Why and When Does it Take 60 days to Transfer a Domain Name
Sometimes you want to transfer your domain name to different registrar because you are unhappy with their services or you found a better price elsewhere. But when you try to transfer your domain you realize that you need to wait at least 60 days.
So, Why do we have to wait 60 days between each domain transfer? ICANN (the organization that oversees domain registrars) sets a 60-day domain transfer lock for all the new domain registrations, for domain names that just transferred from a different registrar or if any of the following contact details were changed: name, organization or email address.
But what are the reasons behind this transfer policy?
The main reason is to avoid domain name hijacking (domain theft). If this policy was not in place then it would be much harder for registrars and related authorities to identify and stop the attempt of some hacker to steal a domain name.
Domain name thieves can get the login details from the registrant (user) by sending fake emails, getting access to his browser and other ways without his consent. Another way is to exploit some vulnerability from the domain registrar’s site and steal the login details.
The next step is to try to transfer the domain to some account they already own. If the 60 days domain transfer lock didn’t exist and the transfer was instant they could move the domain to another registrar. In that case, multiple registrars would need to coordinate to find out if the transfer was fraudulent.
The 60 days domain transfer lock provides more time to the original domain owner to inform his registrar about the hijacking. Also, it provides more time for the registrar to investigate the incident. After the contact with the domain name owner, the request of the transfer can freeze or it can be reversed.
ICANN oversees only generic top-level domain names like .com, .net. , info, etc so this policy applies only for this type of domain and not for country ones like .in or .us. This is the official faq page from ICANN for transferring your domain: icann.org/resources/pages/name-holder-faqs-2017-10-10-en
When You Can Avoid 60-days Lock
You can by-pass that 60-days lock only when you change contact details like name, address or email. Your registrar will send you a confirmation email or on site’s interface, there will be an option to disable the domain transfer lock.
Unfortunately, you can’t do something for a new domain name that you just registered or for domains you just transferred.
If you want to sell a domain even in the above cases then the buyer can create an account with your current registrar and you can quickly transfer the ownership. The domain transfers within the same registrar can be done even on the same day.
What is the process of domain transfer?
For those that don’t already know I will describe the process of transferring a domain name:
1.) Sign in with your current registrar and unlock the domain name so you can start the domain transfer process.
2.) Search on domain settings for the authorization / EPP code or similar naming. A code will be sent on your email that is very important for the next steps.
3.)If any domain privacy is in place, you need to disable it. The gaining registrar (the one that you will transfer the domain to) needs to verify that you are really the owner of the domain name. They will do it by using a WHOIS domain database (such as whois.com) so if your domain name privacy is enabled they will not be able to see who is the owner of the domain.
5.)Enter the domain you want to transfer, provide the authorization code and accept (after you read) any additional terms. You will probably need to pay a transfer fee but it will include also the renewal of your domain for one more year. After that step proceeds to checkout.
6.) It will take some minutes (up to 30) for your domain status to change to “pending transfer”. Check again with your current registrar or your new registrar if you need to confirm the transfer as an additional step. Refresh your email inbox for any additional instructions, IDs or codes that any of the 2 registrars have sent. The transfer process is slightly different from registrar to the registrar so you need to be sure that both parts have your total consent for the transfer.
7.) It will take up to 5 days for the transfer to be approved except for some domain extensions that can take up to 14 days. In rare cases, if something goes wrong or takes too long you should contact the support of your first registrar to speed up the process. Some registrars send one last email for approval in case you change your mind for any reason.
Can You Transfer an Expired Domain?
You can transfer an expired domain name but you should be aware of some possible issues. If you decide to transfer a domain name after the expiration date then there is a possibility to pay a renewal fee to both previous and your new registrar. Even if you pay 2 fees you only get 1-year renewal but you can request a refund from your old registrar and there is a chance to get it. That happens because of a policy that charges the registrar the renewal fee after the domain name expiration date. If the domain is transferred the registrar gets the money back but it is not obligated to refund the domain name owner.
You can read here a more detailed explanation for that rule: icann news
What Happens if a Domain Expires During Transfer?
If a domain name expires during the transfer it shouldn’t be a problem and most of the registrars will continue the transfer. In some rare cases, few of them will reject the transfer although this is not supposed to happen. You should contact their support and restart the process if you have problems. After this contact, the process should speed up.