Basics on Domain Transfers

Whether you sold a domain name, bought a domain as a gift, or want to change domain ownership to someone else in your organization, there are many reasons why you may need to transfer ownership of a domain name. Thankfully, this process is not too difficult; you’ll just need to ensure that you follow all the necessary steps properly.

Here’s how to transfer a domain name to another person:

Transferring from one registrar to another.

The exact steps you’ll need to take will vary depending on which registrar your domain is currently registered with and where the domain is being transferred to, but it will consist of these essential steps:

Disable WHOIS/domain privacy.

The new registrar will need to verify who owns the domain name — which won’t be possible if you have WHOIS privacy enabled — so make sure that privacy has been switched off.

This process will also confirm to you that you are dealing with the rightful owner of the Domain Name.

Ensure admin email is up-to-date.

Double-check that the domain’s current registrar has the most up-to-date administrative email address so they’ll be able to contact its owner during the transfer process. Note that changing this field can result in a 60 day transfer lock on the domain (to prevent fraudulent activity), so having an outdated admin email could delay the transfer process.

Unlock the domain.

The domain likely has a transfer lock applied to prevent unwanted or accidental transferring of the domain. In this case, it will need to be unlocked.


Get the transfer authorization code.

This is like a password that, in theory, should only be accessible by the true owner of a domain name. Some registrars may use a different term, like ‘EPP key,’ ‘secret code’ or ‘auth code.’

Request a domain transfer.

Have the new domain owner request a domain transfer. This will typically involve purchasing an additional year of registration, which will begin once all the remaining time on the domain name is used up. The authorization code from step 4 will be needed in order to request a transfer.

Approve transfer request email.

When the new domain owner requests a transfer, the email address on file for the current domain’s owner will be emailed (this is why it’s important not to skip step 2). Simply approve this request and the transfer process will begin.

Large payments can be make through an escrow service or smaller payments by PayPal.