WHOIS detailed instructions
There are two ways to use the whois. You can access the whois through the Nominet website here or at the server, whois.nic.uk through port 43.
The format of the queries to port 43 is the domain name followed by carriage return and line feed:
So an example of a whois query is:
These are given in the acceptable use policy .
If either of these limits is exceeded then further queries are rejected with the blocked message. The length of the block depends on how many queries have been made so far. For example, if you send 1 query per second for 1,000 seconds then you will be blocked after that for approximately 23 hours, 43 minutes and 20 seconds.
All queries to the Nominet whois will return a response.
There are various types of responses:
Response: Where the domain name is already registered the response will use the following format:
Domain name: <domain name> Registrant: <registrant> Trading as: <trading as> Registrant type: <registrant type>, (<number type>: <organization number>) Registrant's address: <registrant address> Data validation: <validation status> Registered through: <reseller name> URL: <reseller URL> Registrar: <tag holder name> [Tag = <tag>] URL: <tag holder URL> Relevant dates: Registered on: <registered date> Expiry date: <expiry date> Last updated: <updated date> Registration status: <registration status> Name servers: <nameservers> DNSSEC: <dnssec status> WHOIS lookup made at <hh:mm:ss dd-mmm-yyyy> -- <copyright text>
- The “Registrant” and/or “Registrant’s address” will only be displayed if the registrant has consented to the registrant name and/or registrant address being displayed in the WHOIS.
- The “Trading as” section will be omitted if there is no information to display here or if the registrant is a legal entity with a separate trading name that has not given their consent to display the registrant name.
- In the “Registrant type” section everything from the comma onwards is only shown if the type is one that can have an associated number, such as a registered company number, registered charity number or registered school number and the registrant has given their consent to display the name.
- The “data Validation” section will include the current validation status. A definition of the different validation status types is available
- The “Registered through” section will be omitted if there is no reseller data associated with the domain. Only the registrar’s details will be displayed in the next section.
- If there are no name servers then this section will say “No name servers listed.”.
- The DNSSEC status will indicate when a domain has been digitally signed using DNSSEC by displaying “Signed”. This section will be omitted if the domain is not DNSSEC signed.
- If the domain name is suspended then the “Registration status” section will include an additional line after the status, that says “*** This registration has been SUSPENDED. ***”
- In some cases there is no registrar and so the “Registrar:” section may display either of the following:
No agent listed. This domain is registered directly with Nominet.
No agent listed.
Response: This is the response for when the domain name passed to the server is syntactically correct, is a .uk domain, conforms to the name rules but is not found:
No match for "<domain name>". This domain name has not been registered. WHOIS lookup made at <hh:mm:ss dd-mmm-yyyy> -- <copyright text>
Response: This is the response when a query is blocked on the WHOIS/WHOIS2 service because the originator of the query has exceeded its quota:
Error for "<domain name>". The WHOIS query quota for <xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx> has been exceeded and will be replenished in <nnn> seconds. WHOIS lookup made at <hh:mm:ss dd-mmm-yyyy> -- <copyright text>
Response: This is the response when a the domain name passed to the server is syntactically incorrect.
Error for "<domain name>". <reason> WHOIS lookup made at <hh:mm:ss dd-mmm-yyyy> -- <copyright text>
- The <reason> can be one of the following:
One or more parts of the domain name exceeds the limit of 63 characters. Domain names may only comprise the characters A-Z, a-z, 0-9, hyphen (-) and dot (.). The domain name contains too few parts. The domain name exceeds the maximum length of 256 characters. One or more parts of the domain name were of zero length.
Response: This is the response when the domain name passed to the server is syntactically correct, is a .uk domain, is not found in the registry but does not conform to the name rules.
Error for "<domain name>". This domain cannot be registered because it contravenes the Nominet UK naming rules. The reason is: <reason> WHOIS lookup made at <hh:mm:ss dd-mmm-yyyy> -- <copyright text>
- The <reason> can be one of the following:
invalid format for a .sch.uk domain name. the domain name contains too few parts. the domain name contains too many parts. third-level domains may neither start nor end with a hyphen. third-level domains may not start with "xn--".
Response: This is the response when the domain name passed to the server is syntactically correct, and is either a non-.uk domain or is for a second-level .uk domain that is not in the registry (e.g. .police.uk).
Error for "<domain name>". Nominet is not the registry for this domain name. WHOIS lookup made at <hh:mm:ss dd-mmm-yyyy> -- <copyright text>
Response: This is the response when the WHOIS server has a transient error accessing the register database.
Error for "<domain name>". There was a problem accessing the database. Please try again. WHOIS lookup made at <hh:mm:ss dd-mmm-yyyy> -- <copyright text>
Response: The copyright text will read as follows:
Minerva House, Edmund Halley Road, Oxford Science Park, OX4 4DQ, United Kingdom