Transferring a domain name

It’s pretty common that we have to help clients transfer their domain name from one provider—a domain name registrar—to another. Frequently, they want us to move it over to our account so they don’t have to worry about it any more. And we also occasionally have clients leave us, so we have to help move those domains as well.

Currently, we use GoDaddy, so there are a couple different ways it can go.

GoDaddy to GoDaddy

If we’re moving a domain name from one GoDaddy account to another, it’s actually a quick process. GoDaddy calls that an Account Change.

The quickest process we’ve found is when we can get the GoDaddy login information for both accounts. Then we go into the account that owns the domain initially, kick off the account change, then log into the other account and accept it.

The whole process takes just 5-10 minutes, then we’re done.

GoDaddy to another registrar (and vice-versa)

When two different registrars are involved, it becomes a little more complicated, and tends to take 1-7 days.

In this case, you first have to go to the registrar the domain is initially set up under, and unlock it and grab the EPP code, sometimes called an authorization key or something similar.

Some registrars will just let you grab the code right from your control panel. Others make you request an email, which can take hours or—in a few rare cases—days to arrive.

Once you have that, you go to the registrar you want to move the domain to, and you purchase a domain name transfer. That registrar may have their own requirements on getting authorization. GoDaddy, for example, emails a couple of additional codes. Other providers have various delays in emailing things to you.

For all of the providers, you at least have to enter in that EPP code you got from the other registrar. Then it can take a few days for everything to go through.

When you can’t transfer your domain

For security reasons, many registrars will not let you transfer to another registrar if:

  • Your domain was registered less than 60 days ago
  • Your contact information was changed less than 60 days ago
  • You already transferred your domain between registrars less than 60 days ago

Some of those are up to the individual registrars, and some are required by the governing body of all domain name providers, ICANN. In cases like those, you simply have to wait until the 60 days is up, then you can transfer it.

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