How does Nominet validate data?

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What registrant data will Nominet validate?

Nominet will attempt to validate all registrant name and address data through third party sources at the point of registration and when registrant name or address data is changed.

It is important to note that a link between the registrant’s name and address is not required. We understand that the address given as a point of contact may be different to the address the registrant is directly associated with. For example an individual may wish to give their solicitor’s or accountant’s address rather than the address of their home or office. It is however essential that the registrant can be contacted through the address given.

How do we validate registrant addresses?

Nominet validates all UK addresses against the Royal Mail Postcode Address file, which contains over 28 million UK addresses. The addresses held on our register are not all in exactly the same format and with exactly the same details as the Royal Mail file. We therefore carry out a matching exercise to establish how close an address we hold is to the ‘perfect’ address, and this is based on a confidence level. Overseas addresses are validated against similar type sources where they exist.

What determines the confidence level that an address receives?

The confidence level is reduced if the address supplied leaves us with enough doubt that it could relate to more than one specific location. We consider a number of factors including:

  • If the address is in an industrial estate, does it include precisely the unit number or name of the building?
  • If the address is a flat or a suite in an office block, have all the details been provided to allow us to clearly identify it?

How do we validate name information?

UK name information is checked against a database of 40 million electoral roll and business records, including real time Companies House data. In every case we are looking for a valid individual or business we can identify as matching the information we hold. This is more difficult to achieve for overseas data, but for high volume registrant countries name information is checked against Companies House equivalent data sources.

Why might a name not be validated?

With a registered company, do we have their current name exactly as it is registered with Companies House? With an individual, do we have their full name and is it spelt correctly so that we can make a match? In many cases the domain may be registered with an organisation which does not appear in the data sets available to us for validation.

Do the address and name details need to be linked in order for the details to be validated?

No, our requirement is solely for a validated name and validated address. These are judged on their own merits, for instance, a registered company who gave us a valid address that was not their registered head office would still be fully validated. However, where we are able to find a physical link between a name and an address, we identify this on the register because this is an indicator of enhanced data quality.

What happens if Nominet cannot validate the data?

The fact that Nominet cannot validate data does not necessarily mean the data is incorrect. We recognise that validation processes can only be accurate up to a certain confidence level. This is why we assess non-validated data further to identify the data that is most likely to be inaccurate or incomplete. Where this is the case we instigate further validation work, either directly with the registrant or via the Accredited Channel Partner tag holder.  Failure to provide correct information that it is possible to validate may result in the domain name being suspended. See our data validation process for more details.