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Do You Have a Domain Name? Here's What You Need to Know.

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Part II: Transferring Your Domain Name

As a registered name holder of a domain name you have certain rights, including the right to transfer your domain name to another registrar or registrant. There are a couple of important rules you need to know if you want to transfer your domain name.

The first rule is that you cannot transfer a domain name to a new registrar or registrant within 60 days of making a change to the registered name holder or administrative contact information. At their discretion, some registrars may provide an option for you to opt-out of this 60-day lock period. However, this rule is in place for your protection and the registrar does not have to offer this option. If your ultimate goal is to transfer the domain name, you may want to consider completing the transfer process first before changing your contact information.

Registrars also have the option of denying a transfer request submitted within the first 60 days of the initial registration of a domain name, or within 60 days from when you last transferred the domain name. You should read the registrar's terms and conditions carefully before you register a domain name to understand the options available to you. If you have a registered domain name, but don't know your registrar's practices, you can contact them for more information.

The second rule is you have to be the registered name holder or administrative contact for the domain name in order to initiate a transfer request. This rule applies to both registrar and registrant transfers, and is in place to prevent unauthorized transfers of your domain name. This is also the reason it's important to keep your contact information up-to-date.

Now that you know the rules, here is a look at the process so you know what to expect.

To initiate a transfer, contact the registrar you want to transfer the name to, also referred to as the 'gaining registrar.' See the list of ICANN-accredited registrars and their contact information here.

The gaining registrar will then send you an authorization form (Standardized Form for Gaining Registrars) that you must respond to with confirmation of your authorization and intent to transfer. If you don't respond, the transfer will not proceed. Once you provide your authorization, the gaining registrar will process the transfer request.

You can then expect to hear from your current registrar, asking you to confirm the transfer. This may seem duplicative, but it's in place for your protection to guard against unauthorized transfers of your domain name. Once you provide confirmation to your current registrar, the gaining registrar will complete the transfer, which takes approximately 5 days. See our 5 Things Every Domain Name Registrant Should Know About ICANN's Transfer Policy for more information about the confirmation forms.

To transfer your domain name to another registrant, you can initiate a change of registrant by contacting your current registrar. Your registrar will then ask for your confirmation via a secure mechanism (which typically will take the form of an email to the registered name holder). You must provide your confirmation within the number of days set by your registrar (not to exceed 60 days) or your transfer will not proceed. Once your registrar receives confirmation from you, they will process the transfer and notify you and the new registrant once the transfer is completed.

Click here to read 5 things Every Domain Name Registrant Should Know About the Transfer Policy

FAQs: Transferring Your Domain Name

More Information on Domain Name Transfers

To find out who your current registrar is or what your domain name contact information is you can look it up by performing a search for your domain name at:<>.

Learn more about ICANN's Transfer Policy (Effective as of 1 December 2016).

The 'Do You Have a Domain Name? Here's What You Need to Know' educational series is part of ICANN's broader efforts to help you better understand the ICANN policies that affect you, your role in the Domain Name System (DNS), and the role of the ICANN organization, registries, and registrars in the DNS ecosystem.


    Domain Name System
    Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."