Skip to main content

Domain Name Transfers


On 26 January 2020, the ICANN Board passed a resolution to defer contractual compliance enforcement of the gaining registrar's requirement to obtain express authorization of an inter-registrar transfer from the Transfer Contact via a Standardized Form of Authorization (FOA). ICANN Contractual Compliance will defer enforcement of Section I(A)(2.1) of the Transfer Policy until the matter is settled in the GNSO Council's Transfer Policy review.

Transfer Policy

Consistent with ICANN's obligation to promote and encourage robust competition in the domain name space, the Transfer Policy aims to provide a straightforward procedure for domain name holders to transfer their names from one ICANN-accredited registrar to another should they wish to do so. The policy also provides standardized requirements for registrar handling of such transfer requests from domain name holders.

  1. Transfer Policy (Effective as of 1 December 2016)
    1. Redline against previous version of Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy [PDF, 552 KB]
    2. Frequently Asked Questions
  2. Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy (Effective 31 January 2015 through 30 November 2016)
  3. Standardized Form for Gaining Registrars (Effective as of 12 July 2004)
  4. Standardized Form for Losing Registrars (Effective as of 1 December 2016)
  5. Standardized Form for Losing Registrars (Effective 12 July 2004 through 30 November 2016)

Transfer Dispute Resolution Policy

  1. Transfer Dispute Resolution Policy (Effective as of 1 December 2016)
  2. Transfer Dispute Resolution Policy (Effective 12 July 2004 through 30 November 2016)

Additional Resources


The Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy was developed through ICANN's consensus policy development process. The 29 policy recommendations contained in the Transfer Task Force's report to the GNSO were accepted by the GNSO Council and adopted by the ICANN Board in early 2003. As instructed by the Board, ICANN staff consulted with a Transfer Assistance Group (TAG) consisting of members of the community and GNSO constituencies in order to coordinate implementation of the new transfer procedures. All ICANN-accredited registrars and unsponsored gTLD registry operators are required to follow this policy.

The Board adopted certain revisions to the Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy in November 2008.

On 12 July 2004, ICANN announced the adoption of the Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy comprised of finalized policy documents, available below. The policy is in effect beginning on 12 November 2004. The original policy recommendations require a review of the policy at intervals of three, six, and twelve months after implementation. This area will be updated as necessary with requests for public input into the review process and any revised implementation details.

Background Documents

  1. Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy (Effective 1 June 2012 through 31 January 2015)
  2. IRTP Working Group D (12 February 2015)
  3. IRTP Working Group C (20 December 2012)
  4. IRTP Working Group B (28 October 2011)
  5. IRTP Working Group A (16 April 2009)
  6. Staff Report on Experiences with Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy (14 April 2005)
  7. Announcement: ICANN Requests Comments on Experiences with Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy (12 January 2005)
  8. Announcement: ICANN Domain Name Transfer Policy Becomes Effective (12 November 2004)
  9. Announcement: ICANN Approves Dispute Resolution Providers for Transfer Dispute Resolution Policy (8 November 2004)
  10. Update: Implementation of New Consensus Policies Applicable to gTLD Registrars (21 September 2004)
  11. Advisory concerning Inter-Registrar Transfers (12 July 2004)
  12. Call for Interest of Dispute Resolution Service Providers
  13. Second Update on Transfer Policy Implementation Process (31 March 2004)
  14. First Update on Transfer Policy Process (5 November 2003)
  15. Task Force's Final Report on Gaining and Losing Registrars (February 2003)
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."