Today I got off a chat with a Registrar, not the ones you have in school, but the ones that register domains for you. While it was not a good process, the solution was a great outcome for our client. See when looking for a domain the first step you do is go to a great website like GoDaddy, or 1 & 1 and check to see if the domain that you want is available. If it is, you can purchase it and fill in your details, name, address, email, and billing and then you are the new proud owner of a domain. You then get the hosting and start to set up your site and your good to go. But let’s say in a couple of months or years you decide to change some of the details. You move or change your email address, maybe even want to change your name to a business name. So you goto the registrar and change it.

Red Alert, sirens sound and you are stopped before you do anything, saving you the frustration of what is called the “ICANN’s 60 Day Lock Policy” … WRONG… this does not happen. What actually can happen is that you are locked into that company for 60 days. While this may not seem bad, believe me, this can be a nightmare if you do not know about this. Just a side point, some companies do not even let you know what you are doing until it’s too late, you are allowed to change the details which lock you in and you do not find out about it till you try to move the domain. Also, usually when you are updating your details most of the time you will be updating your details as you are about to move the domain.

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So what is this policy?

Well, recently some registrars have changed their policy to align with what the actual policy says but there are some, like ehost that have not. The policy is simple, if you change your details, these details are:

  1. Registrant Name
  2. Registrant Organization
  3. Registrant email address

the Registrar can and some do (without your knowledge) lock your domain. This means that you cannot change your domain registrar for 60 days. Now this may seem unimportant to you, but if you are not happy with the service of your provider or you are changing companies as you have a better offer, you could end up with an issue. But do not fret there is a way out. Most of the companies out there blame ICANN and say that they are the ones that lock the domain, which is a lie. ICANN DO NOT lock domains, they are the governing body, they just make sure everything is fair. They recommend (yes, while they do say what can and can’t be done) locking the domain, but they do not lock domains. Here is the proof.

“The Registrar must impose a 60-day inter-registrar transfer lock4 following a Change of Registrant, provided, however, that the Registrar may allow the Registered Name Holder to opt out of the 60-day inter-registrar transfer lock prior to any Change of Registrant request.”

Registrant request

So what does this mean?

Simply, the Registrar is able to lock the domain from moving, but they alone lock it. Now the policy says that the Registrar must impose a 60-day inter-registrar transfer lock on the domain following the change of the Registrant details, as mentioned above, however, the Registrar may allow you, the Registered Name Holder to opt out of the 60 Day lock. Here is what that opt out looks like, which GoDaddy now does, yes they used to not allow this but changed it recently.

Contact information

As you can see there is a button that if clicked will lock the domain, meaning it cannot be moved until the 60 days is up. Companies that do this, show they have your back, and ones we recommend.

So who locks the domain?

The company that is controlling your domain, NOT ICANN. I am saying this because today, someone told me that it was ICANN, and this is not true as you can see from the above snippet of the ICANN policy. So what if you do lock your domain and you want to move it, what can you do? We can help, there are options that we have that can fix the issue, and in most cases, we have got the domain unlocked and moved without an issue. So if you have any questions on this or any other domain issues please do not hesitate to contact us for all your domain problems, we are the domain solution specialists.