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The new domain transfer policy goes into effect today. Here’s what you need to know.


Certain changes to whois will require more work and may result in your domain being locked.

Don’t say you weren’t warned.

The new ICANN domain name transfer policy goes into effect today, and the key difference between it and the old policy has to do with changes to the domain name registrant.

The old policy was about transferring domain names from one registrar to another. The new policy is about this AND changing the listed registrant’s name, organization or email address.

We went into this in detail in a recent podcast, including a discussion about why this policy probably won’t cut down on domain theft.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • If you change the listed name, organization name, or email address on your domain name, an email will be sent to both the previous registrant and new registrant that requires a click to approve the change. Some registrars have changed their terms of service to act as your approved agent for these transfers, so they will not send the email to the previous registrant.
  • Registrars will lock the domain from transfer for 60 days after the change, unless you expressly opt out of the 60-day lock before the changes. Note that registrars do NOT have to offer an opt-out of this 60- day lock. You can expect a handful of registrars to lock all domains that are changed, similar to what GoDaddy has done for a long time. If you are buying a domain and want to transfer it to a different registrar, I recommend doing the transfer before changing the whois information. It will take longer to close the sale but will avoid the lock.

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