New Domain Transfer Policy

Karl B
New Domain Transfer Policy

Changes to the ICANN Domain Transfer Policy


The following terms are used in this document and are explained below:

Registrar: The company who currently holds your domain name (eg BWF, GoDaddy etc)
Registrant: The person, company or organisation who owns a domain name

On 1 December 2016 ICANN the controlling body for the most popular domain names such as .com are changing their processes on how domain names are transferred from one registrant to another registrant and are also making a small change to the policy on transferring domains from one registrar to another registrar. Implementation of this policy is being imposed on all registrars from so from 1 December Big Wet Fish Hosting must adhere to this new policy.

This change on 1 December 2016 comes about because ICANN have a new ‘Transfer Policy’ that was formerly known as the ‘Inter Registrar Transfer Policy’. From 1 December 2016 this policy has been extended to include the change of ownership of domain names. The transfer approval email known formally as the ‘Form of Authorization’ to move domains from one registrar to another will now expire after 60 days (or immediately the domain expires)

The policy also affects change of registrant. Every time a change of ownership is made on a domain name emails will be sent to all parties and until you act upon the instructions in the email (usually clicking an ‘I Approve’ link) the change will not take place.

Examples of where this policy will be triggered?

  • If you change your name the policy will be triggered
  • If you change your address the policy will be triggered
  • If you change an email address the policy will be triggered

How will this affect Big Wet Fish Clients?

  1. It will no longer be possible to make a simple change to a domain name such as changing the domain name registered owner by entering the new details and hitting save as currently happens. Even changing incorrect spelling on your name (such as Smith instead of Smyth) will trigger this process we understand. We’re still waiting to see this practically in action as to what happens if you do not change your email address and just change your name – it does seem a little silly that you will receive 2 emails but our reading of this policy is you will. We’ll see how this pans out practically.
  2. Any registrant change will start a ‘Trade’ process and emails will be sent to the current domain name contact and the new domain name contact asking for approval.
  3. Once approval has been obtained from both parties a confirmation email will be sent to both parties informing them of the success
  4. After this change has happened the domain will be locked for transfer to any other registrar for a period of 60 days meaning you cannot transfer the domain name away.

Points of Frustration we see with this Policy..

Based on our day to day contact with clients and our domain experience we see two major points of frustration with this new policy and we’ll explain these below.

60 Day Transfer Lock after Contact Change
This is likely to cause frustration as your domain will be locked for 60 days after any change is made to its contact details. This is out of our control. This means if you wanted to move your domain name into BWF from another registrar and you change your contact details at the other registrar your domain will be locked for 60 days. Not a massive deal as you can set DNS records at the current provider of course.

Client loses access to an email address listed in their domain
Example Scenario. A client has registered a domain name 6 years ago using a hotmail email address. It’s now 2017 and they have long since moved to using gmail. Their old hotmail account is no longer valid. From what we understand about this policy this effectively will mean this domain will not be able to be changed as it will be impossible to receive the email into the hotmail account to approve the change. In this instance the client would need to contact our registrar partners and work with them to get around this.

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