Domain registration and management is regulated by an organization known as ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). ICANN sets the policy and rules for domain management to which all domain registrars and hosting companies must abide.
On December 1, 2016, a new domain transfer policy came into effect. Its goal is to protect domain security and ensure a smooth process for the verification, transfer and updating of domain registrations.
The new policy enforces several important changes to be aware of when transferring ownership of a domain, or updating existing ownership information:
- Any changes to the first name, last name, organization or email address fields for the owner of any generic top-level (gTLD) domain name (such as .com, .net, .org and others) now starts a formal “trade” process. Regional domain names (such as .ca) are not affected at this time.
- The trade process involves obtaining explicit confirmation from current and new registrants before a change can be completed.
- After a change of registrant has been completed, previous and new registrant need to receive notifications about the change, with no option to reverse the change.
- After a change of registrant has been completed, the domain is, by default, locked for transfers to a new registrar for the following 60 days.
Verifying domain registrations
When you first register a new domain, ICANN requires all accredited registrars to verify your contact information. You will receive an email from us requesting you to review and verify these details. Failure to do so will eventually lead to the suspension of your domain. This suspension is enforced by ICANN and is not the responsibility of the hosting provider. Should your domain be suspended, your website and email account will be taken offline until the issue is resolved.
Transferring domain ownership
When transferring a domain, explicit confirmation from current and new registrants is required before a change can be completed. An email is sent to the new registrant to confirm the transfer. Once confirmation is made, a second is sent to the original owner to accept the change.
Registrants have 7 days to confirm changes before the request expires, after which, a new request will be required.
Updating domain registration details
If you are updating your domain registration (for example, to correct a spelling mistake or update the registered email address) the trade process still applies, even though there is no actual change of ownership. You are considered to be both the “old” and “new” domain owner and will be required to approve the change of registrant request twice.
If you update the registered email address, an email is sent to the new email address and after confirmation, a second is sent to the original contact to accept the change. You have 7 days to confirm the change before the request expires.
If you no longer have access to the old email address, your domain provider can send a link via SMS to the phone number that they have on file. This will allow you to approve the change of registrant request.
Other reasons why you may be asked to verify contact information
There are other reasons why we may ask you to verify domain contact information. They include:
- Whois Data Reminder Policy (WDRP) – ICANN requires all accredited registrars to remind their customers once a year to review and update the contact information for their domain name. Read more about this at ICANN’s WDRP FAQs For Domain Name Registrants.
- Whois inaccuracy complaint – The Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) requires that registrars take reasonable steps to investigate and correct inaccurate Whois data. This can include contacting you to request verification of your identity and contact information.