ARIN Membership Explained: What It Means and Why It Matters

ARIN Membership Explained: What It Means and Why It Matters

To help ARIN fulfill its mission, we rely on our members to participate in ARIN governance activities such as attending our Public Policy and Members Meetings, engaging in the Internet number resource policy process, and voting in ARIN Elections. With recent changes to our Fee Schedule, all ARIN customer organizations with Internet number resources under an ARIN agreement are now Members and may choose to participate in ARIN governance.

Effects of Fee Harmonization

In 2022, ARIN transitioned end user customers to the Registration Services Plan (RSP) Fee Schedule, based on total IPv4 and IPv6 resources held. This move was designed to ensure costs were distributed in an equitable manner by eliminating the fee differentiation between Internet Service Provider (ISP) and end user organizations. ARIN has recently completed that fee harmonization process by transitioning Autonomous System Numbers (ASNs) to the RSP Fee Schedule. This change also eliminates the $550 ASN issuance fee for new ASNs and confers Service Member status to ASN-only customers who have an ARIN agreement. Now these organizations can participate in ARIN governance by requesting General Membership. We are pleased to have reached this milestone and to welcome all organizations with Internet number resources under an ARIN agreement to participate in ARIN governance.

Service vs. General Membership

The main difference between the Service and General Member categories comes down to one thing: voting. Service and General Members both have access to ARIN’s full suite of services, including advanced routing security services like the Resource Public Key Infrastructure (RPKI) and Internet Routing Registry (IRR). However, General Members have formally committed to participating in ARIN Elections for the ARIN Board of Trustees and Advisory Council and the Number Resource Organization Number Council (NRO NC).

Why Participate in ARIN Elections?

Active participation in ARIN’s annual elections is more than a mere right for General Members — it is a fundamental responsibility, helping direct the organization’s governance and the development and evolution of Internet number resource policy. This involvement is both a chance to empower representation that aligns with your interests and to play an essential role in supporting the Internet number registry system and the Internet as a whole.

By participating in ARIN Elections and fulfilling this vital community responsibility, General Members: 

  • Shape the future. Your vote determines the volunteers who shepherd ARIN’s policies and guide its strategic direction. 
  • Foster inclusivity. Ensure diverse perspectives are represented in Internet governance and policy development.
  • Protect a global resource. Contribute to a secure, stable, and accessible Internet for all. 

Why participate in ARIN Elections?

Becoming a General Member

Any Service Member organization may apply to become a General Member by submitting a request in ARIN Online. In your ARIN Online account you can check your membership status and, if eligible, access the General Member request form.

To request General Membership:

  1. Under ‘Your Records,’ select ‘Organization Identifiers.’
  2. Then select the Org Handle for which you want to request General Membership.
  3. On the Organization Record page, select ‘Request General Membership’ from the Actions drop-down menu.

Screenshot of how to request General Membership

Service Members interested in voting in this year’s elections should plan to request General Membership at least two months prior to the elections to allow them time to designate a valid Voting Contact by the deadline for this requirement (as explained in the next section).

If you have any questions about your organization’s membership status, please email

Maintaining General Member Status

General members must participate in ARIN Elections to maintain their status. General Members that have not cast a ballot* in any of the previous three ARIN Elections will be reclassified as Service Members and may reapply for General Member status at any time.

On 30 January 2024, ARIN transitioned more than 5,000 General Member organizations that had not cast a ballot since 2021 to Service Member status. ARIN now has roughly 1,900 organizations classified as General Members and 23,000 classified as Service Members (which now include ASN-only organizations).

To be eligible to vote, General Member organizations must have a valid designated Voting Contact and be in Good Standing (no outstanding/overdue fees) 45 days prior to the start of the election.

General Members Mailing List

General Members are also eligible to subscribe to and participate in the General Members Mailing List, which is designated for discussions related to ARIN’s governance. To subscribe, please visit our mailing list page and use an email address associated with a Point of Contact or Voting Contact of a General Member organization.

An Evolving, Essential Structure

ARIN’s recent adjustment to the membership structure has completed the fee harmonization process and expanded opportunities for organizations to engage in Internet governance. For existing Service Members and ASN-only customers recently granted this status, becoming a General Member is more than a procedural step; it is a commitment to shaping the future of ARIN and the broader Internet landscape through your active involvement in our annual elections of the volunteers who guide ARIN’s policies and strategic direction.

Your participation matters, and together we can continue to strengthen the foundation of the digital world on which we all rely.

Reminder: An ARIN Member organization must be a General Member in Good Standing 45 days before a ballot or election to be eligible to participate. Voting Contact designations must be finalized at least one week prior to an election.


*Organizations may submit a blank ballot. Your participation in the election will still be recorded, and the organization will maintain General Member status.

Post written by:

John Sweeting
Chief Customer Officer, ARIN

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