Whether you want to move your website to another hosting provider or consolidate all your domains into one account, you’ll need a transfer code to complete the process for each of your domain names.
These codes ensure that a domain name can be transferred seamlessly—and securely—from one domain registrar to another. However, they are also time-limited, so you must act in time before the code expires.
Domain name transfer codes, also called “EPP codes”, usually expire after 40 days from the date of issue. This should give you more than enough time to request and complete a transfer.
In this guide, we will talk about why domain name transfer codes have an expiry date, and go through some of the most common reasons for failed transfers.
So, if you are currently having problems transferring your domain, apply what you have learned here and try again.
What Is an EPP Code?
An EPP code—short for Extensible Provisioning Protocol—is a unique authorization code that’s required to transfer a domain name from one registrar to another.
This code is generated by the registrar you are in the process of leaving, and is essential to confirm that you are the rightful owner of the domain.
How Long Do Domain Transfer Codes Last?
Generally, domain name transfer codes expire within 40 days of issuance.
This helps prevent bad actors from accessing your domain and hijacking your data. Therefore, be sure that the new registrar quickly processes the transfer as soon as you’ve provided an EPP code.
Once a domain transfer code expires, you will need to contact your current registrar to request a new one. Only after you receive the new code can you try the domain transfer process again.
Why Do Domain Name Transfer Codes Expire?
Domain name transfer codes expire to prevent domain name hijacking.
If a malicious individual were to gain access to your domain name transfer code, they could easily transfer your domain to their own registrar without your permission.
To combat this, registrars only allow a limited window of time—usually 40 days—to enter the domain name transfer code. Once the code is confirmed, the domain name transfer itself takes 5 to 7 days.
Once this window expires, you will need to generate a new domain name transfer code before you can initiate the transfer process again.
To do so, you will usually have to:
- Log in to your current registrar’s account.
- Navigate to the Domains tab and select the domain you wish to transfer.
- Click on the Transfer Domain option and follow the instructions to generate a new domain name transfer code.
- Provide the new EPP code to the registrar.
After you’ve generated the new code, you can begin the domain transfer process again. Just be sure to do so before the code expires to avoid any disruptions to your site.
Reasons Why Your Transfer May Have Failed
If you’ve recently come to an impasse while attempting to transfer your site’s domain name, it may have failed for a variety of reasons.
In this next section, we’ll go through a few of the common reasons why domain name transfers fail and explain how you can work around the problem.
Your Domain Name is Locked
If your domain name is currently locked, you won’t be able to transfer it to a new registrar.
This is usually done to prevent accidental or unauthorized transfers but it doesn’t mean you’re entirely unable to transfer the domain name. Simply contact your current registrar and request that they unlock your domain name.
If approved, they’ll provide access and allow you to being the transfer process. This can take up to seven days in total, though, so plan accordingly.
You Didn’t Copy/Paste the Authorization Code Correctly
Although it may sound silly, this is actually one of the most common reasons for domain name transfers to fail.
Many site managers copy the code with an additional space before or after the code, causing it to fail when they paste it into the authorization input.
Before requesting a new code, try copying and pasting the code again, making sure to avoid extra spaces.
The Domain Name Expired During the Transfer
As we said above, the time it takes to transfer a domain name varies depending on the registrar.
Generally, it takes five to seven days for the transfer to complete but some domains take longer. If you don’t act quickly after requesting an EPP code, your code may expire before the transfer fully finishes.
In this case, you’ll have to request a new authorization code and restart the process. To avoid the hassle, be sure to initiate the transfer process as soon as your request an EPP code.
What to Do If You Lose Content During the Domain Name Transfer
If you’re currently attempting to transfer your domain name before it expires, take caution to complete the process before the expiration date.
Generally speaking, you’ll have 45 days to complete the process before your domain suspends your site. After that point, you run the risk of losing content.
If you fail to fully transfer your domain name before that time, you can still access your site’s data but you’ll have to directly contact the registrar to ask for a backup file.
If your site was not backed up before the registrar suspended your domain, you may permanently lose some of your most recent content.
Wrapping It Up
Domain name transfer codes play a vital role in the domain transfer process, helping to confirm that you are the rightful owner of the domain.
However, these codes are only valid for a limited time, usually 40 days. So, if you’re planning on transferring your domain name, be sure to do so before the code expires.
Additionally, if your domain name transfer fails, it may be due to a locked domain, incorrect authorization code, or expired domain name.