Are you trying to transfer a domain name to a new registrar? The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) requires all registrars to honor transfer requests. Registrars that prohibit their customers from transferring domain names will lose their ICANN accreditation status and, thus, no longer be able to sell domain names.
Reasons to Transfer a Domain Name
Maybe you want to consolidate your domain names by transferring all of them to a single registrar. If you currently use multiple registrars, you’ll have to log in to each of them to renew your domain names. Consolidating your domain names will make them easier to manage.
Transferring your domain names to a new registrar may even save you money. Renewal fees can vary depending on the registrar. Some registrars charge more for domain name renewals than others. If you’re currently overpaying for renewals with a registrar, you can transfer your domain names to a new registrar.
Another reason to consider a domain name transfer is better customer support. There are hundreds of registrars. In addition to charging different renewal fees, some registrars offer faster and more helpful customer support than others. If your current registrar offers poor customer support, switching to a new registrar may prove worthwhile.
Ensure Transfer Eligibility
While ICANN requires registrars to honor transfer requests, not all domain names are eligible for transfer. There are certain requirements that domain names must meet before you can transfer them to a new registrar. For instance, you can only transfer a domain name to a new registrar if it’s been registered for at least 60 days. Newer and more recently registered domain names aren’t eligible for transfer.
The domain name that you intend to transfer must also expire in no sooner than 15 days. If the domain name expires in 14 or 13 days, for example, you’ll have to renew it. Otherwise, it won’t be eligible for transfer. The good news is that you won’t lose the additional registration time by transferring the domain name. If you renew the domain name for another year, it will retain the one year of registration time after you’ve transferred it to a new registrar.
Unlock the Domain Name
The first step to transferring a domain name to a new registrar is to unlock it. Most registrars automatically lock their customers’ domain names by default. It’s a security feature that’s designed to protect against unwanted transfers. You can still modify the nameservers and contact information for a locked domain name, but you won’t be able to transfer it to a new registrar.
You can unlock the domain name in your current registrar’s dashboard. In GoDaddy, the unlock option is available at the bottom of the domain name’s setting page. Just select the domain name that you want to unlock and scroll to the bottom of the page. Under “Additional Settings” is a button that you can click to unlock or lock the domain name.
In NameCheap, the unlock option is available on the “Sharing & Transfer” page. Click the “Manage” button for the domain name that you want to transfer, followed by the “Sharing & Transfer” tab at the top. Under “Transfer Out” are links to unlock or lock the domain name.
Copy the Authorization Code
You’ll need to copy the authorization code provided by your current registrar. All domain name transfers require the use of an authorization code. Also known as an Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP) code, it’s a string of letters, numbers and characters that authorizes the transfer process.
Transferring a domain name to a new registrar requires the use of an authorization code, which is provided by the registrar where the domain name is currently registered. You can get the authorization code from your current registrar. It’s typically available near the unlock option.
In GoDaddy, the authorization code is available by clicking the “Transfer domain away from GoDaddy link” next to the unlock option. In NameCheap, it’s available by clicking the “AUTH CODE” button next to the unlock option. Regardless, copy the authorization code and save it to a text file. You’ll need to use the authorization code to accept the transfer with your new registrar.
Authorization codes are unique to each domain name. If you’re transferring multiple domain names to a new registrar, you’ll need to get an authorization code for each of them.
Start the Transfer
With the authorization code in hand, you can now start the transfer to your new registrar. Log in to the registrar that you want to transfer the domain name to. Most registrars have a transfer tool. You can use your new registrar’s transfer tool to enter the authorization code provided by your current registrar and accept the transfer.
FullHost’s transfer tool is available by selecting “Transfer Domains” under the “Domains” menu. When you use the transfer tool, you’ll need to enter the domain name that you want to transfer and the authorization code for it.
Domain name transfers aren’t instant. After starting the transfer, it may not show up on your new registrar for at least five to seven days. If you still don’t see the domain name in your new registrar, check your account for messages. Most registrars will send you a message if the transfer failed, which should include the reason for the failure.
Registrars may reject your transfer request for different reasons. Maybe the domain name was registered less than 60 days ago, or perhaps it’s too close to expiration. You’ll need to fix these problems before retrying the transfer.
Transferring a domain name to a new registrar is easier than most webmasters realize. Assuming it’s eligible, you’ll need to unlock the domain name and copy the authorization code provided by your current registrar, after which you can accept the transfer with your new registrar.