Inbound & Outbound Domain Transfers

Inbound Domain Transfers

If you want USP to take over management of a domain name, then the process is as simple as the existing registrar wants to make it. We can also provide a proxy scheme where your identity is not shown on public "lookup" records, although if you are promoting a commercial business this is clearly not a good idea if you want to inspire your clients/customers with confidence.

Domain names are issued by various "root" authorities, with most country code domains (eg .uk) being managed by a single "country manager"; in the case of .uk the registry authority is Nominet.  All the rest - the so-called "global" domains - com, net, org, info, etc - are managed by the US-based ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) who sell licenses to issue domain names to multiple franchisees.

Transferring .uk domains (including

The procedure for Transferring a Country Code domain name varies from counry to country, but the domain remains with the same registry at all times, but the registration agent - your interface with the registry 

Nominet works through registration agents (registrars) to provide the necessary services to the users of domain names, and the process for moving a domain name between registrars (known as "TAG" holders), is relatively simple. Our "TAG" is USP - and this information is listed in a "whois" information that lists details of any domains that are listed on our registrar "TAG".

To transfer a domain between UK registrars, the current registrar simply "re-tags" the domain using the receiving registrar's tag. So to move a domain to USP, this means the registered owner of a domain ("The Registrant") asks the existing registrar:- 

  • "Please retag [] to USP"

This process takes from 5 minutes to a few hours, depending on the specific registrar's procedures. Expect an existing registrar to want good proof that the person requesting a tag change is authorised by the domain registrant to do so, and some require a faxed authority. The record remains otherwise untouched, so that the DNS assignments of DNS records are not affected - although the old registrar is likely to cancel DNS support sooner or later. 

Once we have control of a domain in this way, we can then specify and manage the DNS servers for the domain, which means we have control of the services necessary to operate that domain: web, mail, ftp etc.

Transferring  .com, .net, .org (inc most top lvl TLDs)

Although there are many ICANN accredited registrars, the basic procedures are the same. By default, a domain is "locked" against accidental transfer, (because unlike a CCtld, moving a domain between ICANN registrars will potentially strip out all DNS record information). So the first step is to "unlock" the domain for transfer.

The existing Registrar will also need to issue an authority key (also known as an EPP key) for the ttransfer, which must be supplied to the receiving registrar when requesting a transfer. Once the process is initialised, a confirmation email is sent to the domain registrant contact.

USP will guide you through this process, and where required, we can arrange to set up the new DNS before the transfer process is initialised, ensuring no loss of service during the transfer period - which can take up to 5 days, because of the permission checking process. If a contact email for the domain does not exist, then the process can be delayed because a manual intervention is required.  

A fee is generally required by the inbound registrar - and this is generally includes a further year of the domain registration fee. Also please note that it can be unwise to try and transfer domains within 14 days of expiry.

* Some registrars require that newly registered domains cannot be transferred between registrars within 60 days of registration. 

Domain Names FAQ

for transfer of domain names to or from USP Networks:-

Please Note for .uk domains a ISP Tag is required (example, we are "USP") and all others require authorization codes that are generated by the holding registrar service, and for domains to the "unlocked for transfer" before the transfer process can be initiated.

If you no longer require your domain name, instead of surrendering it you may transfer the remaining period of registration to another entity.

The secondary market in domain names is vast, as a brief Google will show you.

Domain Whois - refers to the domain names registrant details including the technical contact and Current regisrta

Outbound Domain Transfers

Please note that only currently "live" names may be transferred. If your name has expired beyond renewal, then it must be renewed before transfer can be initiated.

Also please note there is rarely any technical need to transfer a domain registration between registrars - but many hosting providers pretend that there is. The entire premise of the internet is that services such as DNS, web and mail hosting can be distributed around multiple hosting services to improve resilience and avoid single points of failure. And to be frank, most hosting companies want to control your domain name because they then have complete leverage over your entire internet presence.

For example, if USP manages your domain name(s) and hosts your DNS, and you fall out with your web design/hosting or email services providers, we can have your web and email presence redirected and re-established anywhere in the world within 5-10 minutes. If you want to argue the toss over a commercial dispute of any sort with the people who hold all your online cards, you can guess the rest...

Also please check the transfers policy of the registrar that is enticing you to switch. Look and see how easy it is to find their outward transfer policy listed. They will make it very simple to transfer domains into their service, but rather less obvious and simple to extract again.

To initiate the process, you will need to send us an email from your usual contact address (you can use the form below), listing the domain(s) in question, (and if this involves a .uk domain, the TAG of the receiving .uk registrar) to stating the domain name, your contact details and who you wish the domain to be transferred to, and we will initiate the process. In some instances we may call back to establish identity.

In view of the considerable problems encountered when attempting to recover incorrectly transferred domains from registrars without easily accessible phone support schemes staffed by competent people, we may require additional proof(s) of identity to ensure that the request is genuine.

As part of the process, for "gtld" domains other than .uk, you will generally be required to enter into various formal agreements with the new registrar, and the process may take several days to complete. UK domain "Tag" changes were once immediate, but these too are now involved in a "handshake" process where the receiving registrar must acknowledge the inbound domain name.

For most non-uk registries, an authorisation code will be required, this is a key generated by the holding registry, and sent directly to the listed registrant. The acquiring registry will then email the listed registrant (owner) the terms and conditions of that registry which must be approved before the transfer takes place.

The transferred domain record information must then be brought up to date with the new registry contact details. 

In order to cover the costs of administering this service, USP charges a modest fee for transferring a domain name away. The fee will be £10 plus VAT per domain name.