Everything you need to know about ICANN’s new transfer policy

Last update: November 23, 2016

Please note this does not apply to ccTLD domain names such as .ca. Please ignore if you only have a .ca domain name.


On December 1, 2016, ICANN will enforce a new transfer policy that modifies the process of changing domain ownership from one registrant to another. The implementation of the policy will be imposed on all registrars. We have created this resource page to ensure that all SiberName customers are ready when the policy comes into effect. We encourage you to review this policy update to familiarize yourself with all of the changes that are being made to the transfer policy.


What is this policy?

The policy we are discussing here is the Transfer Policy, formerly known as “Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy” or IRTP. Up until now, this policy only covered domain transfers between registrars (it’s the policy that mandates the Forms of Authorization to be completed by a registrant prior to a transfer). The new policy also covers the process of changing ownership of the domain from one entity to another (registrant to registrant). Every time a change of registrant takes place, the policy is called upon and a series of confirmation and approval emails are triggered. What’s important to note is that simple updates to a registrant’s first name, last name, organization and email address on a particular domain also triggers the same slew of notification and confirmation emails.

When is it going into effect?

The new transfer policy is scheduled to become effective on December 1, 2016.

How will it impact your business?

Once the policy is in effect, the impact on resellers and their end users will be visible. It can be summarized as follows:

  • It will no longer be possible to change the registrant of a domain name with a simple domain modification request.
  • Any changes to first name, last name, organization or email address fields for the owner of any gTLD domain name will now start a trade process.
  • The process involves obtaining explicit confirmation from current and new registrants before a change can be completed.
  • After a change of registrant has been completed, previous and new registrant will receive a confirmation notice informing them that the change has completed
  • 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

How does the new process work?

The process starts with the registrants submitting a request to modify the owner of a given domain name.

SiberName  will send an email to the New Registrant, asking them

  • to approve or decline the Change of Registrant,
  • to confirm that their information is correct (as per Registrant Verification), and

Once the change has been approved by the New Registrant, SiberName will send an email to the Prior Registrant, asking them

  • to approve or decline the Change of Registrant, and
  • opt out of the 60-day registrar transfer lock after a Change of Registrant (optional).

After both approvals have been recorded, SiberName will complete the Change of Registrant and send a final confirmation to both Prior and New Registrant which notifies them about the completed process. Even if the email of Prior and New Registrant is the same, the policy requires SiberName to send two separate emails. There is no further response required from registrants at this point of 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.

What is considered a Change of Registrant in the context of this policy?

The Transfer Policy requires this process for any change to a registrant’s

  • firstname
  • lastname
  • organization name
  • email address

Therefore, SiberName considers every unique combination of those fields within a reseller’s customer base as a registrant.

What happens if the current registrant email is invalid or not accessible?

If a confirmation email sent to the New or Prior Registrant bounces, or it is no longer accessible, for individuals, SiberName will ask a photo ID For businesses or organizations SiberName will ask an official document only the owners of the corporation can access to prove the ownership of the domain name.


There will be a cost of $39.95 CAD to follow this procedure. In order to avoid this additional step, our registrants needs to keep their registrant email up to date.


Updating a domain name registrant email can be done easily through our user area before the procedure comes to affect. Click hereto access our video tutorial on how to modify a domain name contact details. Most important one is the registrant admin email and needs to be up to date.

Questions our customers have been asking



Q: Does this implementation of the new transfer policy also apply to country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs) such as .ca?

A: No, it only applies to generic top-level domains (gTLDs) which are all governed by ICANN policies. ccTLDs usually have their own policies, and are not affected by these changes.


Q: What would trigger this change of registrant process?
A: Making any change to the first name, last name, organization field, or email within the registrant contact object, will start the process. An approval email will go out to both the old and new registrants.

Q: What happens if it’s not an actual transfer but minor updates to first name, last name, email or organization field?
A: At this time, any change to any of those fields will begin the change of registrant process.

Q: Who has to approve the change of registrant request?
A: Both the new and the prior registrant need to approve the change of registrant request.

Q: What if I am both the old and the new registrant?
A: You will be required to approve the change of registrant request twice.

Q: What happens if the new registrant approves the request but the old registrant denies the request?
A: This will cancel the whole request and the whois will revert back to the previous registrant’s info.

Q: What happens if the new registrant denies the request ?
A: Then the change of registrant request is canceled and the previous whois info remains the same.

Q: What happens if I am the new registrant and I do not receive the email request to approve the change of registrant?
A: Your domain provider will be able to resend the email, otherwise the process will timeout. You will need to start the process again using a different email address.

Q: How long does the new registrant have to approve the request before it expires/times out?
A: 7 days from the change request.

Q: What happens if I submit another change of registrant request when one is currently pending?
A: The first request will be cancelled.

Q: What if I don’t have access to my old email address?
A: Registrant will be required to provide documentation matching the name of registrant. There will be a service fee in that case. You can avoid this by keeping your registrant details up to date.


Q: After a Change of Registrant, are there any restrictions on transferring that name?
A: If you want to transfer and change the registrant at the same time, you should transfer the domain first, and then the change the registrant. Failure to do so will result in your domain being locked for 60 days.


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