Domain Transfer Guide

Domain transfers can often be a difficult and frustrating process. Whether you’re buying, selling, or consolidating your domain names it’s a process that will inevitably need to occur.

For the sake of simplicity, our guide will cover the most common methods of domain transfers as they relate to the most common domain extensions, (.com, .net, .org, etc). ccTLDs, Country Code Top-Level Domains (.co.uk, .ru, etc), and gTLDs Generic Top-Level Domains (.club, .movie, etc) can require a bit more of an extensive process. If you’d like assistance with transferring with some of these please reach out to us directly, we’re happy to help.

However, if you’d like to do it yourself here is an FAQ of a few things to understand while attempting to move your domain name.

Types of Domain Transfers

Same Registrar Domain Transfer (Internal) (Push Domain Transfer)

If you’d like to maintain the registrar that the domain is located, you will need to perform an internal (push) domain name transfer.

An example of this would be to transfer a domain name from a GoDaddy account to another GoDaddy account.

Prior to pushing the domain, the gaining account will need to have the account setup completed. This will often need to involve completing all the details of their WHOIS contacts so that upon pushing the domain it will enable the domain to populate with the gaining account’s contact information. Failure to do this will often result in a transfer error.

The domain transfer process can differ at each registrar but it will typically involve the losing registrant to obtain the account information (Most commonly username and/or email address) of the gaining account and to “push” the domain name to the new account. The gaining account will often need to then confirm acceptance of the domain name within their account to complete the transfer. This is commonly accompanied by an email confirmation from the domain registrar to each party.

Other methods can instead require the gaining account to first request the domain be transferred to their account and the losing account registrant to then confirm the transfer out (see Network Solutions).

Again, each domain registrar is a bit different. Upon pushing the domain name from one account to another and then accepting the transfer via the gaining account can take several days until the transfer is confirmed by the registrar and finalized.

Transfer To a Different Registrar (External)

This method to transfer a domain name can be a bit tricky. As you will often find yourself communicating across different time zones with different companies with varying degrees of support.

To begin, the domain will need to be eligible for transfer. Updating WHOIS contact information can lock a domain name from transferring to a different registrar for 60 days. The losing domain registrant will have likely been made aware of this by their domain registrar should they have updated their information.

Also, if the domain name has been transferred from one registrar to another within the past 60 days, this will also block it from transfer until 60 days have passed.

Before transferring a domain name, the losing registrant will need to complete a few steps. See our explanation on the specific process for each domain registrar.

Make sure the domain name is unlocked.

This can be done from within their domain name account. At most registrars, this is as simple as clicking the “unlock” button, most commonly denoted by an image of a lock, and clicking save.

Remove any email privacy.

While this step is a bit antiquated given the most common practice for transferring domain names it’s still important to perform. Transfer emails and otherwise sent by domain registrars will most commonly be sent to the Administrative Contact on the WHOIS record.

Obtain the Authorization code (also known as an EPP Code)

It’s important to not share this code with anyone outside of the relevant parties involved with the domain name transfer. This code will allow the holder to transfer the domain.


The Gaining Registrant will then need to complete the following steps.

Obtain the Authorization code (also known as an EPP Code)

Provided the losing registrant has completed all the necessary steps and the domain is eligible for transfer the transfer should begin once the authorization code is input.

This process can take between 5-7 business days to complete.

See our explanation on the specific process for each domain registrar

Do I Need To Transfer My Domain?

There are many reasons why people undergo the domain name transfer process. As a domain name brokerage, this is most commonly because a domain name is being bought or sold.

Properly and completely transferring a domain name is arguably the single most important step to ensure complete and sole ownership when transacting.

Consolidation

Moving your domain names to a single domain registrar is also another important reason. It’s fairly common as companies grow and employees change for domain names to be simply forgotten. Moving from registrars no longer widely used internally to a single and manageable place help to ensure the domain name assets are properly looked after and a valid credit card is kept on file.

How Long Does a Domain Transfer Take?

Each registrar is a bit different. There is a culmination of factors that can cause varying lengths of time the domain transfer to complete.

Internal domain transfers often referred to as a “push” domain transfer are most commonly the quickest method. Please know, it’s often advised by the domain registrar itself that this method is instantaneous. In our experience, it can still take a few days to complete. This process can be elongated if proper confirmation is not done by either buyer or seller to complete/initiate the domain transfer.

The external domain transfer process (auth code method) can take a bit longer. Once the transfer actually starts it will take 5-7 days for it to complete. Just like with the push domain transfer process this can be delayed by multiple factors. The domain can be ineligible for transfer, the auth code that’s being used is inaccurate (or it’s expired and another will need to be generated), or the domain name was not unlocked by the losing registrant.

However, unlike with push transfers, there is a method to expedite an external transfer. Once the transfer has started the losing registrant can acknowledge the transfer out which can often bypass the 5-7 day transfer requirement. Not all registrars make this a user-friendly process for the losing registrant and it’s often best to wait the 5-7 days for the domain to transfer normally.

What Domains Are Not Eligible For Transfer?

Domain names that have been recently registered or transferred registrars are not eligible for transfer until 60 days after the transfer/registration has completed.

The domain name will need to be unlocked by the losing registrant. The domain status on the WHOIS record will most commonly display as “OK” or “Active” If the domain shows “Client Transfer Prohibited” the losing registrant will need to unlock the domain name before the domain name transfer will process.

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