How to Transfer Your Domain Name

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The transfer of domain names from one registrar to another seems like a pretty common event, but I still had difficulty getting it done. The old registrar will throw up roadblocks to try to prevent you from leaving, while the new registrar just wants you to register with them, regardless of if you complete the transfer registration process. Since I am not either registrar and am not asking you for money, I can give you the straight goods on what you need to do.

Before we get into the process let us review a couple of simple internet concepts. A domain name is your internet address, such as or You need to purchase this name and pay a fee each year for this address. You do this with a company called a domain name registrar. Your host provider provides you with disk space on their servers. This is where your actual web site resides. When someone types in your web address this address is looked up in a domain table, the domain name will then point to your host provider, and your web site is then served up.

It is a good practice to keep your domain name registrar and your host provider separate companies because if you get into some dispute with either one, it makes moving to a competitor much easier. For example if your host provider tries to screw you over and you can’t resolve the issues, you simply find another host provider, repoint your domain name to the new host provider and you’re in business again. If you have both your domain name and your host provider together in one company, they can literally hold you and your web site hostage. This is unpleasant at best, and you might initiate murderous thoughts at worse.

It is important to allow sufficient time for this process to take place. Your old domain names registrar can make your life very difficult by stalling you. If you leave insufficient time before your domain name expires your old registrar may force you to renew for yet another year. Don’t let them do this to you.

Your old domain name registrar will try anything and everything to stop you from moving to some other company. This is particularly so if they have your domain name and hosting services, and are an unscrupulous company. They will throw up these roadblocks in the name of internet security. To move from these evil demons they need to:

  1. provide you with a transfer authorization code. Your old registrar will mail this code to your admin email address
  2. unlock your domain name

Allow a couple of days to a week for these items, as some companies will want you to jump through hoops of fire before they comply. Persevere and you will be rewarded. You need the transfer authorization code and your domain name unlocked before you pay for the transfer with your new domain name registrar.

The new domain name registrar will ask you to pay for the yearly extension fee of your domain name before you start the transfer process. They will as you to provide them with the authorization code. They might also email you their own ID and key, which you also need to input. Once you have these items, they will initiate the transfer. If your domain name is still locked by your old registrar, the process will be stopped until your old registrar unlocks your domain.

Once you submit the auth code, your old registrar has unlocked your domain name, and your new registrar has initiated the transfer, your old registrar will get a request to approve this transfer. If your old registrar does nothing the transfer will go ahead regardless in 5 days. If you contact your old registrar and ask them to approve it, the approval will be done sooner. You will get a request to your admin email address asking you to approve the transfer. You follow the link as requested. If you still have difficulty with your old registrar, file a complaint with Internic.

Once the transfer is completed, you update your domain names server (DNS) setting, telling the domain name to point to your host provider, and you’re all done.

1 thought on “How to Transfer Your Domain Name

  1. David Ing

    As much as I like and recommend my hosting provider, I’ve maintained my domain name registrations with a different company. I had a friend who had an issue with his domain name, and discovered … wonders of wonders, in today’s technology … that they had a phone number with a human being at the other end!

    I don’t normally expect synchronous voice communication with most service providers these days, but it’s really nice when you get into trouble!

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