Renewing an Existing Accreditation
An ICANN accreditation is currently granted for a term of 5 years. In order for a registrar to maintain its accreditation, it must renew its Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) every 5 years.
ICANN's Registrar Liaison staff will make an effort to contact every registrar approximately 90 days before the expiration date of its accreditation to inform the registrar of the upcoming expiration of its accreditation, to identify any outstanding compliance issues involving the registrar, and to check the accuracy of the registrar's contact information on ICANN's records. The 2009 RAA requires that a registrar maintain accurate and current contact information. It is also crucial that the registrar maintain accurate and reliable contact information with ICANN.
Any registrar that wishes to renew its accreditation must ensure that:
- it has no overdue invoice(s);
- it is compliant with its Registrar Data Escrow requirements;
- it has no other outstanding compliance issue(s).
Once it is determined that the registrar is in good standing and the accuracy of the registrar's data has been verified, ICANN will issue a RAA for a new five year term.
Terminating an Accreditation
Under the RAA, ICANN has the option to terminate an RAA prior to its expiration, pursuant to the circumstances and conditions set forth in Section 5.3 of the RAA. A registrar may also voluntarily terminate its RAA by giving ICANN thirty days written notice. This notice must be submitted by courier, post or fax, using the registrar's official letterhead, and signed by an authorized officer of the registrar company.
Upon termination of an RAA (whether by ICANN or the registrar), any names formerly sponsored by the terminated registrar must be transferred to an ICANN-accredited registrar. ICANN follows its De-accredited Registrar Transition Procedure to ensure the successful transition of the names and the protection of the registrants.
Transferring (Assigning) an ICANN Accreditation
The RAA allows an ICANN-accredited registrar ("Transferor") to transfer its accreditation to another entity ("Transferee") that wishes to become an accredited registrar through the following assignment procedure.
The assignment procedure requires the Transferee to submit an ICANN Registrar Accreditation Application along with an application fee, and the Transferor to submit a signed Transfer of Accreditation form. Upon ICANN's written approval of the new accreditation application the Transferee can take over the existing accreditation and the management of all of the existing sponsored registrations once the transfer process is completed.
After approving the Transfer of Accreditation, ICANN will request the Transferor to inform its customers about the transfer and provide customers with a two-week notice to allow the customers the opportunity to transfer their domain names to another registrar should they wish to do so.
Once ICANN has received a copy of the notice sent by the Transferor to its customers along with confirmation that the notice has been sent to all registrants, ICANN will send an RAA to the Transferee with the same expiration date as the one initially signed by the Transferor. The Transferee will then assume and be responsible for all the existing obligations and liabilities of the Transferor.
Purchasing an ICANN-Accredited Registrar
If another entity purchases an ICANN-accredited registrar, the acquired registrar must provide ICANN the following to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- notice within thirty days of the acquisition
- a statement included in the notification that affirms that the acquired registrar meets the ICANN-adopted specification or policy on accreditation criteria then in effect, and is in compliance with its obligations under the RAA
- a list of the registrar's officers and directors
- a copy of the Purchase Agreement (note, the specific terms of the purchase may be redacted from the submission, but proof of the transaction is required)
- a copy of the Certificate of Insurance as required by the RAA
The acquired registrar needs to verify that all of its contact data is up to date. If there are any questions about these requirements or the process, please contact email@example.com.
Registrar Name Change
If an ICANN-accredited registrar changes its company name, it should provide the official documentation of the company name change such as a Certificate of Amendment to the Certificate of Incorporation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once ICANN has received the appropriate documentation, ICANN will update the registrar's company name in its records accordingly and announce the name change to the registries.
The registrar is responsible for completing any requirements that the registries may impose to document the name change. It is important that the changes be reflected at the registry as soon as practical in order to avoid public confusion about the entity's name.
If an ICANN-accredited registrar is involved in a merger, the official document detailing the merger should be sent to email@example.com.
Once ICANN has received the appropriate documentation, ICANN will review and instruct the involved registrar(s) on the next steps to be taken.