Transfer Domain Ownership | Bluehost Support
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Transfer Domain Ownership

In December 2016, ICANN implemented a few amendments to its Transfer Policy. In addition to regulating inter-registrar transfers for general top-level domains (gTLDs), the updated policy sets new requirements for domain transfers between registrants. This article explains what you need to do to transfer your domain ownership to another person within the guidelines of this new policy.

Change the Domain's Contact Information

Your first step is to change the domain's contact information to reflect the new owner's.

The contact information for the domain is included on its record in the public WHOIS database, as required by ICANN. Since you're transferring the ownership of the domain to another person, you'll want to update the record to reflect their contact information. This will allow them to transfer the domain to a registrar of their choice.

There are three contacts listed for each domain:

  • Registrant - The person or company who owns or holds the domain.
  • Admin - The person authorized by the registrant to interact with and answer questions from the registrar. They will receive authorization emails from the registrar during a domain transfer.
  • Billing - The person authorized to receive the invoice and renewal fees for the domain registration.

The contact data can be the same for all three, or it can be different if you have multiple people who manage your domain. The important thing is to make sure it's accurate. Also, it's best to avoid using an email address that's associated with the domain. Use a public email service, like Gmail, instead.

The process to update the domain's contact information is slightly different for general top-level domains (gTLDs) than it is for other TLDs because they're required to follow a Change of Registrant process. Read more about that below.

Change of Registrant

The Change of Registrant process only applies to general top-level domains (gTLDs). It does not apply to other TLDs, including but not limited to country code top-level domains (ccTLDs), like .uk, .ca., and so on.

In an effort to prevent fraudulent domain transfers and other criminal activity, ICANN considers any material change to the registrant's name, organization, or email address to be a Change of Registrant—or ownership transfer between two parties—even if it's not truly changing ownership. Both the old and new registrants (even if they're technically the same person) must confirm the change by clicking a link in a verification email before the updated record can be submitted to the registry.

The domain will enter a 60-day transfer lock period following a successful Change of Registrant. Check the box to opt-out of this lock period before saving the new registrant's contact information so the new owner can transfer the domain to another registrar during this time.

Once you save the new registrant's contact information by following the next section's steps, we'll send an email to the prior registrant with links to either approve or cancel the request. When the changes are approved, we'll send a similar email to the new registrant for approval. If the email address does not change, then both emails will be sent to the same address. Both the old and new registrants (even if they're technically the same person) must confirm the change by clicking a link in their respective verification emails. Then we'll submit the updated record to the registry to complete the process.

Important note: If you no longer have access to the current registrant email on file to approve or deny the contact changes, we will need you to go through the Ownership process. We will need you to provide documentation matching the registrant's full name and address. Also, take note that a business takes precedence over the individual if a company is listed. Business documents will need to be submitted to [email protected] for further assistance.

Both parties must complete the Change of Registrant process within 14 days. If either party fails to respond, clicks the link to cancel the request, or fails to respond in time, the domain's contact information will not be changed, and you'll have to start over again.

If you need to transfer the domain to another account or provider, please see How to Transfer a Domain Name to a New Registrar.

If you need further assistance, feel free to contact us via Chat or Phone:

  • Chat Support - While on our website, you should see a CHAT bubble in the bottom right-hand corner of the page. Click anywhere on the bubble to begin a chat session.
  • Phone Support -
    • US: 888-401-4678
    • International: +1 801-765-9400

You may also refer to our Knowledge Base articles to help answer common questions and guide you through various setup, configuration, and troubleshooting steps.