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Inbound Domain Transfers

If you want USP to take over management of a domain name, then the process is as simple as the existing registrar wants to make it. We can also provide a proxy scheme where your identity is not shown on public "lookup" records, although if you are promoting a commercial business this is clearly not a good idea if you want to inspire your clients/customers with confidence.

Domain names are issued by various "root" authorities, with most country code domains (eg .uk) being managed by a single "country manager"; in the case of .uk the registry authority is Nominet.  All the rest - the so-called "global" domains - com, net, org, info, etc - are managed by the US-based ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) who sell licenses to issue domain names to multiple franchisees.

Transferring .uk domains

The procedure for Transferring a Country Code domain name varies from counry to country, but the domain remains with the same registry at all times, but the registration agent - your interface with the registry 

Nominet works through registration agents (registrars) to provide the necessary services to the users of domain names, and the process for moving a domain name between registrars (known as "TAG" holders), is relatively simple. Our "TAG" is USP - and this information is listed in a "whois" information that lists details of any domains that are listed on our registrar "TAG".

To transfer a domain between UK registrars, the current registrar simply "re-tags" the domain using the receiving registrar's tag. So to move a domain to USP, this means the registered owner of a domain ("The Registrant") asks the existing registrar:- 

  • "Please retag [somedomain.co.uk] to USP"

This process takes from 5 minutes to a few hours, depending on the specific registrar's procedures. Expect an existing registrar to want good proof that the person requesting a tag change is authorised by the domain registrant to do so, and some require a faxed authority. The record remains otherwise untouched, so that the DNS assignments of DNS records are not affected - although the old registrar is likely to cancel DNS support sooner or later. 

Once we have control of a domain in this way, we can then specify and manage the DNS servers for the domain, which means we have control of the services necessary to operate that domain: web, mail, ftp etc.

Transferring .com, .net, .org domains

Although there are many ICANN accredited registrars, the basic procedures are the same. By default, a domain is "locked" against accidental transfer, (because unlike a CCtld, moving a domain between ICANN registrars will potentially strip out all DNS record information). So the first step is to "unlock" the domain for transfer.

The existing Registrar will also need to issue an authority key (also known as an EPP key) for the ttransfer, which must be supplied to the receiving registrar when requesting a transfer. Once the process is initialised, a confirmation email is sent to the domain registrant contact.

USP will guide you through this process, and where required, we can arrange to set up the new DNS before the transfer process is initialised, ensuring no loss of service during the transfer period - which can take up to 5 days, because of the permission checking process. If a contact email for the domain does not exist, then the process can be delayed because a manual intervention is required.  

A fee is generally required by the inbound registrar - and this is generally includes a further year of the domain registration fee. Also please note that it can be unwise to try and transfer domains within 14 days of expiry.

* Some registrars require that newly registered domains cannot be transferred between registrars within 60 days of registration.