1.1 Georgia.Gov Domain Name Standards

POC for Changes: Georgia.gov Interactive 
Synopsis: Domain naming convention and Federal Dot-Gov Final Rule.

1.1.1 PURPOSE

The purpose of the GTA Portal Domain Naming Standard is to create a consistent, predictable way to assign domain names for state agency websites and email addresses. Having a managed domain name such as georgia.gov unifies all state entities under one naming convention, establishes consistency and assures citizens that they are accessing an official government site.

1.1.2 SCOPE

All State of Georgia governmental entities and programs, including those governmental entities and programs of political subdivisions of the State of Georgia that request a georgia.gov or ga.gov domain name space for web or email usage.

Domain names ending in state.ga.us will no longer be issued, but the maintenance of existing names will be governed by the rules and conventions set forth in Federal RFC 1480. 

1.1.3 STANDARD

Ownership: As the trustee and provider of the State of Georgia’s web presence, the Georgia Technology Authority will manage and authorize the assignment of third-level domain names under the georgia.gov and ga.gov second-level domains. Entities assigned a third-level domain name will manage the use of paths located within their sub-domains.

Eligibility: Eligibility for these domain names is limited to qualified State of Georgia (including its political subdivisions) government organizations and programs.

IP Address: All third-level domain names must point to a uniquely named server that has a direct address and a unique IP address.

Secure Socket Layer Certificates

Organizations are responsible for purchasing and managing Secure Socket Layer Certificates.  GTA will authorize use of the georgia.gov and ga.gov domains for certificate providers.

Domain Name Registration Process

Requests for domains should be directed to Georgia.gov Interactive at creative@gta.ga.gov. Entities wishing to reserve a name for future or internal use (as opposed to an immediate need) may register as well.

The requestor must include the proposed domain name and the purpose of the website in which the domain name will be used. If approved by Georgia.gov Interactive, the request will be submitted to AT&T via OrderNow for creation.

* Note: The person applying for the domain name should be authorized to speak for the entire organization in this matter. The person must obtain the agreement of all interested parties within the organization prior to submission. GTA may require confirmation of a registration request from the Agency Head or highest ranking IT official.

Email Address Use

Eligible entities may request ga.gov email addresses (ex. @yourorg.ga.gov) through the same process and may use them prior to the establishment of a georgia.gov website. The email address should use the same naming convention as the organization’s third-level domain name character string (e.g. jdoe@gta.ga.gov).

Domain Name Selection

The requesting entity must ensure that it has the right to use the name it is requesting. GTA will check its DNS records and databases, and GTA will not issue a georgia.gov domain name to the organization that is in conflict with an officially recognized title (including the acronym) of another georgia.gov state government organization without further clarification.

The following additional general rules apply:

  • Obscene names are not permitted.
  • Permissible characters are lowercase letters and digits. No hyphens will be used.
  • The word “georgia” cannot be in the third level domain name, since georgia is already in the second level domain.
  • The agency acronym should suffice for most agency websites, as determined by the Office of Planning and Budget.
  • Websites for statewide programs and initiatives may use either acronyms or a word that describes what the program is for or what it benefits - e.g., children.georgia.gov.

Domain Name Disputes

Georgia.gov Interactive will decide on all matters related to registration and subsequent use of an assigned georgia.gov domain name.

Disputed decisions can be appealed to the State CIO and Executive Director (or his/her designee). The GTA Executive Director is the final authority on all matters relating to registration and subsequent use of georgia.gov domain names.

Exemptions

Any state entity requesting a domain name that does not meet the general rules outlined in Section 3.7, Domain Name Selection, must submit an exemption request outlining the reason behind the exemption. GTA will work with entities requesting domain name exemptions from the guidelines to understand if the reasons for the exemption outweigh the benefits of consistency and predictability gained from adherence to the guidelines.

Second Level .gov Domains

As a rule, second level domains (xxx.gov) are not allowed. Any exceptions must be submitted to GTA’s Chief Technology Officer along with justification for the exception. Any new .gov domain requests must be approved by the state CIO. 

Fourth-Level Domains (Ex: four.three.two.gov)

Fourth-level domain names are difficult to remember and are discouraged from use. The preferred option is to use a directory name that appears after the domain name - e.g., agency.georgia.gov/division.