Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers

FAQ for Domain-Name Holders

If I bought a name through one registrar, am I allowed to switch to a different registrar?

Yes. The Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy, applicable to all ICANN-accredited registrars, provides that registered name holders must be able to transfer their domain name registrations between registrars. You must wait 60 days after the initial registration or any previous transfers to initiate a transfer.

How do I transfer my domain name to a new registrar?

If you wish to move your domain name from one ICANN-accredited registrar to another, you may initiate the transfer process by contacting the registrar to which you wish to transfer the name. This registrar is required to confirm your intent to transfer your domain name using the Initial Authorization for Registrar Transfer form. If you do not respond or return the form to the registrar, your transfer request will not be processed.

Your current registrar may also choose to verify your intent to transfer using the Confirmation of Registrar Transfer Request form.

The registrar is asking me for a code. Where do I get this?

The Auth-Info Code is a unique code generated on a per-domain basis and is used for authorization or confirmation of a transfer request. Some registrars offer facilities for you to generate and manage your own Auth Info code. In other cases, you will need to contact the registrar directly to obtain it. The registrar must provide you with the Auth-Info code within 5 calendar days of your request.

The Auth-Info code is applicable to transfers of all gTLD names, with the exception of .gov, .edu, .mil, .museum, and .int names.

What if I don't know who my registrar is?

If you don't know who your current sponsoring registrar is, you can access information about your domain name by performing a Whois search at <http://www.internic.net/whois.html>.

My registrar is refusing to transfer my name. What do I do?

A registrar may legitimately deny a transfer request in certain limited circumstances, as follows:

  • Evidence of fraud
  • Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) action
  • Court order
  • 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
  • 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

Registrars are required to specify a reason when denying a transfer request. Contact either the current registrar or the registrar you wish to transfer to for assistance.

My registrar is charging me a fee to transfer to a new registrar. Is this allowed?

Yes. Registrars are allowed to set their own prices for this service.

My request was denied for a reason not listed above, or I do not agree with the reason they provided. What do I do?

If you believe that your transfer request was inappropriately denied by your current registrar, please contact the registrar to which you want to transfer for assistance. Disputes between registrars over alleged violations of the Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy may be initiated by any ICANN-accredited registrar.

My domain name was transferred without my authorization. What do I do?

If you believe that your domain name was transferred to a new registrar without your authorization or consent, please contact the original registrar. Disputes between registrars over alleged violations of the Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy may be initiated by any ICANN-accredited registrar.

How do I find out why my transfer request was denied?

If your current registrar denies a transfer request, they are required to provide you with the reason. Contact the registrar for assistance. See above for the circumstances in which a registrar may legitimately deny a transfer request.

My domain has been transferred to some other registrar without my knowledge, and now it shows someone else as the owner. What do I do?

A registrar may only initiate a transfer if it has obtained a completed Form of Authorization (FOA) from either 1) the registrant or 2) the administrative contact for the domain. The registrar must be able to produce a copy of this documentation when it is requested. Failure to do so is grounds for reversal of a transfer in the event that a complaint is filed under the Transfer Dispute Resolution Policy.

Thus, the first step should be for your previous registrar to request from the new registrar a copy of the form used for authorizing the transfer. The registrar can then proceed with initiating a dispute as appropriate. Contact your previous registrar for assistance.

My domain name has just expired. Can my registrar require me to pay for a renewal before I can transfer to a new registrar?

No. Your new registrar of choice can initiate a transfer request on an expired domain name once they receive the required authorization from you. Expiration or nonrenewal of a domain name is not a valid reason for denial of a transfer request.

Note that if the registrar has already begun the deletion process on the domain name and its status shows it to be within a 30-day Redemption Grace Period, the name must be restored by your current registrar before it can be transferred.

My registrar is listed as the Administrative Contact for my domain name and this is preventing my transfer from going through. What do I do?

If you are listed as the Registrant for the domain name, you can ask your new registrar of choice to send the required Form of Authorization to you rather than the Administrative Contact.

You can also update the data associated with the domain name and name a different Administrative Contact. Some registrars offer an online interface tool for you to manage this data yourself; others can make these updates if you contact their customer service.

Where can I go if I have a question that is not answered above?

If you have questions about the transfer policy, please contact your registrar or you may file a complaint with ICANN by going to http://reports.internic.net/cgi/registrars/problem-report.cgi.

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