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How To Transfer a Domain Name To A New Registrar

This article explains how to prepare your domain to be transferred from Bluehost to a new registrar. You will initiate the transfer itself with the gaining registrar, but you can do a few things to ensure the process goes smoothly.

This process includes transfers to/from our MX partners.


  • To avoid any delays, please complete all four steps before initiating the transfer.
  • Avoid transferring your domain within 45 days after its renewal, or you could lose that renewal year.
  • Updating the registrant contact information (name, organization, or email address) for a general top-level domain (gTLD) will initiate a Change of Registrant process, which requires additional verification before the new information is saved.

Are you transferring the ownership of your domain to another person? Read about Transferring Domain Ownership.

Note: Legacy accounts will feature a horizontal navigation bar at the top of the screen, while Bluerock account users will see a vertical navigation menu on the left-hand side of the screen. If you are still unsure, what interface your account uses, please see Bluerock vs. Legacy to determine which step to follow.

Prepare Your Domain

There are a few things you need to do before transferring your domain. First, follow these steps to access your domain settings:


  1. Log in to your Bluehost control panel.
  2. Select Domains from the side navigation menu to the left. 


  1. Log in to your Bluehost control panel.
  2. Click the domains tab from the navigation menu that stretches across the top of your screen.
  3. Scroll down and select the domain you want to transfer from the list on the left.
  4. Several tabs for the domain will appear to the right. 

If you only see three tabs, then the domain is already registered elsewhere. You can view the domain's registrar in the Main tab.

Review Contact Information

Your contact information is included on your domain's record in the WHOIS database, as required by ICANN. 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, so 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.

You will only see the option to opt out of the 60-day transfer lock IF saving your changes will trigger a Change of Registrant request. If the option isn't there, the Change of Registrant process (steps 7, 9, and 10) will not apply.

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


  1. Click the Domains tab from the side navigation menu to the left. 
  2. Next to the domain name you wish to update, click the  icon next to Manage. 
  3. Select the Contact info from the drop-down menu that appears.


  1. Click the contacts tab.
  2. Check the boxes for registrant, admin, and billing to view the information listed for each contact.
  3. You can view and edit each individually or all at once, depending on which box(es) you've selected.
  4. Make any changes to the information for each contact as necessary, then double-check the information to verify that you've entered the new owner's correct email address for the registrant and admin.

    Do you see the option to opt out of the 60-day transfer lock? If not, click the Update Contact Information button to save your changes. If it's there, updating the contact information will initiate a Change of Registrant request, which requires both parties to approve of the changes before the updated record can be submitted to the registry. Follow these steps to continue:

  5. Check the box to opt out of the 60-day transfer lock. This is optional but highly recommended.
  6. Click the update contact information button to save your changes.
  7. Locate the verification email and click the link to approve the changes.
  8. The new owner must locate their verification email and click the link to approve the changes.

Update Name Servers

It is entirely possible to register your domain with one company and host your website with another, so you can continue hosting your website here if you would like. But if you've already moved your website files to a new host, you may want to update your name servers now to minimize downtime during the transfer. You cannot make DNS changes while the transfer is in progress, so it is important that you do it now.


  1. Click the Domains tab from the side navigation menu to the left. 
  2. Next to the domain name you wish to update, click the ▼ icon next to Manage. 
  3. Select the DNS option from the drop-down menu that appears.
  4. Click the Edit button.
  5. Select Custom.
  6. Enter the new name servers provided by your new registrar.
  7. Once done, click the Save button. 


  1. Click the name servers tab.
  2. Select Use Custom Nameservers.
  3. Enter the settings for your new hosting provider.
  4. Click the save nameserver settings.

Your new DNS settings will begin to propagate as soon as you save your changes. Each ISP updates at a different rate, usually taking 24 - 72 hours to complete worldwide. During this time, your emails will be down, 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 locked by default to prevent unauthorized transfers. You must unlock the domain before it can be transferred to a new registrar.


  1. Next to the domain name you wish to update, click the  icon next to Manage, then choose Security from the drop-down menu that appears.
  2. On the Security options, locate Transfer Lock, then click the switch icon on the right side to Unlock the Domain.


  1. Click the lock tab.
  2. If the domain is locked, click the unlock your domain button.

Tip: As of April 2021, Domain Privacy no longer needs to be disabled or paused in order to transfer a domain away. You can still proceed with the transfer even if your domain's privacy is enabled.

Obtain EPP Code

Next, you need the EPP code, which other registrars may refer to as the Authorization or Auth code. It is essentially a unique password for the domain, made up of letters, numbers, and special characters, which you'll give to the gaining registrar to authorize the transfer.


  1. Next to the domain name you wish to update, click the  icon next to Manage, then choose Security from the drop-down menu that appears.
  2. Scroll down, locate the Transfer Authorization / EPP Code, and then click the Send Code button.


  1. Click the Transfer EPP tab.
  2. Copy or otherwise make a note of the code so you can give it to the gaining registrar to initiate the transfer request.

    Remember, it is 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. For more information on How to obtain a Transfer Authorization ( EPP ) Code, kindly visit that article.

  3. You have now finished prepping your domain for transfer.

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, but 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

Domain transfers can take up to five days to complete, but you can expedite the process by approving it manually once the transfer is pending.

  1. Log in to your Bluehost control panel
  2. Click the Domains tab from the side navigation menu to the left.
  3. Click the Transfer submenu. 
  4. Scroll down and select the domain pending transfer from the list.
  5. Click the Transfer EPP tab to the right.
  6. Click Approve.

    Note: The transfer will go through immediately, though it may take a few minutes (up to an hour) for the gaining registrar to detect the change.

Did your transfer fail, or are you having trouble getting it started? Check out Domain Transfer: Troubleshooting for more information.

For further assistance, you may contact our Chat Support or Phone Support via 888-401-4678. You may also refer to our Knowledge Base articles to help answer common questions and guide you through various setup, configuration, and troubleshooting steps.