Why It Takes 60 Days to Transfer Domains (Explained & Solved)

Domain name transfers can take up to 60 days to complete, but many people don't know why. This article will explore the reasons behind the delay and what you can do to speed up the process.

By understanding the domain transfer process, you'll be able to complete the transfer as quickly and easily as possible. So, what are you waiting for? Read on to learn more!

To be precise:  

This is an ICANN rule to prevent too frequent changes of registrars. A domain name does not take 60 days to transfer. The 60 days many are referring to, is the transfer lock period between transfers. When you transferred a domain it will only be possible to transfer again after 60 days have passed.

As you see, this rule is not the same as the normal transfer time (e.g. 5 days for .com, .net, .org).

Why this rule is a thing

There are several reasons for this rule, which can be annoying from time to time. I have contact with domain owners on a daily basis and there is pretty much every day a conversation about the 60 day waiting period. So, let's shed some light on it:

The 60-day waiting period is a requirement by ICANN, the international governing body for domain name registrations

ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is the organization that regulates the domain name industry. They are responsible for creating and enforcing rules to ensure that the domain name system runs smoothly and that users have a positive experience.

One of these rules is the 60-day transfer lock.

As you can see:

The 60-day transfer lock (also called 60-day waiting period) is not a rule made by the domain registrar but by ICANN. The registrar is not managing the lock. The lock is imposed by the registry (the entity above the registrar) to respect the ICANN rule.

First things first: The rule is not there to bug you. I can promise you that. It is there for good reason and one of them is to protect you.

The 60-day waiting period after domains transfers is protecting you

This ICANN rule is protecting you against domain fraud. If someone hacks your registrar account and they manage to transfer your domain away before you realize what happened you usually can open a dispute with the registry.

However, if there would be no 60-day waiting period the domain could switch registrars and owners many times before the registry is getting involved.

By that time it would already be an administrative and juristically nightmare to untangle the situation, as the later owners could have bought the domains in good conscience.

The 60-day waiting period is also there to protect you against making impulsive decisions

Let's say you have a domain and you are not happy with your current registrar. You might be tempted to impulsively transfer your domain to another registrar without doing your research first.

The 60-day waiting period gives you time to cool down and make a more informed decision about whether or not you really want to transfer your domain.

It also gives you time to compare registrars and find the one that best meets your needs. There's no rush, so take your time and make sure you're making the best decision for your domain name.

The 60-day waiting period allows time for trademark disputes to be resolved

Another reason for the 60-day transfer lock is to give time for trademark disputes to be resolved. If a company believes that another company is trying to register a domain name that is similar to its trademark, it can file a complaint with ICANN.

ICANN will then investigate the complaint and if they find that the domain name is indeed similar to a trademark, they can place a 60-day transfer lock on the domain name. This gives the company time to file a lawsuit or take other legal action to prevent the other company from using their trademark

The 60-day waiting period helps prevent cybersquatting

Cybersquatting is the act of registering a domain name with the intent of selling it to the rightful owner at an inflated price. This phenomenon has become increasingly common as more and more businesses realize the importance of having an online presence.

The 60-day waiting period helps to prevent cybersquatting by giving businesses time to claim their domain name before it is made available to the general public.

Want to learn how to sell or buy domains without risks? This article is for you:
How to Sell Domains Safely - Without Risks

There are ways to speed up the domain transfer process

Usually, the reason for changing a registrar is that you are changing your hosting provider. Whether for email, your website, or both.

The new provider might be asking you to transfer the domain name. This is for two reasons:

  • They gain another domain
  • They can manage the DNS zone of your domain themselves, which is more convenient for you (the DNS zone is a file where it is defined which mail hosting, website, etc. your domain is connected too)

But in most cases, it is not necessary to transfer your domain to the new registrar. If you are unable to transfer your domain yet, you should check with the future registrar/your new hosting provider if you can instead simply switch to their nameservers (this will let you use their DNS zone even when your domain is not with them) or how to connect to their hostings simply by setting DNS records in the DNS zone of your current domain registrar.

You are not exactly sure what DNS records and DNS zones are? This article will explain everything:
Everything You Need to Know About DNS Records - A Guide for Beginners

What if I really need to transfer the domain prior to the 60 days?

If you're in a hurry to transfer your domain name, you can try to speed up the process.

The basis is that for various domain extensions the current registrar can ask the registry to lift the 60-day transfer lock manually. However, there is absolutely no obligation whatsoever for your current registrar to do so.

  1. Check with your current registrar to see if they offer an expedited transfer service. Many registrars will allow customers to pay a fee to have their domain name transferred within a few days.
  2. If you're still having trouble, you can contact ICANN directly for assistance. They may be able to help you resolve the issue and get your domain name transferred in a timely manner.

Please note: If you are not having a very good reason why the transfer can't wait until the 60-day waiting period is over your request will be declined in pretty much all cases. Spare your registrar and/or ICANN unnecessary work if it is just about a normal transfer situation.

Which domain names have this rule?

The 60-day transfer lock applies to all generic top-level domains (gTLDs), such as

  • .com
  • .net
  • .org,

Many country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) also have the 60-day transfer lock.

A few country code top-level domains without are:

  • .co.uk
  • .org.uk
  • .uk
  • .au
  • .com.au
  • .de
  • .eu
  • .nl

While the 60-day waiting period may seem like a hassle, it is actually in place to protect users and prevent abuse of the system. By understanding the reasons behind the delay, you can be sure that your domain transfer will go smoothly and without any problems. Thanks for reading!

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