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How To Transfer a Domain Name To A New Registrar

This article will guide you on how to transfer out a domain name from Bluehost to a new registrar. Although you'll initiate the transfer with the new registrar, there are a few things you can do beforehand to ensure a smooth process.

This process includes transfers to/from our MX partners.

Important:

  • To ensure the transfer process is smooth and without delays, kindly complete all four steps outlined in this article before initiating the transfer.
  • Avoid transferring your domain within 45 days of renewal, or you could lose that renewal year.
  • Updating the registrant's contact information (name, organization, or email address) for a generic top-level domain (gTLD) will initiate a Change of Registrant process, which requires additional verification before the new information is saved.

Are you transferring ownership of your domain? Learn about transferring domain ownership.



Prepare Your Domain

Before transferring your domain, you need to access your domain settings. Follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Bluehost Account Manager.
  2. Click the Domains tab from the side navigation to the left.
    domain-tab

Review Contact Information

Your contact information is included on your domain's WHOIS database record, as ICANN requires. Upon transfer, the gaining registrar will use the information on the domain's record to email critical information regarding the transfer to the administrative contact. That's why you need to make sure it's correct. It's best to avoid using an email address associated with the domain—use a public email service, like Gmail, instead.

If saving your changes will trigger a Change of Registrant request, you will only see the option to opt out of the 60-day transfer lock. The Change of Registrant process (steps 7, 9, and 10) will only apply if the option exists.

According to ICANN policy, a domain transfer cannot be initiated for domains registered within 60 days or 60 days of a previous transfer. Unfortunately, we can't bypass the regulation. Unless the prior registrant checked the box to opt out before they saved their changes, the domain would enter a 60-day transfer lock period after a successful Change of Registrant.

Before saving updated registrant contact information for a domain, consider the following:

  • Domains cannot be transferred within 60 days of being registered, renewed, or transferred.
  • As ICANN requires, domains cannot be transferred within 60 days of a new registration, renewal, or prior transfer.

Follow these steps to update your domain's contact information:

  1. Click the Domain Contacts tab.
    Bluehost-Domain-Contacts
  2. Locate the EDIT button next to it and click on it.
    Bluehost-domain-contacts-edit
  3. Depending on the selected tab (Owner, Admin, Tech), you can view and edit each tab individually.

    Owner:

    edit-domain-contacts-owner

    Admin:

    domain-contacts-admin

    Tech:

    domain-contacts-tech
  4. Choose the contact you want to update, then click the CHANGE button to save the changes.
    sucessfully-updated-domain-contacts

    Note: If you want to update your contact information, click the Add a new domain contact link under Domain Contacts. Then, you can make the necessary changes to your contact settings.

  5. Locate the verification email and click on the link provided within it to approve the changes that have been made.

Update Name Servers

Registering your domain with one company and hosting your website with another is possible. This means you can continue hosting your website with us if you like. But if you've already moved your website files to a new host, you should update your name servers to minimize downtime during the transfer. It would help if you did it now because you can't make DNS changes while the transfer is in progress.

  1. Click the Advanced Tools tab.
    Advanced Tools under Domains tab
  2. Manage your DNS settings, click the Manage button next to the Nameservers option.
    Bluehost Advanced Tools manage
  3. Provide the necessary information to set up your new hosting provider.
  4. Click the SAVE button.
    domains-manage-nameservers-save

Once you save your new DNS settings, they will start to propagate. However, the changes may take 24-72 hours to be completed worldwide, as each ISP updates at a different rate. Your emails may not work during this time, and your web traffic will be directed to either the old or new host, depending on the visitor's ISP.


Unlock the Domain

Domains are automatically locked to prevent unauthorized transfers. It's best to unlock the domain before transferring it to a new registrar.

  1. Click the Transfer or Move Domain section.
    Transfer or Move Domain section
  2. Click the Domain Locked toggle.
    Domain Locked toggle

Obtain EPP Code

To transfer your domain to another registrar, you must get the EPP code, also known as the Authorization or Auth code, from your current registrar. This code is a unique password consisting of letters, numbers, and special characters, which you must provide to the new registrar to authorize the transfer process.

  1. Click on the Transfer or Move Domain section.
    Transfer or Move Domain section
  2. Click the REQUEST AUTH CODE button to request the authorization (EPP) code.
    request-auth-code
  3. You will be taken to a page where you'll need to check that you acknowledge transfer agreements, then click the CONTINUE TRANSFER button.
Remember, it's a case- and character-specific, so if you choose to copy/paste the code, make sure there are no additional spaces at the beginning or end. Learn more about how to obtain a Transfer Authorization ( EPP ) Code.

Now you have completed the preparation process for transferring your domain.

Initiate Domain Transfer

Now, your domain is ready to be transferred. The transfer itself will be initiated with the gaining registrar, so you'll need to contact them for specific instructions. Here's a general idea of what you'll need to do:

  1. Log in to your account with the gaining registrar.
  2. Begin the domain transfer process according to their instructions.
  3. Please provide them with the EPP code you copied from the Transfer EPP tab.
  4. Follow any additional steps and/or validation they require.

Approve the Transfer

Transfers between domains may take up to five days to complete. However, you can expedite the process by manually approving the transfer once it's pending.

  1. Click the Domain Name tab from the side navigation menu to the left.
    Bluehost-domains-tab
  2. Click the Transfer or Move Domain section.
    Transfer or Move Domain section under Domains tab
  3. Approve the transfer.

Note: EPP codes are sent out in real time when requests are made over the phone. If they want to use Account Manager, it will take them three days to get the code.

Did your transfer fail, or are you having trouble getting it started? Check out our article on troubleshooting domain transfer for more information.

Summary

Transferring your domain name from Bluehost to another registrar requires preparation to ensure a smooth transition.

Verify your contact information is accurate, as it will be used during the transfer process. Avoid updating registrant information close to the transfer to prevent delays.

Domains must be unlocked, and you'll need to obtain an EPP (Authorization) code from us, which is necessary for your new registrar to initiate the transfer.

Additionally, updating name servers before the transfer can minimize downtime.Transfers shouldn't be done within 45 days of renewal to avoid losing a renewal year.

Lastly, the transfer process involves providing the EPP code to the new registrar and following their specific instructions to complete the transfer. We hope this article has been a big help for you when transferring your domain to another 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.

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