A domain name transfer is the process of transfering a domain between designated registrars. The designation of a particular domain name is therefore moved from the old registrar to the new. ICANN has defined a Policy on Transfer of Registrations between Registrars The usual process of a domain name transfer is
At each stage, the domain registrant verifies that the whois admin contact info is correct, especially the email address, and obtains the authentication code (EPP or UDAI transfer code) from the old registrar, removing any domain lock that has been placed to block movement of the registration.
The end user contacts the new registrar with the wish to transfer the domain name to their service, and supplies the authentication code.
The gaining Registrar must obtain express authorization from either the Registered Name Holder or the Administrative Contact. A transfer may only proceed if confirmation of the transfer is received by the gaining Registrar from one of these contacts.
The authorization must be made via a valid Standardized Form of Authorization, which may be sent e.g. by e-mail to the e-mail addresses listed in the WHOIS records that concern that given domain. The Registered Name Holder or the Administrative Contact must confirm the transfer before it can go ahead.
The new registrar starts electronically the transfer of the domain with the help of the authentication code. The old registrar will contact the end user to confirm the authenticity of this request. The end user may have to take further action with the old registrar, such as returning to the online management tools, to re-iterate their desire to proceed, in order to expedite the transfer.
The old registrar will then release authority to the new registrar.
The new registrar will notify the end user of transfer completion. The new registrar may have automatically copied over the domain server information so that everything on the website will continue to work as before. Otherwise, the domain server information will need to be updated with the new registrar to restore web services.
After this process, the new registrar is the domain name's designated registrar and is responsible for that domain as a technical representative henceforth.
The process will usually take around seven days. In some cases, the old registrar may intentionally delay the transfer as long as allowable. After transfer, the domain cannot be transferred again for 60 days, except back to the previous registrar.
It is unwise to attempt to transfer a domain immediately before it expires. In some cases, a transfer can take up to 14 days, meaning that the transfer may not complete before the registration expires. This could result in loss of the domain name registration and failure of the transfer. To avoid this, end users should either transfer well before the expiration date, or renew the registration before attempting the transfer.
If a domain registration expires, irrespective of the reason, it can be difficult, expensive, or impossible for the original owner to get it back. After the expiration date, the domain status often passes through several management phases, often for a period of months; usually it does not simply become generally available.