How Long Does a Domain Transfer Take?
One of the first steps of setting up a website for your business is choosing a domain name from a registrar (a.k.a. a company that sells domain names). While you might initially pick the first registrar that appears in your search results, over time, you may realize that a different domain registrar is a better match for your needs.
Luckily, you’re able to switch your domain name from one registrar to another by undergoing the process of a domain name transfer. But how long does a domain transfer take?
While the overall process can take up to seven days (or more, depending on administrative delays), there are steps you can take to expedite the process and transfer your domain name faster.
What is a domain transfer?
A domain transfer is the process of changing the registrar for your domain name. This means a new domain registrar will take over the process of reserving your domain name and managing your registration records.
Anyone who owns a website has the right to choose any ICANN-accredited registrar to manage their domain name, even if they initially signed up through a different registrar.
Domain transfers are different from hosting transfers. Learn more about domain vs hosting.
Why might you need to transfer a domain?
Each domain registrar has its own unique benefits and features. Even if one registrar initially aligned with your needs, you may eventually find that another registrar is a better match.
While you can switch registrars for any reason, here are a few common motivators for initiating a domain transfer:
- Price – Domain registrars set their own prices, so you may find a more affordable option.
- Features – Many domain registrars offer other features and services, such as web hosting. You may switch registrars to gain access to expanded functionality for your domain.
- Convenience – If you have multiple domain names through different registrars, you may want to transfer them to a single registrar for more streamlined oversight.
The role of domain registrars in transfers
During the transfer process, you’ll communicate with both your current and future registrar.
First, your current registrar will authorize the transfer. Then, the future registrar will help you link your domain name to their services.
The domain transfer process
Transferring a domain is a relatively simple, straightforward process. Although each registrar may have a slightly different interface, they all follow the same basic steps, outlined below.
If you’re wondering how to transfer a website to a new host, check out our other article.
Step 1: Determining eligibility for your domain transfer
After registering or transferring a domain name, you have to complete a 60-day waiting period before transferring it to a new registrar. Your domain name may also be ineligible for transfer if it’s currently involved in an ownership dispute or subject to a court order.
Step 2: Preparing your domain for transfer
Before you submit a transfer request, make sure that you’re ready to stop using your previous registrar’s services. For instance, if you have a business email through your old registrar, it may get deactivated after the transfer. In this scenario, you’d want to make a backup email with your new registrar and preserve any important emails to ensure a smooth switch.
Next, you’ll need to unlock your domain name through your current domain registrar. Some registrars let you unlock the domain online, while others may require you to submit an official request. Once your domain is unlocked, you can then move it to a new registrar.
Step 3: Submitting your domain for transfer
To actually transfer your domain, request a transfer authorization code from your current registrar. Then, contact your new registrar and provide them with the code to complete the transfer.
You typically need to create an account with your future registrar and search for your unlocked domain name on their platform, but details may vary.
If you’re specifically looking for how to transfer a Google Domain, read our comprehensive guide.
How long does a domain transfer take?
According to ICANN requirements, your former registrar has a maximum of five calendar days to release your domain name to your new registrar once they verify the transfer.
However, it may take a few more days to account for the verification period and administrative delays. This can cause most transfers to take between five to seven days.
Why does a domain transfer take so long?
ICANN has several rules that govern domain transfers and their timing. For instance, the five-day window allows both the former and upcoming registrars to confirm the legitimacy of the transfer and go through the authorization process.
Delays may also occur if the previous registrar finds a reason to deny or dispute the transfer, such as potential fraud or nonpayment of a previous domain registration.
How can I speed up my domain transfer?
Although the speed of your domain transfer primarily depends on your registrar, there are a few steps you can take to avoid potential roadblocks. These include:
- Ensuring your domain is ready for transfer – Confirm that your domain name is eligible to be transferred, and complete the unlocking process ahead of time. If you’re considering a new domain, use a domain name search tool to find the perfect domain for you.
- Promptly responding to transfer communications – If either your previous or future registrar reaches out to authorize the transfer or gather more information, respond right away.
- Contacting your current registrar for assistance – When you know you’re planning to transfer your domain name, reach out to your current domain registrar to gather more information about how to initiate the process on their platform.
Choose Name.com for your domain transfers
Having convenient access to your domain name services is a key part of effective website management. Name.com provides simple, seamless domain transfer services, making it easy to locate your previous domain name and set it up on the Name platform. Once you complete the transfer, you’ll have access to Name.com’s full suite of business and website management tools.
Ready to make the switch? Get started today with Name.com.
ICANN. FAQs for Registrants: Transferring Your Domain Name. https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/name-holder-faqs-2017-10-10-en
ICANN. Transfer Policy. https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/transfer-policy-2016-06-01-en#:~:text=3.5%20Failure%20by%20the%20Registrar,%22approval%22%20of%20the%20transfer.
ICANN. Policy on Transfer of Registrations between Registrars | Takes effect 31 January 2015. https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/policy-transfers-2014-07-02-e