Can I use a place holder phone or fax number for WHOIS contact information?

I assume the fax number is optional, I just used 555-555-5555. I tend to just add an accurate phone number, street address, and email address.

I'm mostly interested in this for .com, .net & .org domains.

  • 2
    You can leave blank the fields that are optional, I have never filled the fax for any of my domains. – Alberto Martinez Oct 21 at 23:04
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Initially you didn't say what TLD domain you are talking about, but they are likely similar. [UPDATE] Chris.leonard's answer gives more depth on that issue. [/UPDATE]

ICANN states the following:

In the 2013 RAA, the Admin, Tech, and Registrant telephone numbers are each required to be present.

https://whois.icann.org/en/whoisars-validation-telephone

When you register a domain name, you must give your registrar accurate and reliable contact details, and correct and update them promptly if there are any changes during the term of the registration period. This obligation is part of your registration agreement with the registrar.

If you give wrong information on purpose, or don't update your information promptly if there is a change, your domain name registration may be suspended or even cancelled. This could also happen if you don't respond to inquiries by your registrar if they contact you about the accuracy of your contact information.

https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/whois-data-accuracy-2017-06-20-en

In short, a phone number is required and it must be accurate.

So the short answer to your question is no.

  • Surely a fax isn't required in this day and age. – William Oct 21 at 22:59
  • You said fax is optional. – Steve Oct 21 at 23:00
  • Read the title yes I implied I assumed it was. – William Oct 21 at 23:00
  • I don't understand your problem. If the fax is optional, why would you care about a placeholder? An accurate phone number is required for some. Which part haven't I answered? – Steve Oct 21 at 23:01
  • 1
    @William I have updated my answer...sigh... – Steve Oct 21 at 23:06

This is just an addendum to Steve's excellent answer, in case anyone sees this and wonders if Steve's answer is applicable to all TLDs mentioned in the revised question (COM, NET and ORG).

There are two types of TLDs - global TLDs (gTLDs) and country code TLDs (ccTLDs like .US for the USA or .CN for China). ICANN rules govern gTLDs only.

COM, NET, and ORG are all global TLDs, which means they are all governed by ICANN. Steve's answer is therefore applicable to all three of them.

While ccTLDs are not governed by ICANN, they usually have a lot of things in common with their gTLD cousins. However, they are free to play by their own rules in any way they'd like and sometimes have some bizarre requirements and practices.

Source: myself. :) I have worked for almost 13 years on the core engineering team for a large, prominent registrar.

  • 1
    That's helpful information for those with or looking into getting ccTLDs. Welcome to Pro Webmasters! – dan Oct 22 at 8:19
  • Thanks Chris, I assumed that there would be similar rules, but there are now so many registries I wasn't inclined to research them all. – Steve Oct 22 at 12:08

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