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Why did my domain transfer fail?

Transfers of gTLD domains can fail for a few reasons. To understand why a domain transfer can fail, it's useful to first understand the transfer process. Note that the process is different (and significantly less complex) for UK domains - this guide applies only to global domains (.com, .net, .org, etc.). The transfer process for global domains is as follows:

  1. First you request a transfer through us.

  2. We, through OpenSRS, send a transfer authorisation request by email to the admin contact for the domain.

  3. Once that email has been responded to, the domain's lock status and registration status are checked.

  4. If the domain is unlocked, the request goes back to the registry for approval.

  5. After approval the domain is actually transferred and the nameservers changed.

There are a few points in that process where things can go wrong. Before starting the transfer, it's best to check the following:

  1. The person named as the admin contact in the 'whoisdatabase is expecting the email and will respond promptly.
  2. The domain is 'unlocked' (i.e., transfers are not prohibited).
  3. The domain is in a transferable state (i.e., it was registered more than 60 days ago, some registrars may also restrict domains with less than than 60 days left of registration).

If your current registrar is named as the admin contact, they will probably require that you submit a transfer request via their website so they know to authorise the transfer when the request arrives from OpenSRS. 

If you are named as the admin contact, you should make sure that you have access to the email account listed. If you do not, you will need to change the admin contact details through your current registrar before the transfer can proceed.

If all of these conditions are met, a transfer should take no longer than 72 hours.

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