The following article summarizes the main changes introduced to MA domain name, by the decision of the new registry ANRT/DG/No 12-14 of November, 21st 2014 and which became effective on March 1st, 2015.
A. Guidelines and conditions to register an MA domain name
.MA domain name must follow these guidelines:
1) LEGAL REGULATION
+ Foreign companies and individuals are welcomed to register their .MA domain names. No ID/paperwork is required and registration can be done online.
+ Domain names are registered on the "first come, first served" basis
+ Are not accepted domain names that are related to racism, illegal activities, or harm the national security, public order or religion.
+ Any physical person or legal entity can register MA domain name regardless its nationality. However, it must be done through MA domain name registrar.
+ The registrar is not responsible for any damage caused by an MA domain name registration.
+ No physical presence is required to register .MA domain name, but the administratrive contact must reside in Morocco. The registrar can represent its client by providing him with physical address in Morocco.
+ Reserved terms which are displayed on the registrar website cannot be registered
2) CHARACTER LIMIT
+ Domain name must be at least 2 characters and no more than 63 characters long without the MA category extension (example: in domain XXXX.ma, this limitation relates to the XXXX).
3) CHARACTER SET
+ Domain name can contain only latin letters ( a - z ), latin letter with accents (à, â, ç, è, é, ë, î, ï, ô, ù, û, ü, ÿ), numbers ( 0 - 9 ) and hyphens ( - ) [Hyphens are accepted as long as it is not in the 3rd and 4th position (example: do--main.ma is not allowed)] or a combination of these. Also hyphens cannot be at the begining neither at the end.
+ Note that Domain Names are not case sensitive. This means there will be no distinction made between upper case letters and lower case letters (A = a). We recommend the use of lower case letters always.
+ Special characters (such as !, $, &, ", and so on) as well as spaces are not currently acceptable.
4) RESTRICTIVE EXTENSIONS
The following TLD extensions: .gov.ma, .ac.ma and .press.ma are restricted and subject to authorization from the registry. The registrant must demonstrate his right to own and use these domain names with specific extensions and provide documentation to support his right. An example of documentation would be a license to operate a school or universiy for .ac.ma domain name, a license of media agency for .press.ma domain name or a government authorization or letter for .gov.ma domain name.
A special form needs to be filled when ordering a domain name with restrictive extension.
B. Change to the whois
Registrant is free to change any information on the whois except the registrant name. The change of registrant name is considered by the registry as transfer of ownership and is subject to the following rules:
- A form called " formulaire de transfert volontaire" must be filled in, signed and sent to the registrar for processing and which in turn is sent to the registry for validation. It may take up to 5 days to have the registry approve or decline the registrant name change.
- This change is considered by the registry like a new domain name registration and is billed accordingly.
- When the change is complete, a new creation date for the domain name is issued starting from the date the registrant name change is approved by the registry and the old expiration date (expiration date of the domain name before asking for the registrant name change) is cancelled.
C. Registration, Renewal, Expiration
The maximun number of years a domain name can be registered or renewed is 5 years while the expiration date may not be greater than 5 years.
When the domain name expires, it has a grace period of 30 days during which it can be renewed.
When the domain name expired and has been deleted, it has a redemption period of 30 days to be registered again.
D. Domain deletion requests
There are 2 cases:
1. Deletion request before the expiry date: the registrant must fill in and sign a form to delete a domain name before the expiry date. When the domain name is deleted, the registrant benefits from a redemption period of 30 days to register it again.
2. Deletion after the expiry date: the registrant can request the deletion of his domain name without having to fill any form.
E. Domain transfer
Upon request from the registrant, the registrar must provide him with the transfer authorization code within 3 days of receiving the request. This transfer authorization code is necessary to transfer the domain name to another registrar and must be requested by the registrant only. The administrative contact has no right to request this code or transfer the domain name.
The registrant has the right to transfer his domain name to another registrar. In order to initiate the transfer, the registrant must obtain the authorization transfer code from the losing registrar and send it to the winning registrar. The losing registrar has 5 days to accept or refuse the transfer. In case of refusal, the losing registrar must justify the reason to the registry and which has 5 days to decide on the domain transfer status. However, in case the losing registrar doesn't approve or disapprove the transfer within 5 days, the transfer is processed successfully.
The maximum number of name servers that can be assigned to an MA domain name is now 13.