As far as I know, ICANN wants every domain owner to put their contact information into the WHOIS database. I'm fine with revealing my real name, but having to submit the address where I live seems like a privacy killer to me. Wouldn't ICANN be satisfied with a general delivery address? Do they actually contact people by paper mail without a prior notice?

P. S.
Of course, I know about the existence of WHOIS privacy services. Let's assume I don't want to use one for some reason.


2 Answers 2


ICANN requirements passed along registries, registrars and finally the registrant are that you can be contacted at the address given, in the (honestly never occuring) case someone sends you a letter there.

If your address accepts mail for you that you can collect, you fulfill the requirements.

See https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/faqs-f0-2012-02-25-en : email is clearly more important. The "code of conduct" is however ICANN "Registrants' Benefits and Responsibilities" at https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/benefits-2013-09-16-en that states you need to provide acurate information.

  • 1
    However, several domain "Registries" do not permit the use the PO Box style postal addresses. See this related question: webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/49766/…
    – MrWhite
    Dec 11, 2017 at 1:37
  • @MrWhite What you say in the other question as comments is about ccTLDs, here we speak about gTLDs because only those are contracted with ICANN. But of course, as a general rule, one has to read the contract he signs carefully, and each registry can have specific rules. Dec 11, 2017 at 2:02
  • My comment on the other question isn't necessarily restricted to ccTLDs. All gTLDs are governed by a Registry that could impose further restrictions - as you've just mentioned in your comment: "each registry can have specific rules".
    – MrWhite
    Dec 11, 2017 at 10:57
  • But your examples were all ccTLDs... Dec 11, 2017 at 12:46
  • Exactly, they are just some "examples" (which just so happen to be ccTLDs). It's not a comprehensive list.
    – MrWhite
    Dec 11, 2017 at 15:15

That sounds like what we'd call in the US, a PO Box, and that would satisfy the ICANN requirement. As long as you can be reached using the contact information, it is considered valid.

  • Actually, Poste Restante and PO Boxes are two different things. Poste Restante is typically used by travellers - I know I will be in a city on a few weeks, I tell people they can mail me c/- Poste Restante, City. The main post office will hold the mail for collection, generally for up to 2 months. I suspect that in the days of email and messaging the use has fallen way off.
    – Steve
    Dec 20, 2017 at 21:50

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