ICANN’s New Transfer Policy: How it affects you

Nov 27, 2016

domain transfer policy change

ICANN’s New Transfer Policy comes into effect from the beginning of next month setting out new rules regarding changing or updating a domain name’s registrant contact information. In this blog article, we take a look at what this means for you.

What is the New Transfer Policy?

The Transfer Policy, formerly known as “Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy” or IRTP, sets out how domain transfers should be handled. Up until now, this policy only covered domain transfers between registrars. From December 1st 2016, this will also cover the process of changing ownership of a domain from one registrant to another.

What is the impact of this change?

What this means is that when a registrant performs an update to the registered name, organisation or email address for any gTLD (non-country code) domain you own, a Change of Registrant process will be triggered. This process involves an approval email sent to both the New and Prior Registrant.

The changes will not take effect until the change has been confirmed by both parties, and following the change, the domain will enter a 60 day lock period during which it cannot be transferred or modified again. If either party declines the change, then the change of registrant request is cancelled and the previous whois info remains the same.

What does this mean for end users?

In most cases, but not all, following making a request to change the WHOIS information for their domain, the new registrant will receive an email. This email will ask them:

  • to approve or decline the Change of Registrant
  • to confirm that their information is correct

Upon approval by the New Registrant, a similar email will be sent to the Prior Registrant asking them to also approve the Change of Registrant.

Only once both approvals have been received is the change of registrant completed.

What happens if the current registrant email is invalid or not accessible?

If a confirmation email sent to the New or Prior Registrant bounces, or it is no longer accessible, the we will have the opportunity to resend the confirmation request:

  • to the same email address (if the bounce was just temporary), or
  • via SMS to the phone number supplied for the Registrant.

If the phone number is incorrect, the we have the option to update the current registrant details with a new, valid mobile phone number. Updating just a registrant’s phone number is not considered a change of registrant by the Transfer Policy, so this can be updated without confirmation. Once the phone number is correct, the we can then resend the confirmation email to the new, updated phone number.

We strongly recommend that you login to your client area and ensure that your domain contact information and email address are correct to ensure that you have no issues in the future. As this only goes live on the 1st December any changes made will not subject to the new process.

How to check your domain contact details can be found here https://www.birchhosting.com/change-domain-contact-details/

As always if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


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