There are several steps involved in transferring your domain registration and it can take several days to complete. The process was designed to prevent ‘slamming‘, which used to happen when your authorized telephone company was changed without your express permission. ICANN, the nonprofit organization responsible for regulating domains, dictates most of the rules you’ll be following. One of their rules: you cannot transfer your domain if you have transferred it in the last 60 days.
Before you begin
- Make an account with your new registrar. I prefer independent registrars like domains.com (good service) or namecheap.com (great prices and service).
- Make sure you have a current email account and that your current registrar has it listed correctly. You will be emailing with them a lot during the transfer process. If your email address is tied to your domain, it’s a good idea to use an independent email address like Google Mail (Gmail) or GSuite.
- If you don’t remember who your current registrar is, you can look it up on WHOIS (enter your domain name).
Initiating the transfer
These steps can be done online but I find it’s easier to call and tell them you want to transfer your domain from them to the new registrar. Your current registrar will either talk you through the steps or complete them for you.
- Log in to your current domain registrar and request that the domain be UNLOCKED. You can usually do this from the control panel under ‘Domains’, but you can also call them and request the unlock.
- Request the AUTHORIZATION CODE. Every domain registrar must provide you with this code within five days of your request. You might get it on your control panel, or via email, or both.
- Log in to your new registrar and visit the Transfer Domain section in the control panel (or you can call them and do this over the phone). Most new registrars will not charge you to transfer domains.
- Provide your domain name and AUTHORIZATION CODE.
- Verify you are authorizing the transfer. You will be contacted by your old domain registrar asking you to approve the transfer. If you do not receive this email, something is wrong.
- After the authorization it can take up to 7 days for the transfer to process. Your website should be available the entire time.
- After the transfer has completed you can cancel your old domain registrar.