5 things every domain name registrant should know about ICANN’s transfer policy


1.There are two important rules you should be aware of regarding whether and when a domain name can be transferred from one registrar to another and/or from one registrant to another. 

The first rule is that you generally cannot transfer a domain name to a new registrar within 60 days of making a change to your contact information. While some registrars may provide an option to opt-out of this 60-day “lock period” this rule is in place for your protection (to prevent unauthorized transfers) and the registrar does not have to offer this option. Contact your registrar to find out if they offer this option.

The second rule is that you can only initiate the transfer process if you are the registered name holder, administrative contact, or an individual explicitly authorized to act on behalf of either of those contacts. This information can be viewed by going to whois.icann.org and enter your domain name in the look-up tool. This requirement is in place for your protection to guard against an unauthorized transfer of your domain name. Because of this requirement, it is important to keep your contact information up-to-date.

2. To initiate the process to transfer your domain name from one ICANN-accredited registrar to another, you should first contact the registrar to which you wish to transfer the name. After you contact that registrar, it is required to confirm your intent to transfer your domain name using the Standardized Form for Gaining Registrars. If you do not respond or return this form, your transfer request will not be processed. Your current registrar must also verify your intent to transfer using the Confirmation of Registrar Transfer Request form. After you’ve responded and provided the necessary information to the registrar you wish to transfer your domain name to, the ‘gaining’ registrar will then tell the registry to make the transfer.

  • To find out who your current registrar is, you can look it up by performing a search for your domain name at:<http://www.whois.icann.org>. The “Registrar” field shows you who your registrar is.

3. There are some circumstances under which a registrar must deny a transfer request, and some circumstances where the registrar has the option to deny a transfer.

Your registrar may deny a transfer request in the following limited circumstances:

  • Evidence of fraud
  • Reasonable dispute over the identity of the person authorizing the transfer
  • Domain name is on hold due to payment owed for a previous registration period (including credit card charge-backs)
  • Express written objection from the domain name holder
  • Domain name is in “Lock” status (Registrars must provide a readily accessible and reasonable means for name holders to remove the lock status. Contact your registrar for assistance.)
  • Domain name is within 60 days of initial registration
  • Domain name is within 60 days of a previous transfer

Your registrar is required to specify a reason when denying your transfer request unless they are required to deny it. Contact either the current registrar or the registrar you wish to transfer to for information on the denial.

Your registrar must deny a transfer request in the following limited circumstances:

  • Domain name is the subject of a UDRP proceeding
  • Domain name is subject to a court order by a court of competent jurisdiction
  • Domain name is the subject of a TDRP proceeding
  • Domain name is the subject of a URS proceeding or URS suspension
  • Domain name is subject to 60-Day Change of Registrant lock

4. You’ll need something called the AuthInfo code (also called an Authorization Code, AuthInfo code, Auth-Info Code, or transfer code) to make the transfer. This is a unique code created by a registrar to identify the domain name holder (also known as a registrant or registered name holder) and help prevent unauthorized transfers.

Registrars provide the AuthInfo codes in one of two ways:

  • Allow you to create your own AuthInfo code through their website or customer service team, or
  • Provide the AuthInfo code within five calendar days of your request.

5. If you think your request to transfer your domain name was inappropriately denied or you do not agree with the reason (if any) provided by your current registrar for denying your request, you can submit a formal Transfer Complaint with ICANN.

(Source: ICANN Website)

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