8 Things to Know About Domain TransfersPosted: December 23, 2011
Given the GoDaddy boycott news today, this seemed like a relevant subject to potentially many of you.
Even after over 20 years of domain existence, domain transfers across different registrars work in quirky ways. There’s no set process that all registrars go by, as some registrars add an additional step. This can cause a lot of confusion if you’re not used to them.
What do you need to know about domain transfers?
1. Domain transfers cost money and add a year of registration to the domain – always
Unlike a domain push to another account at the same registrar, a domain transfer across different registrars will always cost money. Typically the costs are at or below the cost of a year of registration, with a year of registration added onto the domain in the process. So it essentially acts like a renewal though generally winds up being cheaper.
2. The domain must be unlocked for it to be transferred out
While some registrars will allow a domain transfer to be ordered on a locked domain, it will stop the transfer before it ever reaches the approval process. Depending on the ordering registrar, they may simply refund the transfer cost immediately or may give some time to allow the transferrer to coordinate with the registrant to unlock the domain.
3. For major extensions, the domain will have an authorization code needed for transfer
Some of the more obscure country-code extensions do not use authorization codes, but all major extensions do. The domain owner can get the authorization or EPP code within their account. It is generally needed before a domain transfer order can be completed. GoDaddy is the only major registrar where it is not needed upfront but instead later in the transfer process.
4. Domains cannot be transferred out within 60 days of registration
This is a hard lock implemented at the registry level and is the case with all major extensions. If you’re within 60 days of registration of a domain and need to transfer it out, you’ll have to wait.
5. GoDaddy implements a 60 day transfer lock when changing registrant information
GoDaddy used to implement a 60-day transfer lock whenever anything in the whois information was changed. They’ve since scaled it back to only when the registrant (the owner or company name) is changed. If you want to transfer the domain out and change that information, make sure you do the transfer out first.
6. GoDaddy, Moniker and some other registrars have a confirmation process after ordering the transfer
Once you order a domain transfer at GoDaddy, the domain registrant will get an email with transfer confirmation codes, which need to be entered within the ordering GoDaddy account. Once they’re entered, GoDaddy would then prompt for the authorization code.
If you’re transferring the domain from your account at a different registrar, you’ll receive this email. If you are buying the domain from someone else and transferring it from their account, they will get it. So in the case of a transfer to GoDaddy, they would need to forward it to you for you to complete it.
Note that transferring domains out of GoDaddy does not follow this same process. Moniker’s confirmation process merely sends a link in the email and as long as the current registrant can log into a Moniker account, they can confirm the transfer. Most other registrars have no confirmation process.
7. Manual approval of the transfer can make it go quicker
The registrant will receive an email from their registrar to approve or decline the transfer. Although many registrars will auto-approve the transfer after 7 days, if it is manually approved before then, the transfer will process soon after.
8. Whois information does NOT update to the recipient’s default account information
Once the transfer is done, it’s often assumed that the whois information updates to reflect the default in the new account it’s in. That does not happen however. If you’re buying a domain from someone and you gain control of it through a domain transfer, make sure to update the whois information afterwards. Otherwise, the seller’s info will remain on the domain.