In June, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization that effectively governs Internet infrastructure, announced an official date for a new policy regarding domain name transfers for all gTLDs (non-country code domains). The change will go into effect for all users on December 1, 2016.
The Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy
ICANN revised its Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy (IRTP) in an effort to reduce the risk of fraud and “domain hijacking.” It will now require domain name registrants to complete additional steps in order to confirm a transfer to another party. At the same time, it will also affect any domain name registrant making routine changes to their contact information. Here is a summary of the policy changes:
- This policy comes into effect any time a gTLD domain registrant’s first name, last name, or email address is changed
- Whenever a change is made, both the current registrant and the new registrant must confirm the change (even if those two are actually the same person or entity)
- Both registrants will receive notification that the change is pending, and be given the ability to decline the change
- After the change has been confirmed, the domain cannot be transferred to a new registrar for 60 days*
*ICANN does allow current registrants to opt-out of the 60-day transfer-lock period for domains transferred to new registrants. This does not change the requirement for both parties to approve the changes before they are applied.
If either the current or new registrant rejects the change, or if they fail to confirm the change within a certain time period, then the transfer/change will be canceled, though the domain itself will not be suspended.
What this means for you
- Any time you change the first name, last name, or email address for a gTLD domain, you will receive an email to confirm the change. If you are transferring the domain to someone else, the new registrant will also have to confirm the change. If that change isn’t confirmed, the name or email address will stay the same.
- Any time you confirm a change to the first name, last name, or email address for a gTLD domain, that domain will be locked into the same registrar for the next 60 days.