The process of transferring a domain name from one registrar to another can be daunting, and the exact process can vary slightly depending on the registrars involved.
The first thing to do is to log into the old registrar, where the domain is currently being managed, and make sure the domain is not locked and that all the registration information is correct. This is important because the domain registry information is used during the transfer process, so make sure the email address listed is yours (or you have access to it). From here, log into the new registrar and request a domain transfer. This is where complications arise, as the registrars look for verification that you are the owner of the domain.
The old registrar will then provide an “authorization code,” which needs to be requested. This code then needs to be entered into the new registrar’s “pending transfers” section, which essentially verifies to the old registrar your identity. In some cases, an additional code is required to verify to the new registrar your transfer request is authentic. Once authorized, the transfer request is initiated by the new registrar.
All of the authorization we provided was proof that we own the domain and want to transfer it. The only thing left to do is wait. A day or so later, our old registrar will send an email explaining that the domain is being transferred, and giving us one last option to cancel it. In our case, no response is required. However, with many registrars there will be an email generated to the domain administrator that requires them to confirm or approve the transfer request. Failure to respond to this email and failure to receive this email due to incorrect registry information will cancel the transfer request.
Generally, the complexity of a domain transfer exists to protect against false and malicious transfer requests. Since a domain name is a valuable corporate asset, it is important to protect domain registration while still allowing domain owners to choose their registrar. However, once completed your domain name will reside at the new registrar, ready for management.