New owner update (change of registrant) procedure for generic top-level domains (gTLDs)

Beginning on December 1st, 2016, owner updates (also called "change of registrant") for generic top-level domain names (gTLD) will require additional approval before they can be processed. This change in policy comes from ICANN and is primarily to provide additional security for domain owners.

Note: in this article, we will be referring to domain owners. Please note that a domain's registrant and owner are the same thing. So if you see references to domain registrants elsewhere, it also means owner.

This update approval may be initiated via emails sent to both the old and new domain owner. The updates will no longer be processed in real-time, and can take up to 14 days (depending when approvals are completed).

Owner update (or change of registrant) means a "material change of the registrant" which can be:
 
  • Updating the first or last name of the owner contact, AND/OR
  • Adding, removing or updating the organization of the owner contact, AND/OR
  • Updating the email address of the owner contact.
  • Additionally the owner update process may be triggered if the email address of the administrative contact is updated because the old owner contact didn't have an email address saved.

 

Who can initiate an owner change?

A gTLD owner update can be requested by either the old or new domain owner or their respective designated agents for domain names managed in the iwantmyname system.


What is a Designated Agent (DA) and who can become one?

Owners (old or new) can explicitly authorize an individual or entity to approve an owner update on their behalf. That individual or entity acts as Designated Agent.

Though any individual or entity can be a DA, explicit and verifiable authorization must be given.  
iwantmyname automatically acts as Designated Agent for a new domain owner for domains managed with us per our terms and conditions.


Who can confirm an owner change?

Both the old and new owner must confirm an owner change. However, Designated Agents for either the old or new owner can also confirm on behalf of their respective registrant customer.

Since we are acting as Designated Agent for all of our customers, we will automatically approve an owner change on behalf of the new owner.

The old owner will receive an approval email, which they will need to confirm, since we may not be the Designated Agent of the old registrant.

The old registrant/owner has 14 days to approve the owner change. Failing to approve the owner change within 14 days will cause the process to expire. A new owner change process will need to be started in that case. 


What happens if either the old registrant/owner denies confirmation?

If the old owner does not confirm the owner update within fourteen (14) days, the change of registrant request will be denied and expire and the domain name registrant information (WHOIS data) will remain the same, that of the old owner.

The new registrant (or their DA) must always provide approval confirmation, which is done automatically at submission by iwantmyname acting as the new registrant's DA. 
 

What happens if the old registrant/owner's confirmation is not received within fourteen (14) days?

The change of registrant request will be denied and expire and the domain name registrant information (WHOIS data) will remain the same, that of the old owner. A new change of registration request will have to be initiated. 
 

After an owner update is completed, what happens?

Both the old and new owner are notified by email that the change of the owner has completed. 


60-day transfer lock - opt out

A gTLD owner update usually triggers a 60-day inter-registrar domain transfer lock. This means that the domain name will not be transferrable to another domain name provider (registrar) for 60 days after the owner update.

However, we automatically select the opt-out option and once the old owner approves the registrant update the 60-day transfer lock will not be enabled if the owner update is approved within 14 days of the start of the owner change process.

If the old owner would like the 60-day transfer lock to be enabled during the owner update please contact us before the owner update is started and we can start the change process in a way to ensure the 60-day transfer lock is set after a successful owner update.
 

How does this new policy affect domain names using a WhoisTrustee privacy service?

Any domain using WhoisTrustee will only be affected if the underlying escrowed registrant data has a material change. Turning privacy services on or off does not change the owner and therefore does not constitute a material change, so it will not trigger an owner update. 


How to initiate an owner update

1. Log in to your iwantmyname account and go the the domain name's contacts page. (From the domain name's page in your dashboard, click on edit contacts.)

2. Update the owner details as required.

3. Save the changes. This will trigger the approval process and emails for the update.

4. You will then be taken back to your dashboard where you will be able to see the status of the pending owner update.

5. The old registrant will receive an email requesting approval for the update.

6. Once approved and the process has completed both the old and new domain owner will receive a confirmation email.