Sometimes, you need to transfer a domain name from your existing registrar to a new one. This could be for one of many reasons, the most common being lower annual domain registration charges and better service and support.
In this blog post, I will explain the process of transferring your domain name from your existing registrar to a new one. The following are the steps to be followed:
1. Unlock your domain at your current registar
Normally, domains will be locked by their respective registrars. This is to prevent unauthorized transfers from taking place. When a domain is locked, any transfer request for that domain will be rejected. A WHOIS query for a locked domain will show its status as “Client Transfer Prohibited”.
Therefore, a domain name must be unlocked before it can be transferred, as otherwise the current registrar will simply ignore any transfer requests for that domain, even if legitimate.
You can unlock your domain from your domain registrar’s portal by signing in to your administration account and going to the domain management page. If such an option is not provided by your registrar, you can get in touch via email or phone and ask them to unlock the domain for you.
By law, a domain registrar cannot refuse such a request if it is made through official channels and originates from the registered phone number or email ID of the domain owner.
2. Get transfer authorization code from your current registrar
An authorization code is an alphanumeric “password” for your domain. The purpose of this code is to authenticate a legitimate domain transfer request and prevent fraudulent transfers.
A registrar requesting transfer of a domain to itself must pass this authorization code to the current registrar. The current registrar will validate the authorization code and transfer the domain to the new registrar only if the code is correct.
You can get the authorization code (also called an Extensible Provisioning Protocol or EPP code) from your domain registrar’s portal after signing in to your account. You can also change or reset the code if you wish.
Again, if such an option is not available, get in touch with your domain registrar and ask them for the code, and they will be obliged by law to provide it to you.
3. Sign up with the new registrar for a domain name transfer
Next, you can go to your new registrar and sign up for a domain transfer. Every registrar will provide an option to transfer in domains, and typically provide discounts on annual charges and a year’s free extension for transferred domains.
All you need to do is provide your domain name and authorization code, choose a username and password, provide some basic details and make the payment. With this, the new registrar will officially initiate the process of transferring the domain.
These are the domain transfer links for some major domain registrars:
- GoDaddy: http://www.godaddy.com/domains/domain-transfer.aspx
- BigRock: http://www.bigrock.in/transfer/domain-transfer.php
- Name.com: https://www.name.com/domain-transfer
4. Authorize the transfer in request from new registrar
Typically, when a domain transfer is initiated, the new registrar will send an email to the administrative email ID for the domain. This is the email ID that is displayed in a WHOIS query for the domain.
NOTE: If the administrative email ID for your domain is no longer valid, please change it before you sign up for a domain transfer.
This email will contain an authorization link. You must click on this link to accept the transfer request. Typically, you would need to do this within 7 days of initiating the domain transfer, failing which the transfer request will lapse.
Once you authorize the transfer, the new registrar will send a request to the old registrar to transfer the domain to it. The authorization code that you provided while signing up with the new registrar will also be sent with this request.
The old registrar will authenticate the transfer request by checking whether the domain is unlocked and the authorization code is correct. If either of these checks fail, the transfer request will be rejected. If everything is fine, the request will be accepted.
At this point, the status of the domain in a WHOIS query will be shown as “Pending Transfer”, indicating that the domain is awaiting a transfer to a new registrar.
5. Authorize the transfer out request from old registrar (optional)
Sometimes, the old registrar can separately ask the domain owner to confirm the transfer request. In that case, a second email will be sent to you by the old registrar asking for confirmation. You must follow the instructions in the mail to accept the transfer request.
Once this is done, the old registrar will release the domain and the new registrar will gain control over it. A WHOIS search will now show the new registar’s name against the domain.
As a precautionary measure, you must then lock the domain again and also change the authorization code. Usually this will be done by the registrar itself, so you need not worry about it, but be sure to verify it just in case.