Transferring a Domain Shouldn’t be Painful

By Jen Merry
March 21, 2013

We sometimes get questions on Twitter and Facebook asking why it takes so long to transfer a domain from a previous host/registrar to FatCow.

Here are FIVE common reasons why a domain transfer might be delayed:

1. Your domain name has not been registered with your current registrar for at least 60 days and is in good financial standing. ICANN’s Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy restricts transfers of domains within 60 days of the initial registration.

2. The domain name is involved in a domain dispute and has a registry lock. At one time it was rare for a domain to have a registry lock and it was only in times when there was a domain dispute that was being investigated. However, there are now some registries that offer locking as an additional service for added security to your domain to help prevent unauthorized or malicious transfer intents. If your domain was voluntarily locked, then you would need to log into your account with the registrar and manually select the option to remove the lock in order to transfer your domain.

3. The Administrative Contact email address on file for the domain name is not a valid working email address.
Note: If you do not have access to this email address, please contact your current registrar for information on changing it before initiating a registrar transfer request. And if you have Domain Whois Privacy enabled, it must be disabled. Your current registrar can do that as well.

We’ll send a transfer approval notice to the “Administrative Contact Email Address” that is currently listed on the contact information for the domain or its WHOIS. If you have no idea what which email address you used as your Administrative Contact, you may be able to do a WhoIs lookup to see what email address you have attached to that domain.

To view your public whois info, just go to, but put your domain at the end instead of Below is the record that comes up when I look to find the whois info on Google. I put the red box around the Administrative Contact Email address.

If you have domain privacy enabled, that would be noted instead of the contact information when you do the WhoIs search. You have to disable the privacy before initiating a transfer. Contact your current registrar to disable it. The customer then has to approve the transfer from that email notice. So please make sure that you have access to that email account and you are on the lookout for it. If the transfer request within the email is not approved within 5 days, then the transfer attempt will timeout. The transfer request will need to be resubmitted with us again at that point.You might also receive an email from your current registrar asking for confirmation of the transfer. If so, you’ll need to follow the instructions in their email as well to confirm the transfer.

4. A domain credit is not available on your account. If you selected the Transfer option and did not register a new domain when you purchased your hosting then you should have a domain credit with your FatCow hosting account. You can verify if you have an existing credit by going to DomainCentral in the control panel.
The domain credit is so that we can extend your domain renewal date for one year. Our hosting plans come with a either a new domain or a 1 year credit for an existing domain. If you’re transferring a domain in addition to the 1 free with your hosting plan, then you’ll need to pay for the first year of that domain prior to us accepting the transfer.

5. You do not have an authorization code from your current registrar.
Contact your current registrar as soon as you start to think about transferring your domain to get your Authorization Code (Auth Code). The Auth code is a 6 to 16 character code that the registrar assigned to your domain name. It is basically a password for the domain as an extra level of security against domain theft.
If you can check all 5 of these reasons for common domain transfer delays off of your list then you should have a very smooth domain transfer process. When you’re ready, just follow the steps in our knowledgebase article for a quick and easy transfer from your registrar!

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 21st, 2013 at 10:41 am and is filed under Domains. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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