Guide to ICANN’s domain verification rules

If you recently received an email asking you to verify your domain name, you may be wondering what it’s about (and if it’s legitimate). Please read on for some important information about ICANN domain verification rules.

Why am I receiving getting this verification email?

ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) recently instituted some important new rules. These rules affect generic top-level domains (gTLDs), including .com, .net, .mobi, .org, .biz, .info, and .name.

This email with the subject line Important message from HostPapa regarding your domain will be sent when any of the following occurs:

  • You register a new domain ending in a gTLD (noted above) with HostPapa for the first time
  • You update your domain name account details (such as first name, last name, email address of the admin, technical, billing, or contact information)
  • You transfer a domain and change its contact information
  • A WHOIS Data Reminder Policy email bounces due to an inactive email address.
  • An Expired Registration Recovery Policy email bounces due to an inactive email address

The email contains a verification link. If you don’t complete the verification process, your domain will get disabled. The verification window set by ICANN is only 15 days. We will send multiple emails to remind you to verify, but if you don’t click on the link in this verification email yourself, your domain will be affected. Unfortunately, we’re unable to click on this for you.

NOTE: ICANN has recently updated its transfer policy and instituted additional steps for authorization and confirmation. We’ll go through some frequently asked questions below. 

What will happen when I click the verification link?

Clicking the verification link will open a webpage that displays the email address, first name, and last name used to register the domain. The email also includes a link to the domain registration terms and conditions and a checkbox that you need to click to indicate that you agree. The validation page looks something like this:



If you don’t click the link within the 15-day timeframe that ICANN has mandated, your domain will be disabled, and your website will display an error page or even a blank page. 

What will happen if my website appears to be disabled? How can I fix this?

If your domain has been disabled, clicking the verification link in the email and completing the verification process will fix this instantly. 

What will happen if I can’t find the verification email?

If you cannot find the verification email in your inbox and are sure you should have received one (i.e. one of the actions listed above applies to you), we can resend the email to you through your HostPapa dashboard:

  1. Log in to your HostPapa dashboard.
  2. Click on My Domains.
  3. For any domain where you see the ! or X symbols in the ICANN Status column, click on that domain name to view its details.
  4. The ICANN Status appears in the lower right section. Click the Resend verification button. Note that the verification email is sent to the Registrant email address associated with the domain (i.e. it may not be the same email address you have listed in your HostPapa dashboard billing section).
  5. Once you’ve received the email, click on the verification link and accept the terms and conditions to complete the process.

What does it mean if I’ve received a few of these emails?

If you receive multiple verification emails, it means we’re making several attempts to contact you. If you happen to not check your email for a few days, there may be a few messages waiting for you. Our apologies for that – we just want to make sure that you don’t miss the verification window and have your domain be disabled. 

If you do not respond to the first verification email, you’ll get a second email five days later. If you still haven’t responded, you’ll get a third five-day period after that, then another three days, and lastly, another two days. Finally, on the 16th day after the first email is sent, if you’ve not completed the validation process, your domain will be disabled.

If you need help with your HostPapa account, please open a support ticket from your dashboard.

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