What is involved in transferring a domain?

Requirements for transferring a domain name

Per ICANN regulations, the gaining registrar is required to obtain express authorization from the Transfer Contact(s) (listed Registrant or the Administrative Contact). Hence, a transfer may only proceed if confirmation of the transfer is received by the Gaining Registrar by the Transfer Contact.

Authorization must be obtained in one of the following ways:

Auto-verification (email authorization)
When an auto verification transfer order is submitted, a verification email will be sent to the registrant and administrative contact(s) for the domain(s). (Per ICANN Regulations, transfer verification will NOT be sent to technical, billing or other listed contacts for the domain.)

NOTE: If this verification is not received, the transfer will not proceed. Without this verification, transfer requests are not sent to the registry and the domain will not be put into “Pending Transfer” status for release by the losing registrar. **

Fax (physical/paper authorization)
In the event that the gaining registrar relies on a physical process to obtain transfer authorization, a paper copy of the FOA (FOA: Standardized Form of Authorization) is generated by the gaining registrar and must signed by the Transfer Contact. The form is faxed, or scanned and emailed to the gaining registrar and MUST be accompanied by reliable evidence of the identity for the Transfer Contact.

The acceptable forms of physical identity are:

•  Notarized statement
•  Valid Drivers license
•  Passport
•  Article of Incorporation
•  Military ID
•  State/Government issued ID
•  Birth Certificate

Domain requirements

In order to transfer a domain between registrars, a domain must meet the following requirements:

  • The domain must be at least 60-days old. Domains that are not yet 60-days old are not transferable between registrars. This is a registry restriction, not a regulation instituted by eNom or other registrars. 
  • A domain must be in “ACTIVE” or “OK” status. If a domain is in “REGISTRAR-LOCK”, “REGISTRAR-HOLD”, “REGISTRY-LOCK”, “REGISTRY-HOLD”, “REDEMPTION PERIOD” or “PENDING DELETE” status, the global registries will not allow registrar transfer. (See Article: A100482 for details about each registry.) 

TLD specific requirements and other pertinent information

  • EPP domains: (.org, .info, .biz, .us, .cn, .com.cn, .net.cn, .org.cn, .cn and .in)
    • These domains require an EPP/authorization key for transfer. (See Article: A100060 for additional information regarding EPP transfers)  Authorization (or EPP) keys/codes are generated by the current registrar and verified through the global registries for validity.   Since the implementation of ICANN's Transfer Policy in November 2004, EPP transfers now require additional verification. In addition to the EPP/authorization key, a verification email will also be mandatory for the transfer to proceed. 
    •  Due to a registry restriction (Public Interest Registry; http://www.pir.org), .org domains have a 60-day transfer restriction. If a .org domain has been transferred between registrars, the Public Interest Registry does not allow transfer of the domain for 60-days from the date the transfer was complete. 
    Transferring .uk domains
    •  See Article ID: 127 for information regarding .uk transfers. 
    The 45-day transfer rule
    • Due to a registry restriction (not eNom or any other registrar, but the global registry), if a domain is renewed and then transferred to another registrar within the first 45 days of renewal, the domain will not have an additional year added to the expiration date. 

Transferring a domain away from eNom

  • See Articles: 128 and 129 for information on transferring your domain away from eNom. 

You will be required by the gaining registrar to verify the request via fax or email and by providing the correct EPP code as required for .org, .info, .biz, .us, .in and .cn domains. This verification not only satisfies ICANN regulations, but is a safe-guard which ensures the transfer request is legitimate and that it has been verified by the legal transfer contact(s) as required by ICANN. Once the transfer request has been verified, the gaining registrar will submit the transfer request to the appropriate registry.

Once a transfer request has been submitted to the registry, (moving the domain into "pending transfer" status), the current registrar for the name will receive notification of the request. ICANN Transfer Policy dictates that current registrar must release the domain within five days of the date and time they were notified of the transfer request.

Please remember that this is an automated process, involving at least four parties (the global registry, two registrars and the domain contacts). Notifications and approvals are processed automatically. The only exception to this would be an explicit request by the registrant or administrative contact of the domain to manually approve (ACK) or deny (NACK) a transfer request. The explicit request is made to the registrar of record (losing registrar). The gaining registrar cannot ACK or NACK a transfer request.

For additional information regarding ICANN transfer regulations, go to: http://www.icann.org/transfers/policy-12jul04.htm

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