Recently I decided to change domain registrars for all the domains I have. Due to various reasons, my domains are registered through 3 separate registrars, and it made sense to consolidate into a single registrar. Below is the experience I went through, which should be pretty typical of everyone. Winning Registrar refers to the registrar I am transferring the domain to, and Losing Registrar refers to the registrar I am transferring the domain away from.
The steps are as follows:
1. Going into the console of the Losing Registrar, unlock the domain and write down the Auth Code.
2. Go to the website of the Winning Registrar, specify that you want to transfer the domain over to that registrar and provide the Auth Code. Go through their shopping cart process and check out.
3. You will receive an email from the Winning Registrar asking you to confirm the registrar change.
4. You’ll need to reply to confirm. In my case, it was clicking on a link.
5. The Winning Registrar will now contact the Losing Registrar about getting the domain. If it did not hear back from the Losing Registrar for 5 days, the domain transfer will proceed.
6. The Losing Registrar may email the domain owner asking whether to approve or deny the domain transfer request. If you do nothing, the domain will get transferred in 5 days. If you approve, the domain will be transferred right away.
7. Once the domain is transferred, you’ll find that the expiration date has been extended by a year.
8. The exception to 7) is if you had just registered or renewed your domain within the last 45 days. In that case, the Winning Registrar issues a refund to the Losing Registrar. You can request a refund from the Losing Registrar (after all, you had already paid for the domain twice, once when you register/renew, and the second time when you transfer, so you should either get 2 years or get a refund).
Before doing the domain transfer, I was a bit worried that there may be a little down time to my website. To my relief, I did not observe any such down time. Another concern was the amount of time it may take — everything I read said it would take 5-7 days. The actually amount of time required to complete the domain transfer was much shorter in most cases. In fact, the 5-7 days mostly refers to the amount of time given to the Losing Registrar to approve the change. If you react quickly to the notices you receive, the entire domain transfer process can often be completed within 24 hours.