Recently ICANN provided a post on their blog on what you as a domain name registrant need to know when transferring a domain name.
If you’re the registered holder of a domain name, or registrant, you have certain rights, and the ICANN blog post advises of your rights, including the right to transfer your domain name to another registrar or registrant. ICANN advise there are a couple of important rules you need to know if you want to transfer your domain name.
The first rule is that you cannot transfer a domain name to a new registrar or registrant within 60 days of making a change to the registered name holder or administrative contact information. At their discretion, some registrars may provide an option for you to opt-out of this 60-day lock period. However, this rule is in place for your protection and the registrar does not have to offer this option. If your ultimate goal is to transfer the domain name, you may want to consider completing the transfer process first before changing contact information.
Registrars also have the option of denying a transfer request submitted within the first 60 days of the initial registration of a domain name, or within 60 days from when you last transferred the domain name.
The second rule is you have to be the registered name holder or administrative contact for the domain name in order to initiate a transfer request. This rule applies to both registrar and registrant transfers, and is in place to prevent unauthorised transfers of your domain name. This is also the reason it's important to keep your contact information up-to-date.
Now that you know the rules, ICANN describe the process of transferring a domain name so you know what to expect. To initiate a transfer, contact the registrar you want to transfer the domain name to, which is also referred to as the 'gaining registrar'.
The gaining registrar will then send you an authorisation form that you must respond to with confirmation of your authorisation and intent to transfer. If you don't respond, the transfer will not proceed. Once you provide your authorisation, the gaining registrar will process the transfer request.
Your current registrar will then contact you asking you to confirm the transfer. This may seem duplicative, but it's in place for your protection to guard against unauthorised transfers of your domain name. Once you provide confirmation to your current registrar, the gaining registrar will complete the transfer, which takes approximately 5 days.
To transfer your domain name to another registrant, you can initiate a change of registrant by contacting your current registrar. Your registrar will then ask for your confirmation via a secure mechanism (which typically will take the form of an email to the registered name holder). You must provide your confirmation within the number of days set by your registrar (not to exceed 60 days) or your transfer will not proceed. Once your registrar receives confirmation from you, they will process the transfer and notify you and the new registrant once the transfer is completed.
The full blog post is available to read at: