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Starting on 01 December 2016, ICANN [the governing body of all things internet] has mandated adjustments to the newly renamed Transfer Policy to now include registrant [domain owner] to registrant [domain owner] changes. The amended Transfer Policy is applicable to all gTLD names [all domains except country-level ones] and ICANN-accredited registrars.
Every time a change of registrant [owner] contact takes place, the policy is called upon and a series of confirmation/approval e-mails will be sent out. What’s important to note is that simple updates to a registrant’s first name, last name, organisation, and e-mail address on a particular domain will trigger this new policy. Updating the owner’s mailing address and telephone number will NOT require confirmation.
The policy is triggered by any of these changes:
• Registrant’s first name
• Registrant’s second name
• Registrant’s organisation
• Registrant’s e-mail address
Do you need to do anything now?
No, this policy isn’t prompting any action. Only if you want to change the ownership details, then you will go through a more involved process to complete the update. We just needed to inform all of our customers that the ability to update your domain ownership will be changing.
What domains does this new policy effect:
• This policy effects ALL TLD/gTLD domain names such as .COM, .NET, .ORG, .BIZ, .INFO, .CLUB, .BERLIN, .WEB, .GURU and .MARKETING to name just a few.
• This policy does NOT effect ccTLDs [country level] domains like .CA, .AU, .UK, .US, .FR amongst the hundred or so more we offer.
Steps of the Transfer Policy:
Effective 01 December, updates to the domain ownership will start this process of approval:
1. Within a few minutes of the update being made, then the New Registrant will receive an e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org asking:
–> to approve or decline the Change of Registrant,
–> to confirm that their information is correct (as per Registrant Verification), and
–> accept easyDNS [or Tucows when we are a reseller] to act as a Designated Agent for all future changes of registrant (automatic)
**This must be a working e-mail address otherwise the process cannot be continued. No SMS for the new registrant.**
2. Once the change has been approved by the New Registrant, then an e-mail from email@example.com will be sent to the Prior Registrant asking:
–> to approve or decline the Change of Registrant, and
–> opt-out of the 60-day registrar transfer lock after a Change of Registrant (optional).
**For most domains on our system, the Designated Agent is enabled so the Prior Registrant won’t be receiving the confirmation e-mail.**
3. After a change of registrant has been completed, prior and new registrant will receive a confirmation notice informing them that the change has completed. Even if the e-mail address of the Prior and New Registrant are the same, the policy requires this notice to be sent to in two separate e-mails. There is no further response required from registrants at this point in the process.
4. 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.
What is the Designated Agent [DA]?
This is basically a pre-authorisation given to easyDNS [or Tucows when we are a reseller] by the New Registrant when confirming the update for any future updates. This makes future updates easier as you don’t have to receive an e-mail to confirm. If both the New Registrant and the Prior Registrant have accepted easyDNS [or Tucows when we are a reseller] as the Designated Agent, then the change goes through immediately and both contacts receive the e-mail notifying the completion of the process. If you enter into the Designated Agreement, any other domain that has the exact same registrant information will also be applied. easyDNS is automatically enabling this for all domains as we want these processes to be as easy as possible for our clients.
Keep in mind, the Designated Agent functionality is flagging the actual registrant contact data, and not the domain itself. This means if DA is turned on for a specific domain, all domains using the same contact data will automatically have DA turned on.
What is this 60 Day Lock?
Like the inability to transfer a domain between registrars for 60 days, the new addition of registrant changes also follows that same rule. This will be an option for the Prior Registrant [the owner at the beginning of this process] to opt-out of the 60-day hold only. The new registrant does NOT have the ability to opt-out of this 60-day lock.
What is the purpose of this policy change?
There has been a long-standing concern over domain security and how to prevent domain hijacking. ICANN has taken the step to make it increasingly difficult now to avoid such hijackings. Unfortunately, it’s a heavy-handed approach and doesn’t take into consideration the security levels of registrars and their processes. The new policy, as it stands now, basically makes it harder for domain owners to manage their own domains.
Who is ICANN?
ICANN [The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers] is an international non-profit corporation that is responsible for Domain name system management [of generic (gTLD) and country code (ccTLD) domains], Internet Protocol (IP) address space allocation, protocol identifier assignment, and root server system management functions. They basically call the shots on how domain registries, registrars and registrants have to manage their domains. Their website is https://www.icann.org/ – and if you want to read ICANN’s page on this Transfer Policy, please visit https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/transfer-policy-2015-09-24-en
What happens if one of the contacts does not confirm the process?
In case the New or Prior Registrant decline a change, or the request times out after 7 days, the entire process is aborted, and the present owner details will stay in place. Both contacts must confirm the process or it will not complete the update.
How long do I have to wait to get this confirmation e-mail?
Unfortunately, the delivery is not done immediately in most cases. The messages are sent in batches and take normally less than ten minutes. If you haven’t received it within 20 or 30 minutes, please first check that you’ve imputed the correct e-mail address in the whois record. It’s also very possible this e-mail [from firstname.lastname@example.org] is in your Junk, Trash or Spam folders. Beyond that, it could be something we’ll need to take a look at so contact easyDNS support and we’ll be glad to help you out.
What happens if the current whois/owner’s e-mail address is defunct?
If the current registrant’s e-mail is invalid or not accessible, then we can wait and re-attempt when that address is accessible or send an SMS [text message] to the telephone number supplied for the current owner. If the phone number is incorrect, then it will need to be updated and easyDNS can resubmit the request to SMS to the new telephone number. Updating the telephone number of the registrant does not require confirmation.
What happens if the new owner’s e-mail address is defunct?
The new proposed e-mail address must be a working address that can receive and confirm the request. easyDNS is not able to co-ordinate an SMS message or override this policy in any way.
What happens if there’s an active process and another update is submitted?
In the event, there’s an active process underway and another change to the registrant is made, it will cancel the first request.
I’m transferring my domain to you, what should I do about old contact information?
If you are moving your domain over to easyDNS, we suggest you DON’T update the ownership and engage this process as it will likely lock your domain with the current registrar for 60 days. The fair assumption that many registrars will be happy that this simple update will block your ability to transfer to another registrar.
What if your telephone number is not a mobile number?
It is imperative that a mobile telephone number is provided to receive the confirmation. You can purchase privacy registration for the public Whois record to block out your information if you’re concerned about this revealing your phone number.
What happens if the Prior [current] Registrant refuses to confirm the process?
There may be cases when you won’t be able to get the co-operation of the current registrant and unfortunately, there isn’t a way for easyDNS to bypass the confirmation processes. In such cases, we can turn to the telephone number for verification and if a mobile number is provided, then we can have an SMS message sent out.
What if my domain has Whois privacy enabled, does this still apply to my domain?
It will be still necessary to complete the Transfer Policy process.
We will be adding more information to this article as we deem necessary.