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How Can I Transfer My Domain to HostGator?

This article is a complete guide on how to transfer a domain from a third-party registrar and will cover the following information:

  1. What to Do Before Transferring Your Domain
  2. How to Begin Your Domain Transfer
  3. How to Ensure Your Transfer is Uninterrupted
  4. Check Your Transfer Status
  5. Troubleshooting a Failed Transfer
  6. Reference:

If you are already familiar with the domain transfer process, go ahead and request a transfer at: https://hostgator.com/transfer. If you are transferring a domain between two different HostGator billing accounts, please contact us via phone or Live Chat for assistance.

If you would like to learn more about the process, or are having difficulty, please click one of the links above to navigate to the information you are interested in.

What to Do Before Transferring Your Domain

There are several blocks in place to protect your domain name ownership that can cause difficulty in transferring your domain to a new registrar. Before you transfer your domain to HostGator, it is essential that you ensure that the domain is ready to be transferred. Please refer to the instructions below for preparing a domain for transfer:

Pre Transfer Checklist

The very first thing to check is if your domain is eligible for transfer to HostGator and whether it may be done through https://hostgator.com/domains, or if you need to contact us via phone or Live Chat to have it transferred.

Once you have identified your eligibility, the following will need to be done at your current registrar:

  1. Update Your Name Servers: Changing your name servers while your domain is being transferred may cause the transfer to fail. Be sure that you update your name servers before the transfer begins so that your domain will be working as soon as possible.
  2. Disable WHOIS Privacy: If WHOIS privacy is enabled, it will prevent your verification information from being retrieved and will prevent your transfer from succeeding.
  3. Update Your WHOIS Information: Your WHOIS information may be used to verify your ownership of a domain before the transfer completes. Updating your contact information to ensure that you can access the email addresses on your WHOIS will prevent transfer failure.
  4. Confirm the Domain is 60 Days Old: ICANN does not allow a domain to be transferred within its first 60 days.
  5. Unlock Your Domain: Domain locks prevent unauthorized domain transfers. Be sure to unlock your domain just before transferring it so that it can be transferred successfully. The lock status of your domain can be viewed in your WHOIS information.
  6. Check Your Domain's Expiration Date: It can take up to 7 days to transfer a domain. If your domain expires during transfer it may become locked again, causing the transfer to fail.
  7. Check that the Domain is not in Redemption: If you are transferring an expired domain, be sure that it is within 30 days of expiration. If it has been expired for longer than that your domain may not be transferred without renewal.
  8. Get Your EPP Code: You will need to get your EPP authorization code from your current registrar in order to transfer your domain. EPP Authorization codes expire, so you should ensure that you get it shortly before transferring your domain.

Users with a .uk domain will also need to update their IPS tag.

How to Begin Your Domain Transfer

The domain transfer process requires that you pay immediately with credit card. If you cannot pay with credit card, or if the domain name you want is not listed in our drop-down box, please contact us via phone or Live Chat so we can assist you.

Once you have gone through the pre-transfer checklist, you're ready to begin transferring your domain. If your domain is not eligible for transfer using https://hostgator.com/transfer, you will need to contact HostGator via phone or Live Chat for assistance. Please provide your EPP code to ensure that the transfer can begin immediately if you have already gone through the steps in the pre-transfer checklist.

If your domain is eligible for transfer using https://hostgator.com/transfer, please refer to the instructions below for transferring your domain:

Begin Your Transfer

When you attempt to transfer your domain, HostGator automatically attempts to check several possible issues that may prevent your domain from transferring. You'll receive a screen like this one:

Domain Transfer Error

This list checks for all of the things that HostGator can check directly:

  1. Is your domain unlocked? If the answer is no, you will need to contact your current registrar and request to have your domain unlocked. Your current registrar.
  2. Is Domain Privacy disabled? If domain privacy is enabled, it will prevent HostGator from being able to verify your ownership of your domain. This will need to be disabled by your current registrar.
  3. Is the domain older than 60 days? ICANN regulations prevent the transfer of a domain that is less than 60 days old. HostGator will not be able to transfer a domain until 60 days has elapsed.
  4. Has the administrator's email been validated? HostGator verifies the ownership of your domain with an email to the contact information from your WHOIS. By default this verification email goes to the admin email, however, you should ensure that your WHOIS is entirely up to date. WHOIS Privacy can prevent this from happening correctly as well. If the answer to this is No:
    1. Click the How-To Fix button.
    2. In the popup box that appears, click the button to send a confirmation email to the administrator email from your WHOIS information. 
    3. An email should arrive shortly at that email address with both a confirmation code and link. Please either click on the link or enter the confirmation code in the text box on this popup and click Confirm.
  5. Does HostGator support this domain type? This checks to see if this domain type may be hosted by HostGator.
  6. Is this domain far enough from expiration? Some registrars may not allow an expired domain to be transferred away.
  7. Is this domain not currently in redemption? Once a domain is in redemption status a domain will be unable to be transferred. 

With the exception of validating the administrator email, the pre-transfer checklist will ensure that all of these tools say Yes. Once you've validated your administrator email, click Continue to Checkout. Repeat the process for any other domains you wish to transfer before moving on.

Once you've added all the domains you wish to transfer:

  1. Click the button labeled Continue to Checkout
  2. The first step within the checkout process will be to either log in with an existing HostGator account or create a new account.  
  3. In the Order Summary section, you will be able to review all of the domains and whether or not you would wish to have Domain Privacy. Here you will also be able to set the domains name servers.  
  4. Click on the Continue to Checkout button to proceed to the payment section. 
  5. Click in the next checkbox to accept the HostGator Terms of Service, Domain Registration Agreement, and Privacy Policy.
  6. To have the domain transfer verification be sent to the WHOIS Registrant Email on the domain click on the Place Your Order button. 
  7. Check the mailbox for the WHOIS Registrant Email contact for a verification email to approve the domain transfer.  This email will also allow you to enter in your EPP key that is required for the domain transfer process. 
Congratulations! Your transfer should now begin successfully.

How to Ensure Your Transfer is Uninterrupted

One of the security measures to prevent your domain from being transferred without your consent is a validation email sent to one of the email addresses on your WHOIS information. To ensure that your transfer succeeds without interruption, please be sure to check these email accounts carefully and address any emails regarding your transfer.

Check Your Transfer Status

Domain transfers will be initiated only after payment has been made. Once the transfer has initialized, be sure to watch for an incoming confirmation letter to the email address listed on the domain WHOIS. The domain transfer should be decided within 7 days from the date listed in the confirmation letter. If the transfer was successful, then the domain's new information should appear when using a public WHOIS lookup tool.

If your domain is not available to be managed at https://portal.hostgator.com/domain/manage after successfully being transferred, or if you would like a more detailed information regarding your transfer status, please contact us via phone or Live Chat for assistance.

Troubleshooting a Failed Transfer

This section contains a list of the most common causes for a domain transfer to fail as well as solutions to address those issues. Please click the link below to expand the list of issues and troubleshooting steps:

  • The domain has become locked: Many events can cause an unlocked domain to become locked again during transfer. This includes, but is not limited to updating name servers, the domain expired during the transfer, or the domain going into redemption.

    Solution: Unlock the domain and contact HostGator to restart the transfer.
  • The EPP key expired: It is possible for an EPP key to expire as a new one is generated for a domain.

    Solution: Request a new EPP key and contact HostGator with the new EPP key to restart the transfer.
  • The domain validation email was not successful: If you did not follow the instructions in the domain validation email, the transfer will not succeed. This could be caused by not receiving the email.

    Solution: Ensure that your WHOIS information is up to date and that you are able to successfully receive email at all of your contact email addresses. Then, contact us to restart the transfer, and watch those addresses carefully. Confirm that you authorize the transfer when the validation email arrives.

    Note: You may need to whitelist or add info@transfer-approval.com to your email address book to ensure that you receive the domain transfer authorization email.

    If you do not receive and follow the directions in the email, your domain will not be transferred.
  • The domain has gone into redemption: If a domain goes into redemption after expiring, then it may no longer be transferred.

    Solution: The domain would need to be renewed prior to restarting the transfer.
    While it may be possible to transfer a domain while it is expired, in most cases, it will not work due to issues such as being locked or having outdated contact information, etc.

    If you wish to attempt to transfer a domain while expired, make sure you monitor the transfer carefully so that if it fails, you can renew it prior to it going into redemption.

It is possible for multiple issues to go wrong at the same time. For instance, if the EPP key expires, the domain may become locked again. Be sure to briefly go over the full pre-transfer checklist, request a new EPP key, and include the new EPP key with your request to restart for the fastest possible assistance.

HostGator Special Offers

Free Domain Name Transfer

We will transfer one (1) domain name for free per newly purchased account. The free domain transfer is for your primary domain only (the domain you typed during sign-up) and must be a .com, .net or .org.

You can request the free domain registration transfer any time within the life of your hosting account by contacting us via phone or Live Chat. For more information please see the following article:

Free Renewal for Transferred Domains

Domains transferred to HostGator will be automatically be renewed for free for a full year from the date of transfer with 2 exceptions:

  • If the domain was renewed within the last 45 days, it will not be renewed at the time of transfer.
  • If the domain has a multi-year registration with more than 1 year remaining, it will not be renewed at the time of transfer.

What is My EPP Code or Authorization Key?

An EPP code is an authorization key provided by your old registrar and required by your new registrar to complete a registration transfer for a domain name. You must contact the old registrar to obtain this.

If HostGator is your registrar, you can get your EPP code by completing the steps below. The directions are slightly different depending on when and how your domain was registered. Please click the following link to display the steps:

All domain management is coordinated by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), and specific rules are in place for transferring domains between registrars. These are viewable at ICAN's site (this external link will open in a new tab): These rules state that the EPP code may be sent only to the email address listed in the publicly-available WHOIS record for that domain.

Per Section 2.1.3 in the document above, authorization can only be given by the Administrative Contact (termed by ICANN the "Transfer Contact") and requires:

"Consent from an individual or entity that has an email address matching the Transfer Contact email address."

Please make sure your WHOIS information is correct and publicly available in order for your request to succeed.

This article describes how to review and correct your WHOIS information:

Domains Attached to a HostGator Billing Account

If your domain is attached to a HostGator billing account, then you can manage your domain through our website, including obtaining the EPP code.

If you registered your domain via https://hostgator.com/domains or at the same time you purchased your hosting account, a billing account is automatically created when you registered the domain.

Requesting Your EPP Code

  1. Log in to your domain management page at:
  2. Once you're logged in, you will see a list of domains that you have registered through HostGator. Click the one for which you would like the EPP code.
  3. Hover on the left hleft-handuntil you see a Domain Locking tab.
  4. Change the Domain Lock to the Off setting.  
  5. Click on the Request Your EPP Key button to display the domain's EPP key.  
If your domain does not appear in the domain management tool, please contact our Billing department via phone or Live Chat with your request.

HostGator/eNom & Registry Rocket

If HostGator/eNom is your old registrar and you managed your domain via Registry Rocket in the past, please contact our Billing department via phone or Live Chat with your request. We can only send the code to the Registrant contact email found in your registration WHOIS information.

Domains With No Billing Account

If your domain is not attached to a HostGator billing account, you can request that we attach the domain to your web hosting billing account, or create a new billing account for the domain. Just contact our Billing department via phone or Live Chat and we'll be happy to help.

What is the IPS TAG?

Some UK domains require an IPS tag before registration can be transferred. Our IPS Tag is PDR-IN

[tag = PDR-IN]

You will need to setup a LaunchPad Reseller Club in order to initiate your domain's transfer. Your Reseller Club account will allow you to manage any and all of your ccTLD's in one place, not just limited to .co.uk!