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Domain Registration Transfers

Domain Registration Information

It is important that you keep your contact information for your registered domain names up-to-date. Not doing so runs the risk of your domain expiring without you being notified that it is about to. Please login to https://manage.opensrs.net/ if you register your domain through our services and make sure your registration information is correct. Understanding the Domain Registration Transfer Process If you are about to transfer your domain registration, you may be scratching your head as to what the exact steps are. Overall, the process is fairly simple, but some care should be taken to ensure a smooth transition. This article provides an overview of the domain registration transfer process. Exact planning steps are out of scope and will be covered in another article. What you can expect here is a high level understanding of the actual process.

Introduction: Winners and Losers

When transferring your domain registration, there are two kinds of registrars; the “loosing registrar” and the “winning registrar”. The loosing registrar is the registrar with whom you currently have your domain registered. They are called the “loosing” registrar because in this process, they will loose your registration. The “winning” registrar is the registrar with whom your domain will be registered after the process is complete.

Example:

My domain, acmewidgets.com is registered now with Network Solutions. I plan to transfer the registration from Network Solutions to GoDaddy. In this scenario, Network Solutions is the “loosing registrar” and GoDaddy is the “winning registrar.”

The Transfer Process

Step # 1 – Unlock your domain with the loosing registrar.

Log into your account at the loosing registrar’s site and un-lock your domain. When a domain is “locked”, it cannot be transferred. This is a safety feature that prevents un-authorized transfer of your domain. Nothing can happen until your domain is un-locked. If you are not sure how to un-lock your domain, you should be able to have your current registrar (the “losing” registrar) help you or un-lock it for you.

Step # 2 – Obtain your Authorization Code from the loosing registrar.

Log into your account at the loosing registrar’s site and request your “Authorization Code”. This is sometimes known as an “EPP Key.” It is a several character code that usually consists of a combination of letters and numbers. The exact steps you need to take to obtain this code varies depending on your registrar. Some simply offer a menu choice once you have logged into your account, and some will email it to you.

Step # 3 – Go to the winning registrar and request a domain transfer.

Most registrars have a straightforward transfer request process. The actual steps will vary from one vendor to another, but for the most part, it should be fairly simple. You will most likely need to either create a new account with them or log into an existing account. Once you are logged into your account, you will request a domain transfer. You will be prompted to indicate the name of the domain you plan to transfer (i.e. “acmewidgets.com”). Once you initiate the request, follow the instructions from the winning registrar. These instructions will either appear on screen or be emailed to you. In this process, you will be prompted for the Authorization Code (or “EPP Key”) so be sure to have it in-hand. Once your request is fully initiated, the losing registrar must honor the request within 5 business days.

Every registrar has a different policy with regards to how long they take before they allow the transfer to proceed. Regardless, bay law, they must allow the request to go through after five business days. It is also possible that it could go through the same day (or anything in-between). Contact the losing registrar and ask them ahead of time how long it should take before they allow the request to be processed. Some may say “we don’t know, assume five days”, some will tell you that it might happen sooner. It is not unheard of to be told one thing, and then the opposite happens. Unfortunately, this is the nature of the domain registration transfer process. It can be a bit unpredictable. The only thing you can be sure of is that once the request is complete, the longest it should take is five business days.

Summary

Again, there are some details to consider before you initiate your domain transfer (i.e. email), but the focus of this article was to provide an overview of the process itself. The most important thing is to have a clear line of communication between you, the loosing registrar and the winning registrar. This is a process that sometimes requires a bit of hand holding and tenacity. If you have the access you need to the tech support team of both the losing and wining registrar, you will find that things run a bit smoother.