Transferring Domain Name Ownership: Everything You Need to Know
Transferring a domain name is a straightforward process.
Sure, there are a few steps to the whole thing, but they aren’t complex or anxiety-inducing, especially not when you have a guide.
In this post, we cover the A to Z of how to transfer a domain name. Keep reading, and you’ll learn the following information:
- What does it mean to transfer a domain name?
- Common reasons for transferring a domain name.
- How to transfer a domain name.
- Cost of transferring a domain name.
- Whether or not your website and email will go down during a domain transfer.
- And more!
Use the table of contents below to jump to a particular section in this guide or start from the top for a comprehensive overview of transferring domain names.
- Domain Name Transfer FAQs
- What does it mean to transfer a domain name?
- Why transfer a domain name?
- How long does it take to transfer a domain name?
- What do I need to transfer a domain name?
- Does transferring a domain name affect my custom email address?
- Will my website go down during a domain name transfer?
- Will my website content transfer along with my domain name?
- Can I make changes to a domain while it’s being transferred?
- Can I transfer an expired or expiring domain name?
- How do I prepare my domain name for transfer?
- How much does it cost to transfer a domain name?
- Transferring domain names to Domain.com
- Transfer your domain name and build your online presence
Domain Name Transfer FAQs
Here’s everything you need to know about transferring domain names in one place.
What does it mean to transfer a domain name?
Transferring a domain name means moving a domain from the registrar where it is currently managed to a different registrar.
Why transfer a domain name?
You might want to transfer your domain name from one registrar to another for any number of reasons. Below, we’ve listed some of the most common reasons we hear from our domain registrants.
- Cost and value.
- Registrars determine their own pricing based on the products and services they sell. Some registrars, like Domain.com, offer free perks with your domain registration (like email forwarding, URL forwarding, and more).
- If you’re not happy with the pricing structure of your current registrar and the features they offer, it may be time to make a change.
- Domain management and user-friendliness.
- Managing your domain names shouldn’t be a hassle. Choose a registrar who prioritizes ease of use and offers all the features you need.
- Some registrars offer their own services and seamless integrations for things like email and hosting — while others offer clunky 3rd party integrations that may slow you down.
- Domain name is changing ownership.
- Did you sell a domain name? Or purchase one from someone else? That domain needs to be transferred to its new owner.
- Customer support.
- If you run into a hiccup with your domain name, you’ll want to talk to an expert that can help. At Domain.com, our knowledge base and specialists are available 24/7.
How long does it take to transfer a domain name?
Transferring a domain name is a quick process. Once you’ve completed a few steps (like making sure the domain is unlocked, etc.), the rest of the process is taken care of by the registrars.
You can complete your portion of the transfer process in one sitting (which we recommend for security reasons) It only takes an hour or two, max, and that’s being generous. Then, the registrars do their parts to complete your transfer which can take up to 5-7 business days.
What do I need to transfer a domain name?
To facilitate a successful domain name transfer, ensure the following four criteria are met:
- Domain(s) must be valid and registered with another registrar.
- The domain(s) must have been registered for at least 60 days and in unlock status.
- Admin contact and domain registrant information must be up-to-date.
- You have your transfer authorization, or EPP code, from the registrar you’re moving away from.
Does transferring a domain name affect my custom email address?
Moving your domain name doesn’t mean you have to move your email hosting.
Are you using a third party to host your email? If so, it shouldn’t be affected by transferring a domain name. Domain.com does not make changes to the name servers for your domain during the transfer process.
If your custom email address is hosted with your domain provider, a transfer could affect you. To avoid that, make sure to transfer your email account’s MX records to your new registrar while transferring your domain. By doing this, you’ll ensure your email account is linked to your domain name. However, you’ll continue to manage your email with your original provider.
Want to transfer to Domain.com and manage your email with us? Create a Google Workspace account with Domain.com and migrate your email to that account.
Will my website go down during a domain name transfer?
When you transfer a domain name from one registrar to another, that’s literally all you’re doing. You’re not moving your email or hosting. During the domain transfer process, your nameservers don’t change — they’ll stay pointed to the same pre-transfer nameservers.
Now, it’s another story if you’re changing your hosting provider along with your domain registrar. If you decide to change your website host, follow these steps to avoid site downtime:
- Import your DNS records to your new hosting provider (it may be your new registrar.)
- Double-check to make sure the DNS information is correct.
- Change the nameservers at the originating registrar.
- You may have to wait for propagation; it could take 24-48 hours.
Another scenario to consider is if you’re using the default nameservers of your current (pre-transfer) registrar. Many registrars offer access to free nameservers so long as your domain remains registered with them. If you decide to transfer your domain, you could lose access to those nameservers.
If you’re unsure whether you’re using default nameservers, ask your registrar BEFORE you transfer your domain. We recommend keeping your domain pointed to your hosting provider’s nameservers.
Will my website content transfer along with my domain name?
No. Your website content will remain hosted wherever your site is hosted.
Your domain will love it here.
Can I make changes to a domain while it’s being transferred?
You cannot make any changes to a domain name when it’s actively in the transfer process.
This means you’re unable to:
- Update nameservers.
- Change the WHOIS registration information.
- Renew the domain registration.
If you must make one of those edits, you’ll need to contact the originating registrar with a request to cancel the transfer. Otherwise, you’ll need to wait the standard 5-7 business days for the process to finish so you can make your edits.
Can I transfer an expired or expiring domain name?
Domain names must be in good standing for transferral.
Attempting to transfer a domain that is on hold, expired, or expiring within 10 days can sometimes cause unexpected complications. If your domain is in one of those statuses and you’re looking to transfer it, call our transfer team for assistance at 800-403-3568.
How do I prepare my domain name for transfer?
Ready to transfer your domain name? Verify that you’ve got the following ducks in a row with your current registrar and you will be.
- Unlock your domain name.
- Disable your domain’s privacy settings.
- Ensure the admin contact information is updated and correct.
- Get your transfer authorization code, also known as an EPP code.
- Depending on your registrar, you may need to contact them directly for your code.
- Ensure your domain is at least 60 days old or opt-out of your domain lock.
- Make sure your domain isn’t tangled up in any legal disputes as that’s a quick way to get it locked at the registry level.
What is the 60-day domain lock?
As of December 1, 2016, domain registrars are required to impose a lock that prevents a domain name from transfer for 60 days post-change to a registrant’s information.
The good news? Registrars can provide a way to opt out of the 60-day lock. Not all registrars offer that ability upfront, which can make life difficult when managing domain names.
At Domain.com, we believe you should have total management of your domain name, so we provide the option to unlock your domain right from your account dashboard. Simply toggle your domain lock on or off, depending on your needs.
How much does it cost to transfer a domain name?
ICANN, the non-profit organization that oversees domains, requires that domain names be renewed for an additional year when transferred.
At Domain.com, you can transfer your domain name for as low as $9.99. We don’t charge additional fees for domain name transfers, though the same can’t necessarily be said for all domain registrars.
Transferring domain names to Domain.com
Looking to transfer your domain name to Domain.com? Thanks for your consideration! Here’s what you need to know.
Why should I transfer my domain name to Domain.com?
Domain names are our bread and butter, and we’ve been a leader in the industry since 2000.
However, it isn’t our age that makes us a great fit for your domains; it’s the fact that we’re designed to make managing your domains a breeze. Here’s how we do it…
Straightforward domain management.
Your domain dashboard lets you quickly and easily manage your domain names. That means no hunting around for hidden tools — toggle the most important features on or off as you need them.
Once logged in, you can manage additional domain features (like pointers and subdomains) from the menu immediately to the left of your summary dashboard.
Plentiful hosting options.
We’re here to make your life easier when it comes to domains and to help you create and build your online presence.
We don’t just offer over 300 TLDs for registration; we offer various website hosting and builder services, email, and more!
Automatic domain name renewal.
Your claim to your domain name has an expiration date.
When your domain registration period runs out, so does your ownership of that domain name. You can leave yourself a reminder on your calendar to manually renew it, or you can use Domain.com’s Auto Renewal feature so that it’s one less thing to worry about.
We offer some of the most competitive pricing available in the domain name industry. Don’t believe us? Check it out for yourself. We’re not in the business of hiding our pricing and making it difficult to find.
24/7 customer support.
Sometimes, we all need a little help. Our teams are there for you 24/7.
You can reach our teams by phone or live chat, and you have a comprehensive Knowledge Base chock-full of FAQs and step-by-step guidance at your disposal.
How to transfer your domain from GoDaddy to Domain.com.
Ready to make the move to Domain.com from GoDaddy? Here are the steps you’ll take to transfer your domain name to Domain.com.
- Log into your GoDaddy Account Manager.
- In the “My Products” section, find and click “Domain Manager.”
- Use the checkbox(es) to select the domain name(s) you want to modify.
- Above the list of your domain names, select “Locking.”
- To unlock the domain(s), clear the lock domains checkbox.
- Select “OK.”
- Click “OK” again.
To retrieve your transfer authorization code from GoDaddy, follow these steps:
- Log into your GoDaddy Account Manager.
- In the “My Products” section, click “Domain Manager.”
- Select the domain name whose authorization code you want.
- In the “Authorization Code” field, click the “Send by Email” hyperlink.
- Select “OK.”
- Click “OK” again.
After submitting your transfer request to Domain.com, we’ll then send you an email confirming your transfer. Make sure to confirm your transfer via that email. Within it, we provide a link to your account so you can log in and enter your transfer authorization code.
And that’s it!
Transfer your domain name and build your online presence
Transferring a domain name shouldn’t be a complicated process. At Domain.com, our goal is to make your domain name transfer as painless and intuitive as possible.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our teams, leave a comment down below, or check out this Knowledge Base article to learn more about transferring a domain name to your account.
Transfer your domain name today.