When the ownership of a domain name needs to change due to a sale or other reason, a domain name transfer, account change, or push needs to be initiated. This guide will explain how the process works and how to transfer a domain name to a different registrar or account.
Upon agreeing to buy or sell a domain name, the person who is acquiring the domain name can generally choose whether to keep the domain name at its current registrar or to transfer it to a different registrar. There are various reasons for selecting both options, so we’ll first start with the domain transfer option.
Domain Name Transfers:
In order to transfer a domain name from one domain registrar to another, the registrant of the domain name needs to send the EPP (Extensible Provisioning Protocol) code to the party acquiring the domain name. The EPP code is a series of numbers, letters, and other characters that are exclusive to the particular domain name. Some registrars do not call it an EPP code, and they may refer to it as the auth code, domain secret, or some other name for this code. The registrant can either find this code in the domain control panel or must request that it be emailed from the current registrar, usually through a control panel link.
In addition to sending the EPP authorization code, the domain registrant must also unlock the domain name. A “lock” is what prevents a domain name from being transferred without authorization. Even if the buyer has the EPP code, a transfer can’t be done unless the domain name is unlocked.
When the buyer obtains the EPP code and the domain name is unlocked, he may go to the registrar of his choice and initiate the transfer. During this process, the buyer will need to purchase the transfer and enter the EPP code. Some registrars (like GoDaddy) send the domain registrant an email with another security code as a means of additional security.
Many registrars send the domain registrant a confirmation email with a link to confirm or deny the transfer. Most will automatically process the transfer within 5-7 business days if neither link is clicked, although clicking the approval link may allow the domain name to transfer more rapidly.
Generally speaking, domain transfers can take anywhere from several hours to up to ten business days (on rare occasions), although most are completed within a few business days. By transferring a domain name to a different registrar, an additional year should be added to the domain name’s registration.
Domain Name Account Changes:
When a buyer prefers to keep the domain name registered at the same domain registrar where it is currently registered, the current registrant will need to facilitate an internal domain push or account change. This can be done within the registrant’s control panel. There is generally not a charge for a domain name account change, and the expiration date remains the same.
Depending on the domain registrar, the registrant will need to know some or all of the following information to complete the internal push:
- Recipient’s email address
- Recipient account number
- Authorization code from within recipient’s account
The reason this information is needed is to prevent account changes to unauthorized accounts. For instance, it prevents someone from pushing trademark or objectionable domain names to another person or company.
Once the account change is completed, both parties should receive an email from the domain registrar confirming that the push was finalized.
Domain Transfer and Push External Resources: