for this purpose; for example, .gc.ca is the second-level domain for the Government of Canada and all subdomains.

Some U.S. government-related websites use .com, or .org instead of .gov, such as the United States Postal Service (usps.com), various recruiting websites for armed services (e.g., goarmy.com), and the websites for many US cities (e.g., lacity.org). The Department of Defense and its subsidiary organizations use the .mil sTLD instead of .gov.

All governments in the U.S. were allowed to apply for delegations in gov after May 2012.[1] For example, domains have been registered for the city of Atlanta (atlantaga.gov), for the county of Loudoun, Virginia (loudoun.gov), and for the U.S. state of Georgia (georgia.gov). This was not always possible; under an earlier policy, only federal agencies were allowed to use the domain, and agencies below cabinet level were required to use subdomains of their parent agency. Inconsistencies exist in addressing of state and local government sites, with some using gov, some us, while some using both. Pennsylvania uses www.pa.gov, but also redirects with the domains www.pennsylvania.gov and www.state.pa.us, and still others in com, org or other TLDs.


Use of the domain gov is restricted to government entities. According to GSA guidelines, this includes U.S. governmental departments, programs, and agencies on the federal level; federally recognized tribes, referred to by the GSA as Native Sovereign Nations, which must use the suffix -NSN.gov; State governmental entities and programs; cities and townships represented by an elected body of officials; counties and parishes represented by an elected body of officials; and U.S. territories.[2]

The URL for registration services is www.dotgov.gov.[3]


To register a gov domain, a letter of authorization must be submitted to the GSA. For federal agencies, the authorization must be submitted by a cabinet-level chief information officer (CIO). For state governments, authorization from the governor or state CIO is required. Domains for cities require authorization from the mayor or equivalent official; for counties, authorization may be submitted by county commissioners or equivalent officials, or by the highest-ranking county official.[4] For Native Sovereign Nations, the authorization must come from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.[5]

In November 2019, it was discovered that the process was flawed after a researcher impersonated the mayor of Exeter, Rhode Island in a letter of authorization and GSA approved the request without verification. In response, CSA said it had implemented additional fraud prevention controls to avoid a recurrence, and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency launched an effort to assume control over the issuance of all gov domains.[6]

Naming conventions[edit]

The GSA provides guidelines for naming of second-level domains, such as those used by state and local governments. For states, the domain name must include the full state name or postal abbreviation, and the abbreviation must not be obscured by inclusion in a larger word. For example, invalid.gov for Idaho would be an unacceptable domain name. For local governments, the domain name must include the state name or abbreviation (e.g. fortworthtexas.gov or detroitmi.gov). However, several cities registered .gov domain names using only the full name of the city (such as boston.gov and seattle.gov) or a common abbreviation (e.g. phila.gov for Philadelphia and nyc.gov for New York) without reference to the state before the GSA adopted the convention; the GSA grandfathered these domains, allowing them to remain despite the new convention.[7]


Policy regarding the gov domain is laid out in 41 CFR Part 102-173.

No new gov domains for U.S. federal executive branch departments have been allowed to be registered since June 13, 2011, as a result of the implementation of Executive Order 13571[8] issued by President Obama. The move was part of a general attempt to improve the efficiency of U.S. governmental Web usage by weeding out unnecessary, redundant, outdated, or wasteful sites.[9]

Since May 2012, the Federal Executive Branch has a policy of registering no new second-level domains for its agencies, except on a case-by-case basis. Agencies are also prohibited from using other top-level domains such as .org and .com.[10] "Federal Agency domains" were also deleted on August 26, 2014.[1]

Use by states and territories[edit]

As of February 2014, all states, the District of Columbia, and all territories except for the Northern Mariana Islands have operational domains in gov:

State or territory Domain
Alabama al.gov and alabama.gov
Alaska alaska.gov
American Samoa as.gov and americansamoa.gov
Arizona az.gov and arizona.gov
Arkansas ar.gov and arkansas.gov
California ca.gov
Colorado co.gov and colorado.gov
Connecticut ct.gov
Delaware de.gov and delaware.gov
District of Columbia dc.gov
Florida florida.gov and fl.gov (redirects to myflorida.com)
Georgia ga.gov and georgia.gov
Guam guam.gov
Hawaii hawaii.gov and ehawaii.gov
Idaho idaho.gov
Illinois il.gov and illinois.gov
Indiana in.gov and indiana.gov
Iowa ia.gov and iowa.gov
Kansas ks.gov and kansas.gov
Kentucky ky.gov and kentucky.gov
Louisiana la.gov and louisiana.gov
Maine maine.gov
Maryland md.gov and maryland.gov
Massachusetts ma.gov mass.gov and massachusetts.gov
Michigan mi.gov and michigan.gov
Minnesota mn.gov and minnesota.gov
Mississippi ms.gov and mississippi.gov
Missouri mo.gov and missouri.gov
Montana mt.gov and montana.gov
Nebraska ne.gov and nebraska.gov
Nevada nv.gov and nevada.gov
New Hampshire nh.gov
New Jersey nj.gov and newjersey.gov
New Mexico newmexico.gov
New York ny.gov
North Carolina nc.gov and northcarolina.gov
North Dakota nd.gov and northdakota.gov
Ohio ohio.gov
Oklahoma ok.gov and oklahoma.gov
Oregon oregon.gov
Pennsylvania pa.gov and pennsylvania.gov
Puerto Rico pr.gov
Rhode Island ri.gov and rhodeisland.gov
South Carolina sc.gov
South Dakota sd.gov
Tennessee tn.gov and tennessee.gov
Texas texas.gov
Utah utah.gov
Vermont vt.gov and vermont.gov
Virgin Islands vi.gov
Virginia virginia.gov
Washington wa.gov and washington.gov
West Virginia wv.gov
Wisconsin wi.gov and wisconsin.gov
Wyoming wy.gov and wyoming.gov

International equivalents[edit]

While the use of gov as a top-level domain is restricted to the United States, several other countries have second-level domains of the same name or similar semantics for governmental purposes, including:

Country or Territory Domain Notes
Afghanistan gov.af
Albania gov.al
Algeria gov.dz
Andorra gov.ad
Angola gov.ao
Anguilla gov.ai British overseas territory
Armenia gov.am
Aruba gov.aw Part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Argentina gob.ar
Austria gv.at
Australia gov.au
Åland gov.ax Part of Finland
Azerbaijan gov.az
Bangladesh gov.bd
Belarus gov.by
Belgium gov.be gov.be is for national matters, the Belgian Federal Government is using fgov.be and belgium.be
Bulgaria gov.bg Only the Council of Ministers uses this site.
Brazil gov.br
Chile gob.cl
Canada gc.ca All other provinces and territories of Canada: gov.{xx}.ca where '{xx}' is the applicable province or territory's postal abbreviation, except Quebec, which uses gouv.qc.ca, and New Brunswick, which uses gnb.ca
          Quebec gouv.qc.ca Part of Canada
China gov.cn
          Hong Kong gov.hk Part of China
          Macau gov.mo Part of China
Colombia gov.co
Croatia gov.hr
Cyprus gov.cy
Egypt gov.e.g.
Greece gov.gr
France gouv.fr Stands for the French word gouvernement
Hungary gov.hu
India gov.in
Indonesia go.id
Iran gov.ir
Iraq gov.iq
          Kurdistan Regional Government gov.krd Part of Iraq
Ireland gov.ie
Israel gov.il
Italy gov.it
Japan go.jp
Kazakhstan gov.kz
Kenya go.ke
Latvia gov.lv
Lithuania gov.lt
Malaysia gov.my
Malta gov.mt
Mexico gob.mx
Myanmar (Burma) gov.mm
Nepal gov.np
New Caledonia gouv.nc Part of French overseas
New Zealand govt.nz
Nigeria gov.ng
North Korea gov.kp
Paraguay gov.py
Peru gob.pe
Pakistan gov.pk
Philippines gov.ph
Poland gov.pl
Romania gov.ro
Russia gov.ru
Singapore gov.sg
Slovakia gov.sk
Slovenia gov.si
South Africa gov.za
South Korea go.kr
Spain gob.es
Sri Lanka gov.lk
Sweden gov.se
Switzerland admin.ch
Taiwan (Republic of China) gov.tw
Thailand go.th
Trinidad and Tobago gov.tt
Turkey gov.tr
Ukraine gov.ua
United Kingdom gov.uk
          Scotland gov.scot Part of the United Kingdom
          Wales gov.wales Part of the United Kingdom
          Guernsey gov.gg British Crown dependency
          Jersey gov.je British Crown dependency
          Isle of Man gov.im British Crown dependency
          Bermuda gov.bm British Overseas Territory
          Cayman Islands gov.ky British Overseas Territory
          Falkland Islands gov.fk British Overseas Territory
          Pitcairn Islands government.pn British Overseas Territory
Uruguay gub.uy
Venezuela gob.ve
Vietnam gov.vn

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Welcome - DOTGOV". Dotgov.gov. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  2. ^ "Eligibility Requirements". General Services Administration. Retrieved March 21, 2007.
  3. ^ "Delegation Record for .GOV". IANA. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
  4. ^ "Authorization Letter". General Services Administration. Retrieved March 21, 2007.
  5. ^ "Who authorizes domain names?". General Services Administration. Retrieved March 21, 2007.
  6. ^ It's Way Too Easy to Get a .gov Domain Name
  7. ^ "Sec. 102-173.50 What is the naming convention for States?". General Services Administration. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
  8. ^ "Executive Order 13571--Streamlining Service Delivery and Improving Customer Service". whitehouse.gov. Retrieved December 19, 2014 – via National Archives.
  9. ^ "Lost and Found - Mapping Page - DigitalGov". Usa.gov. Archived from the original on August 21, 2013. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  10. ^ "Digital Government: Building a 21st Century Platform to Better Serve the American People". Office of Management and Budget. May 23, 2012. Archived from the original on January 20, 2017. Retrieved November 30, 2014 – via National Archives.

External links[edit]

usda property eligibility wiki