I'm trying to change nameservers for some of my domains at GoDaddy, but I occasionally run into "Nameserver not registered" problems, and then I'm not allowed to set the nameservers. Here are the cases I've tried, and I still don't understand what it takes to have a registered nameserver.

With ns1 and ns2 pointing to my nameservers, I can set the nameservers successfully when I set up domains as follows:

Host Summary entries for ns1 and ns2 at GoDaddy
.co.cc domains with A records for ONLY ns1 and ns2
Hosted with other nameservers. Have only A records for ns1 and ns2

But these do NOT work (nameserver not registered error):

.info domains at GoDaddy with A records for ONLY ns1 and ns2
Hosts with dyndns.org that point to IP of nameservers

Also, when I dig any domains hosted at my nameservers using any of the above, I get the correct response. So what's the deal here? Why do the last two cases get "nameserver not registered errors"? Thanks!

2 Answers 2


Log into the godaddy.com portal and edit the domain you want to change the DNS settings for (You are looking for the domain Manager).

In the host summary (bottom left) is where you need to add the entries to ns1 and ns2 along with their IP addresses.

It'll then take a little bit for everything to replicate so that you can point other domains to those names.

  • 1
    I know that. I was wondering why I -have- to do that in GoDaddy when I can just use A records in other areas. And overall what technically labels a nameserver as "registered". But thanks, +1 because you'll help others figure out how to solve this problem in the first place.
    – Lin
    Sep 1, 2009 at 7:07
  • 4
    They need this specified to ensure that they always know where your DNS servers are. If you own company.com, and you tell them that your name server is ns1.company.com, they have no idea of knowing what the IP address is for ns1.company.com because an nslookup for ns1.company.com will fail because they don't have the IP address to get to ns1.company.com. It's your classic "what came first, the chicken or the egg" situation.
    – mrdenny
    Sep 1, 2009 at 7:36

This question is 13 years old, but things haven't changed. The accepted answer is useful, but here's a greater look at what's going on behind the scenes, just to help dot all the i's and cross all the t's...

I had the same problem and contacted GoDaddy Customer Support. Essentially, GoDaddy can't find the host based on the Internet's nameservers. I'm told it can take 24-48 hours for the new DNS records to propagate through the DNS resolve system that they use.

This can get confusing because there are two DNS nameservers we're dealing with:

  1. The DNS nameserver you are trying to create at ns1.mynameserver.tld
  2. The DNS nameserver for your nameserver (ns1.mynameserver.tld): they can't be the same, of course.

Non-GoDaddy solution & prerequisites:

You need a host AKA A record, and in the IP6 world also the AAAA record for ns1, and the second probably ns2. These can be any host, but ns1, ns2, ns3, etc is common practice.

Normally, this would need to be an FQDN. There are two ways to do this:

  1. Enter the host or A and AAAA records in the DNS zone settings.
  2. Use custom nameservers at GoDaddy for mynameserver.tld, pointing to DigitalOcean, Vultr, Linode, or wherever you park your domain DNS zone and enter the host or A and AAAA records there.

...Again, the host AKA A and AAAA records are ns1 and ns2 et al.

Once those host / A & AAAA DNS zone records have been entered for mynameserver.tld, it will need time to propagate throughout the Internet. GoDaddy tells me this can take 24-48 hours.

There can be other factors. If you are using DigitalOcean for DNS records, in order to be an FQDN, your "droplet" must have the full name ns1.mynameserver.tld. If you are using a GoDaddy-registered domain, but create an FQDN via DNS parking on DigitalOcean, this may be enough.

But, GoDaddy DNS-parked domains needs something different...

GoDaddy solution & prerequisites:

If you registered mynameserver.tld and/or park your DNS (the default) with GoDaddy, then the above might not work!

You need to go to follow the steps at this article on GoDaddy's Help section.

The site navigation currently is:

mynameserver.tld > Manage DNS > Host Names > Add

Then, you add only the host (ns1, ns2, etc) and the IP where you host it.

This somehow works with GoDaddy's backend so that ns1.mynameserver.tld can have the requirements that an FQDN normally would, or something like that. GoDaddy isn't clear about what's happening on their back end.

But, if you want your GoDaddy-registered domain to serve your nameserver, this is how you need to "register" the ns1 part.

Additional considerations

Additionally, risking TMI, here are some things you might consider. On your installation, assuming that you are using bind, ensure that:

  • bind is installed, working
  • Port 53 is allowed in the firewall
  • The FQDN and hostname of the server is actually ns1.mynameserver.tld or ns2.mynameserver.tld
    • /etc/hostname should contain this
    • Check it is working with: cat /proc/sys/kernel/hostname
    • /etc/hosts may also have some bearing on this

I added this because, if I had written the software where these nameservers were entered, I would not only look for A and AAAA records; I'd try to ping bind through port 53 et al. I'm probably not the only one to think that way.

Separately, it is also possible that you may need in-addr.arpa rDNS records also. Not all domain parking offers this. But, maybe that doesn't actually matter.

So, if the problem is happening within the first 48 hours, it is probably just waiting to propagate. If it persists after that, it could be that bind is not working properly on the server, which is another question.

  • 1
    that's a useful clarification.
    – pdwalker
    May 15 at 7:37

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