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I have a dot name domain. .name is an odd TLD: they originally only offered third level domains, eg first.last.name, so that more people could get their own name. They also included the [email protected] email address with each domain registration. They later opened up to normal second level registrations, eg last.name, but only for domains that didn't have existing third level registrations. I got mine before that, so I'm stuck with it.

I've used [email protected] as my primary email address for 18 years or so. However, I don't own last.name itself, so I have to depend on my domain registrar (and Verisign, the .name Registry Operator) to forward incoming email to me. More importantly, email deliverability for outgoing email has degraded so much that it's almost unusable. Only Verisign owns last.name's DNS, and they evidently have no interest in operating SPF, DKIM, DMARC, or SMTP for it. Registrars themselves can't, since they don't have control over last.name's DNS.

Am I stuck? Do I need to bite the bullet, give up on this email address I've used forever, and switch to a "normal" domain with DNS I can control? Am I missing anything?

Gmail users, for example, see this on my emails:

warning in gmail

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    The world changed. It will continue to change. Some things which were OK 20 years ago are no longer OK. Nov 28, 2020 at 0:40
  • Hi @Ryan, I also have a forwarded .name email address as my primary and I am curious whether you are still having this problem. I'm looking into how mail filtering software can better handle cases like ours and need a better understanding of how it is currently doing so. If you'd like to mail me to discuss this, my name is Ian Maxwell and you can probably figure out my email address from there. May 28, 2022 at 16:14
  • @Ian sure! Special casing .name addresses in filters might help, but as owners of the addresses, we'd need pretty much all receiving systems to special case us. So it would be an adoption problem, which would take time and effort. Keep us posted though, good luck!
    – ryan
    May 29, 2022 at 20:18

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Sadly, @MichaelHampton may be right. All evidence seems to confirm that .name email addresses from third level domain registrations are broken and unusable for outbound email.

I emailed with ICANN and Verisign, and they basically confirmed this. ICANN said:

If you would like to use a third level or second level .name domain for email, or upgrade your registration from third level to second level domain, you would need to contact the Registry Operator .NAME domain names.

Verisign said:

The .NAME email forwarding service is only for inbound emails, where they are simply passed on the forwarding address. Your outbound emails are not passing through our servers at any time. We do not add SPF/DMARCs to last.name because we do not provide e-mail services to send e-mail, only the e-mail forwarding. ... We don't provide any other service in regards to email or DNS with .name domain names, 2nd or 3rd level. You will need to contact a DNS hosting provider for assistance on any DNS hosting.

I replied:

Thanks for the information, Phil. I understand that you only do .name DNS for forwarding inbound email, not sending outbound. Again, though, you're the only party that could do that DNS, which makes .name email addresses a pretty incomplete and broken product right now. If that's the way it is, then I understand. Thanks again.

Sigh. Disappointing.

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    Since it lacks all SPF and DMARC records, you should not have problems sending e-mails with that address from any server you want, even though anyone else could do it, too. As long as the server you're using is in good standing and has a proper PTR record, it is still unlikely that your mail would be treated as spam. You might be able to add some credibility to your e-mails by signing them with a trusted S/MIME certificate. However, in the long run, you really should be changing to something you can control.
    – Bachsau
    Apr 8, 2022 at 16:54
  • Sadly, in practice, many modern email hosts do interpret emails from domains without SPF, DMARC, etc as less trustworthy. This can show up in different ways than just spam filtering, eg Gmail 's scary user-visible warning in the screenshot above.
    – ryan
    Apr 10, 2022 at 13:25

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