How to Set up Government Email Addresses

By Lee Boggs

Government email addresses are set up by registering a government domain with the General Services Administration (GSA). Government domains and accompanying email addresses can be registered on GSA's website for $125 each per year. After the domain is set up, your government email address will look something like this: You must meet eligibility requirements to obtain government domains and the accompanying email addresses. Government domains and the accompanying email addresses must use established naming conventions. They also require an authorization letter from the highest-ranking government official. The GSA website requires a DotGov UserID and password to use the online domain registration form.

Things You'll Need

  • Internet
  • Authorization letter

Step 1

Review the eligibility requirements to determine the appropriate domain: .gov,, or Only federal, state, local, Native Sovereign Nation, and U.S. territories are eligible for a government domain and accompanying email addresses.

Step 2

Determine the appropriate naming convention. GSA has five naming conventions: states or commonwealths; cities or townships; counties or parishes; U.S. territories; and Native Sovereign Nations.

Step 3

Decide on a domain name and check the domain availability using a searchable database on the GSA website.

Step 4

Obtain a DotGov UserID and password by creating an account on the GSA website, and log in to the domain registration system to begin. The registration process requires: a desired domain name; the authorizing or sponsoring agency name; organization information; a description of the purpose of the domain; points of contact; and domain name servers.

Step 5

Submit an authorization letter from the highest-ranking government official within 90-days of finishing the domain registration process. GSA will send an email confirming a successful domain registration. According to the DotGov Registrar Office, confirmation response time is generally a couple of days if all the required information is complete and correct.

Tips & Warnings

  • Having a GSA-assigned domain and email address ensures the public they are dealing with an official government website.
  • Giving false or incorrect information during the DotGov UserID and password registration process may be prosecutable.
  • Not following the Government Internet Program Guidelines could lead to suspension or termination of the domain name and accompanying email addresses.