Domain Name Transfers

March 21, 2005

The first domain I ever bought, many years ago has been registered with Network Solutions, it was first registered with Internic, which handed things over to Network Solutions. With my domain expiration coming up I knew that I didn't want to give Network Solutions any more of my business, because I just don't like their practices.

For instance they send me an email with big red letters saying Deactivation Notice

This is your official notification from Network Solutions that the service(s) listed below will be deactivated and deleted if not renewed immediately. Previous notifications have been sent to the Billing Contact assigned to this account. As the Primary Contact, you must renew the service(s) listed below or it will be deactivated and deleted

Immediately? I had plenty of time before my domain expired, yet they were telling me they are going to delete my domain. There is also 40 day grace period after the domain name expires where you can usually renew .

If the owner of a domain does not renew by the expiration date of the domain, the domain goes into expired status. For 40 days, the domain is in a grace period where all services are shut off, but the domain owner may still renew the domain for a standard renewal fee. From a great blog post on expiring domains

The Transfer Process

I've owned domain names for quite some time, but had never needed to transfer a domain to a different registrar, during the process I learned a few things about domain transfers.

My first thought was that I needed to tell my current registrar that I wanted to transfer the domain, but I couldn't find anything in my account that would let me do that. So I went to the registrar that I wanted to transfer to (I used godaddy), and initiated a transfer request.

I quickly learned that the process would takes 5-7 days from the transfer request to complete. I was lucky enough to not procrastinate that much, and I started the process about 10 days before the domain would expire.

GoDaddy shortly after submitting the request sent me an email with a Transfer ID, and Authentication code to the administrative contact address. I had to enter this into a web page to validate my email address.

After entering the code I got an email from godaddy saying with the subject Domain Transfer Failed - Status Not Valid

the current status of the above domain name is: REGISTRAR-LOCK

That just got me mad at network solutions again, why are they locking my domain? But after some research I found that most registrars have some sort of locking feature, that prevents you from transferring the domain. Network Solutions calls this feature: Domain Protect and enables it by default.

So, I just need to turn off Domain Protect which turned out to be harder than I thought because there was no option to do so in my account. It said Domain Protect: On, but there was no edit link. I emailed Network Solutions but they just told me to click the edit button next to Domain Protect that I didn't have in my account. As it turns out because of Internic transferring to Network Solutions, I had to user login's one was my email address, and the other was a number. I had to login using the number, and then I could change this setting.

Once my domain was unlocked, I just had to resubmit my request through godaddy, Networks Solutions also sent me email with links I could use If I wanted to cancel the request. About 4 days later my domain was transferred.

It actually is in theory a really simple process that ended up being slightly complicated in my case. I did learn two things in the process:

It takes a few days for the transfers to go through.

There is a good chance you need to unlock your domain from your current registrar before transferring it.

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I had many similar problems when dealing with NetSol over the last few months. All I wanted to do was transfer one domain from NetSol to GoDaddy, and update the contact info at the same time. SEVERAL MONTHS later of going back and forth, faxing, more faxing, and so on, I now refuse to ever deal with NetSol again. I am *much* happier with my GoDaddy services, for many of the reasons you mentioned above. :)
Pete, I had a similar experience with GoDaddy (the domain lock) when I tried to transfer a domain from there to You are right that it's a pretty standard practice among registrars. BTW, the reason I switched from GoDaddy to is because GoDaddy doesn't let you administer DNS. If you use them, you have to contract with a seperate DNS provider, or use an ISP that allows you to configure your own DNS.
I also got bit by the locking bug. But now I think it is a very good idea to keep them locked. I remember seeing a couple emails come by last year that stated a policy change going into effect. Because if verisign sends you an email telling you that the domain transfer has been requested, the default action used to be deny. but now if you do not respond they assume you want the transfer to go through. Can you imagine being on vacation and not checking email and loosing your domain. That would be very lame.
Yes, it's a good thing you did it when you did. I went through this helping a client on the day their domain was set to expire. Due to NS's locking, etc., it expired before we could transfer it. We than had to renew it (through them) before it could be transferred. I'll never use them again.
Some thoughts about domain transfers from a domain reseller and registrar: NetSol control all registrations. They wont allow any domain to be transferred within 60 days of being registered or renewed. Netsol control domains when they expire and go into pending delete status, the domains cant be renewed until a fee of about US$100 is paid to NetSol through the current registrar, or alternatively the domain comes out of the pending delete status and through the grace period (7 days) and is released for registration again. The transfer lock is a good thing for the domain owner. It means your domain cant be whizzed away from you if you are a bit slack in reading your emails, or if the transfer request doesnt find its way to you. Or if the transfer request gets snaffled by your anti-spam measures.
Rob, GoDaddy, does let you administer your own DNS, and its a bit better than because they let you work with TXT records, which allow you to setup things like SPF, and DomainKeys thats one of the reasons I switched to godaddy.
And if you are looking to do some heavy dns lifting, check out Very stable. Plus, the interface is a CF application ;)
Pete: GoDaddy does allow you to manage txt records in the dns, which is great for SPF, but the field they provide isn't long enough for DomainKeys. At least that's what I found.
Trying to transfer from GeoCities to GoDaddy... --- GoDaddy says: --- DOMAIN TRANSFER FAILED - Status Not Valid... --- GeoCities says: --- Yahoo!'s partnership with Melbourne IT allows us to provide you with all the tools you need to maintain your domain yourself from your Domain Control Panel. --- The domain at GeoCities is NOT locked, and I see no way to make inactive ... --- but, GoDaddy says: --- the current status of the above domain name(s) is: ACTIVE, Domain names in this status cannot be transferred. Please contact your current registrar to resolve this issue. --- So... What do I need to do to change the registrar from GeoCities to GoDaddy?
thanks i was going nuts trying to figure out wjy i did not have an edit link so I could turn off domain protect at Netw, Sol. Somehow i ended up with 2 logins.
Trying to transfer from Network Solutions to another company: Pure Evil! I had exactly your experience. God forbid you call Network Solutions for support - if you press the "transfer domain to another company" - they put you on hold forever. I am currently trying to move must last two domain names to godaddy. I will never use another company but godaddy again.

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