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Transfer Domain Ownership: A Step-by-Step Guide

Hover on June 24, 2020
How to transfer a domain name - hands shaking across a table after a negotiation

There are many reasons why you may need to transfer ownership of a domain name. Whether you sold a domain name, bought a domain as a gift, or want to change domain ownership to someone else in your organization, you must follow a process to make sure it’s done right. Thankfully, all of this is made simple with our step-by-step guide.

Transfer a domain name to another person

First, you have to identify whether you are transferring your domain between two registrars or within the same domain registrar.

Transferring from one registrar to another

The exact steps you’ll need to take will vary depending on which registrar your domain is currently registered with and where the domain is being transferred to, but it will consist of these essential steps:

1. Disable WHOIS/domain privacy.

The new registrar will need to verify who owns the domain name, which won’t be possible if you have WHOIS privacy enabled so make sure that privacy setting has been switched off.

2. Ensure admin email is up-to-date.

Double-check that the domain’s current registrar has the most up-to-date administrative email address so they’ll be able to contact its owner during the transfer process. Note that changing this field can result in a 60-day transfer lock on the domain (to prevent fraudulent activity), so having an outdated admin email could delay the transfer process.

3. Unlock the domain.

The domain likely has a transfer lock applied to prevent unwanted or accidental transferring of the domain. In this case, it will need to be unlocked.

4. Get the transfer authorization code.

This is like a password that, in theory, should only be accessible by the true owner of a domain name. Some registrars may use a different term, like EPP key, secret code or auth code.

5. Request a domain transfer.

Have the new domain owner request a domain transfer. This will typically involve purchasing an additional year of registration, which will begin once all the remaining time on the domain name is used up. The authorization code from step 4 will be needed in order to request a transfer.

6. Approve transfer request email.

When the new domain owner requests a transfer, the email address on file for the current domain’s owner will receive an email (this is why it’s important not to skip step 2). Simply approve this request and the transfer process will begin.

Transferring from one Hover account to another

To transfer ownership of a domain name between two Hover accounts, the process is a lot more straightforward:

1. Contact Hover.

Email or call 1-866-731-6556 and let us know that you’d like to transfer your domain.

2. Obtain a one-time PIN.

We’ll email you a unique PIN to the primary email contact within your Hover account.

3. Provide Hover with your PIN.

Contact us and verify the PIN that we sent you.

4. Tell us the account you’d like to transfer the domain to.

If the domain’s new owner already has a Hover account, we can verify that account by sending another unique PIN to the primary email address in that account. If the new owner does not have a Hover account, we can create a new one for them. Follow the steps above to transfer your domain name. Once you do that, you might need a new domain name for yourself and we definitely have you covered on that front. Check out the hundreds of domains available and get started on a new online journey with a brand new domain name, customized to you and your brand.