How to Transfer a Domain Name

Unhappy with your current registrar? Don’t worry; you don’t have to stick with them forever. A domain transfer is a process that allows you to switch to another registrar quickly and easily. Here we will show you the steps to consider and the costs.

What Is a Domain Transfer?

When you want to change the registrar you use for your domain name, you need to initiate a domain transfer. To start the transfer process, contact your current registrar and let them know you want to switch registrars. 

There are many reasons why you would want to do it, but there are also some restrictions in place that may block you from completing the process.

In this article, we’ll explain how to transfer a domain name, show why you would want to do that, and what may limit your chances of completing the transfer.

Key Points
Domain transfer is the process of switching between registrars.
Transferring a domain name is a straightforward process that can take up to a week.
While there are some instances where your transfer request may get blocked, it’s standard practice to be able to transfer your domain as you see fit.

Things to Consider When Transferring a Domain Name

Can My Domain Transfer Request Be Refused? 

Transferring domain names is standard practice, and no registrar has the power to decline the request, unless you meet one of the limited criterias detailed below.

However, there are rules in place that need to be followed, and in some instances, a registrar may (or must) refuse your request.

The registrar may refuse your request because of the following reasons:

  • Dispute over the identity of the person requesting the transfer.
  • The domain is locked (we’ll show you how to change the lock status further below).
  • Evidence of fraud.
  • Payment owed to the current registrar.
  • Written objection from the domain name owner

They must refuse you for the following reasons: 

  • The request is made within the first 60 days of registering a domain name.
  • The request is made within the first 60 days of a previous transfer.
  • An ongoing Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) proceeding.
  • An ongoing Transfer Dispute Resolution Policy (TDRP) proceeding.
  • An ongoingUniform Rapid Suspension (URS) proceeding or suspension.

What Happens if My Domain Request is Refused? 

If the registrar denies your request, it needs to provide a specific reason and information that explain the reasoning for denial. In practice, it’s highly unlikely that denial will happen, with the 60-day rule being the most common obstacle. Before starting the domain transfer process, make sure you comply with the list above.

What Details do I need? 

If everything’s good to go, you can technically begin transferring the domain name. However, you’d be wise to check your contact information before transferring. Make sure the contact info in the account details is updated.

If you don’t know how to see that, you can look up your website in the WHOIS database. Aside from your contact information, you can also see who your current registrar is in case you don’t already know.

MORE: Learn how to buy a domain name.

Domain Transfer and Emails 

Most businesses use domain emails for official communications, such as [email protected]. When you transfer your domain name, the emails get deactivated. To avoid losing access to important emails, make sure to prepare a backup address before you begin the process.

How to Transfer a Domain Name: A Step-By-Step Guide

If your contact information is up to date, and you’re not within the first 60 days of registration or previous transfer, then you’re ready to transfer the domain name. The process is straightforward and doesn’t require too much time to complete. It varies from one registrar to another, but the principle is always the same.

To transfer a domain name, you need to:

  1. Unlock your domain,
  2. Contact your registrar for an authorization code,
  3. Create an account with the new registrar,
  4. Provide the authorization code,
  5. Authorize the transfer,
  6. Pay the transfer fee.

Unlocking the domain is a swift process. You need to visit your registrar’s control panel and change the lock status (usually via a slide button). Domains are locked by default to ensure you don’t accidentally delete or alter some crucial information. You can contact customer support if you can’t find where to change the status.

Once your domain is unlocked, you need to reach out to your registrar and request an authorization code (also known as AuthInfo code). How you’ll get the code depends on your registrar. Check out these guides from some of the most popular ones:

  • GoDaddy
  • Shopify
  • BlueHost
  • DreamHost
  • NameCheap
  • HostGator

After that, you need to create an account with the new registrar, give them the code so that they can transfer the domain, and that’s all. Once you pay for the transfer, the registrar will configure the servers, and the process is completed.

Note that while it may take up to a week for the registrar to adjust servers, there’s no downtime, and your website will always be available.

Can I Transfer an Expired Domain? 

Yes, you can, and your current registrar can’t force you to renew your subscription before initiating the transfer process. However, there’s a small window when you can do this. 

When a domain name expires, you have a grace period during which you can renew your subscription and request a transfer. The grace period can last anywhere from zero to 45 days. For example, GoDaddy’s grace period is 18 days.

Once the grace period is over, the domain will go into the so-called redemption period. When the domain is in the redemption period, you can’t transfer it any longer. You’d have to recover it with your existing registrar (for a fee) and then start the transfer process after 60 days.

Cost of Domain Transfer 

The price of a domain name transfer depends on your registrar and the domain type you have (i.e., your top-level domain). For example, the GoDaddy domain transfer process for a .com domain costs $10.28 plus the registration fee.

Check out the table below to compare transfer prices between NameSilo and Namecheap:

Domain TypeNameSilo PriceNamecheap Price

MORE: Learn about domain name value.

Why Transfer a Domain Name

The question arises, why would you even go through this process? There’s a multitude of reasons domain name owners opt to change their domain name registrar. For example, your current registrar may increase the prices, and you’re not comfortable with the new registration fee, while different service providers offer a discount or lower prices to start with.

One of the main reasons for transferring domain names is additional features. Aside from the actual registration that’s the same with everyone, registrars provide different additional features and services, such as:

  • Privacy protection
  • Security
  • Web hosting
  • Domain emails
  • Better page load time
  • Better customer service
  • User-friendly interface

MORE: Domain name trends

How do I transfer my old domain to a new domain?

If you’re changing your domain name, that’s a different process from a domain name transfer. You need to register a new domain name and then migrate the website. It’s a complicated process involving URL mapping, transferring documents, setting up robots.txt, etc. If you’re not familiar with the process, you should consider hiring a professional to do it.

If you’re looking to choose a domain name that will make your website stand out and attract visitors with the name alone, you can use our AI-powered domain name generator. The generator will create 1,000+ name ideas and check domain availability for you automatically. All you need to do is type in some keywords and select the names you like.

Takeaway Points

Transferring a domain name is a straightforward process that doesn’t require too much work (or money) from you as a domain name owner. If you’re unhappy with the current registrar’s services or pricing model, you can switch to another one without any penalties.

Before you begin the process, make sure your contact info is accurate and that you have a backup email address, as domain emails get deactivated. You can open a new domain email with the new registrar that is the same, but it will technically be a new email address, and you might lose some emails in the process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Transferring a domain name is a straightforward process with only a few steps. You can contact your registrar’s customer service to guide you through the process.Once you do everything on your side, completing the process can take up to a week.

No. Every registrar charges a transfer fee. The fee depends on the registrar and the domain type (i.e., extension) of your domain. On average, the cost of transferring a domain name varies between $10 and $15.

A domain transfer means switching registrars and doesn’t involve anything above that. All you do is start using the services and features of a different registration provider. Your hosting server and name servers don’t change.

Domain transfers usually last 5-7 days. The completion time depends on a variety of factors, such as cooperation between registrars and there being no issues with the domain name owner and authorization code. The good news is that, during the transfer process, the website is up and running.

Transferring a domain name from one registrar to another does not affect your SEO ranking. Your SEO can go down only if you transfer your website to another domain name.

No, you cannot change a registered domain name. If you want to go with a different name, you need to make sure it’s available and go through the registration process from scratch.

Transferring a domain name from GoDaddy is the same process as any other domain transfer. To do it, you need to:
  1. Sign in to your GoDaddy account.
  2. Select the domain you want to transfer.
  3. Under Additional Settings, choose Transfer domain away from GoDaddy.
  4. Go through the transfer checklist.
  5. Click on Continue with transfer.
  6. Copy the authorization code.
  7. Complete the process with your chosen registrar.


Miloš Soro

Miloš Soro

Miloš Soro is a content writer dedicated to the technical side of running a business. He is our expert on domain names, eCommerce, and product development. Soro combines his six years of writing experience with an educational background in IT and is interested in the latest technology trends to provide his readers with the latest insights.

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