Do you wish to move your domain name to a different registrar?
Most domain registrars allow you to transfer your domain to them. But a few things can get in the way, such as a domain lock imposed by your current registrar.
This guide will show you the easiest way to transfer your domain as quickly as possible. We’ll also give you tips to avoid common mistakes. Now before you make the switch, let’s be sure that a domain transfer is right for you.
Reasons to Transfer a Domain to a New Registrar
There are plenty of reasons why you would want to transfer your domain name. But domain name transfers are not free of charge. They usually come with a fee so if you’re under the impression you can renew your domain for cheaper with another registrar, sometimes the transfer fee may cancel out the benefit of cheaper renewal costs.
So it’s best to do the math before you decide to transfer your domain name. Aside from cheaper renewals, here are good reasons why you should transfer your domain:
- Better management: You want to consolidate multiple domains under a single DNS registrar. Or you want to have your web hosting and domain together in one place.
- Cheaper pricing: Your current registrar has suddenly increased their prices and you may be getting a better deal with another registrar.
- Slow speed: Your site is taking more time to load or you may be experiencing more downtime than expected.
- Reliable customer support: It’s extremely important to have good support to resolve any issues you may have with your domain. If you’re unhappy with your current registrar’s support, switching to a better web host is advisable. For instance, Bluehost has one of the best customer support teams.
- Domain Sale: You want to transfer the domain name to someone else at a new registrar.
There may be other reasons as well but know that a domain transfer is quite easy. However, there are certain situations where your domain transfer could be denied.
What Can Stop A Domain Transfer?
When you submit a request to transfer your domain, you’ll need to state why you want to transfer the domain.
The domain registrar will need to verify that you are the owner. They may also need to verify why you want to transfer. There’s a Confirmation of Registrar Transfer Request form that you’ll need to fill out. If you don’t respond to the form, then your transfer request will not be processed.
Now, there are certain situations that can prevent a domain name from being transferred. This includes:
- Evidence of fraud: If the registrar finds that there is a reasonable dispute over the identity of the person authorizing the transfer, they can deny the request.
- Payment outstanding: If you owe payment for a previous registration period, then you won’t be able to transfer it out till you clear your dues. This includes credit card charge-backs.
- Owner objection: A domain name holder may submit a written objection against the transfer.
- Domain lock: The domain name can be in “Lock” status. Every registrar will provide an option for you to remove the lock. You’ll need to contact your registrar for help with this.
- Recent registration: The domain name has not completed 60 days since its initial registration.
- Recent transfer: The domain name is within 60 days of a previous transfer.
- Court proceedings: Domain name is subject to a court order by a court of competent jurisdiction.
If your registrar denies your request, they must provide a specific reason. You can get in touch with either the current registrar or the registrar you wish to transfer to for information on the denial.
If all is well with your domain, then your domain registrar will approve your request and start processing the transfer to a new registrar.
With that said, let’s head straight to the step-by-step process of transferring your domain.
Things to Do Before Your Transfer a Domain Name
Before you can transfer your domain name, you’ll need to make sure you have a few things covered.
1. Make sure your contact information is up to date
During the transfer process, your current and new domain registrar will need to contact you. They may need to send you updates, ask for confirmations, or get more information from you.
So it’s critical that your information is correct or it could lead to a denial. You can update your contact information with your current registrar. Simply log into your account on the domain registrar’s website. Then you can update your name, phone number, email address, and physical address.
If you have a business email like [email protected], you may be receiving domain-related emails to this inbox. Before you start the transfer process, you’ll want to make sure that you enter a backup email address.
In case the business email inbox gets deactivated, you can be sure that you won’t miss any important emails regarding your transfer.
2. Disable the domain lock
All domains are locked by default. This is a safety feature to prevent accidental changes or deletion. But every domain registrar is required to add an option for users to easily disable this.
In your domain registrar account or control panel, you should find an option to “unlock domain”.
So for instance, in the Bluehost dashboard, you can navigate to the Manage » Security tab. Here, you’ll see a ‘Transfer Lock’ tab with a toggle switch.
Simply disable it to allow the domain transfer to take place.
Look for the “unlock domain” option in your registrar’s control panel. Every provider is different, but you’ll often find it under the “Domain” or “Security” section of the main account screen.
If you don’t find this option, you may need to request manual unlocking from your registrar directly.
Once your domain is unlocked, you’ll able to transfer the name to another registrar.
3. Disable domain privacy
If you’ve enabled privacy protection on your domain name, you’ll need to disable it. Privacy protection hides your contact information from being displayed in the WHOIS database.
Your new domain registrar will need to verify that you are the rightful domain owner. They will access the WHOIS records to find the current domain owner and other details. Plus, they may use the contact information in the WHOIS database to send emails regarding the domain transfer.
If you have domain privacy protection enabled, the emails could end up in your current domain registrar or web hosting inbox that you cannot access.
Once you complete these tasks, you’re ready to transfer your domain name.
How do I transfer my domain name to a new registrar?
To start the domain transfer process, you’ll need to initiate it from the new domain registrar. So the first thing you need to do is to open an account with them.
1. Sign up with your new registrar
All domain registrars require you to sign up for an account before you can request them to accept your domain under their wing.
So for instance, if you’re planning to transfer your domain name to Bluehost, you’ll first need to sign up for a free account.
Once you’re logged in, you’ll need to find the transfer service where you can enter the domain name you want to transfer. For instance, example.com.
You don’t need to add “https” and “www”. Just the domain name and extension will do.
2. Authorize the Domain Transfer
To transfer your domain, you’ll need to provide an authorization code.
When you place a domain transfer request, your domain registrar will send it to you within 5 days. You should get it by email.
Some registrars allow you to auto generate the code inside cPanel.
This feature acts like a 2-factor authentication to prevent it from being transferred by unauthorized parties.
Note that the authorization code is sometimes known as Auth-Code, Auth-Info Code, or AuthInfo Code and will be used by both your current registrar and the new one.
Once you receive the code, you need to head over to your account with the new domain registrar.
Enter and submit the authorization code you received. Be sure you enter the right code because if it is incorrect, then your transfer will be denied and you’ll have to start the process again.
After you provide the authorization code, one or both domain registrars will contact you to confirm your details.
You’ll need to verify your contact information and approve the transfer.
3. Pay the Domain Transfer Fee
Domain transfers usually bear a nominal cost. Usually, you’ll need to pay this fee to the new domain registrar. Sometimes, your current registrar may also levy a charge.
If you’re looking for a good deal, there are plenty of promotional offers that you can find online.
For instance, when you transfer to Network Solutions, you’ll get a 1-year domain validity period extension for free. They even let you bulk transfer up to 200 domain names. Read more about this here: Network Solutions Review: Features, Plans & Pricing
Once you’ve made the payment, your domain transfer process will be handled between the two registrars.
The current registrar will release the domain to the new registrar. They in turn will configure the domain for you.
The entire process could take a few days but can go up to 2-3 weeks. But don’t worry, your website will remain online and will be accessible during this time.
FAQS on Domain Name Transfers
How long does a domain transfer take?
The domain transfer process usually takes 5 to 7 business days. However, if there are complications such as incorrect contact information or domain owner objection, it could take longer.
Why can’t I transfer my recently purchased domain name?
When you buy a domain name, there’s a 60-day lock placed on it. This prevents anyone from transferring your domain name without your knowledge.
What is an authorization/EPP/transfer code and where do I get it?
The Auth-Code is an authorization code provided by your registrar to verify the domain transfer. It’s also known as AuthInfo Code, Auth-Info Code, or transfer code.
Usually, your current domain registrar will send you the code via email within 5 days of placing the domain transfer request. Some registrars allow you to auto generate the code on your own through cPanel.
Can I transfer an expired domain and do I have to pay for its renewal first?
Yes, you can transfer an expired domain. You don’t have to renew the domain first or pay any renewal fees. However, if you have payments pending on the previous registration period, then your domain transfer will be denied till you clear your dues.
I don’t know who my domain registrar is. How do I find out?
This is an easy one! Simply head over to the WHOIS database.
Enter your domain name and you’ll see all the information about the domain including the domain registrar.
Do I have to pay charges to transfer my domain name?
This depends on the domain registrar. Some levy a fee for transferring to a new registrar but others allow you to do that for free. Usually, the new registrar will charge you a fee for transferring in.
That’s all we have for you. We hope you found this guide on transferring domain names helpful. If you’re unsure about which domain registrar would be the best, here are our top picks:
- Domain.com: One of the best domain registrars with an automated domain transfer process.
- Bluehost: Officially recommended by WordPress.org for their web hosting services, Bluehost is also one of the best domain registrars. They offer quality services and top-notch support.
- Network Solutions: The oldest domain registrar in the world with a robust portfolio of domain services.
You can also find more options here: 8 Best Domain Name Registrars (Compared).