What to do when you are unable to transfer your domain name

By February 26, 2016New Features

What to do when you are unable to transfer your domain name away from a particular Registrar

ZA Central Registry (formerly known as  Uniforum SA) was established for many reasons, one of them being able to offer an improved method of dealing with Domain Name Registrations, Updates, Transfers and Renewals of all CO.ZA Domain Names.

Another reason, one which we find particularly more important was to establish a list of Accredited Registrars who would, on behalf of the Registry facilitate Domain Name Registrations, Updates, Transfers and Renewals within a structured and governed framework.

Prior to the establishment of ZA Central Registry (ZACR), any person or entity could register or transfer a domain name directly with Uniforum SA and in the event of a domain name being hijacked by either the current web host provider, web site developer or similar, Uniforum SA had little mechanisms of holding the applicant responsible for their unethical behavior.

With the introduction of an Accreditation Process, ZACR requires that all Accredited Registrars act within the constraints of a Registrar Agreement and its Published Policies And Procedures which the Registrar agrees to at the time of their application as a Registrar.

Part of the Registrar Agreement specifically deals with Registrant Data. The Agreement states that at the time of registration, transfer or update of a domain name – that the Registrant information assigned to a domain name is that of the Registrant’s and not the Registrars.

The sole purpose of this is to ensure that the Registrant retains ownership of his / her domain and is able to move the domain to any Registrar of choice without any interference or hindrance from the current Registrar (Refer to section 5.3 of the Published Policies and Procedures and Sections 12 and 13 of the ZACR Registry Registrar Agreement)

On paper these policies sound great, but reality is is that there are still a vast majority of Accredited Registrars who neglect to adhere to the Published Policies and Procedures and the Registrar Agreement.

Two major areas where these Policies and Agreements are breached are the Registrant Name, and Registrant Email Address.

By not providing the Registrant Email Address at the time of registering a domain name, updating a domain name or its associated contact, the Registrar is deliberately hindering the process of allowing the Registrant to move their domain name away – and thus violating Section 13.1 of the ZACR Registrar Agreement

13.1. Transfers. The Registrar must ensure that its Registrants can easily transfer Registered Domain Names to another registrar in accordance with the Published Policies. In particular the Registrar must allow the Registrant to break any “registrar-lock” on a Domain Name.

What to do when you are unable to transfer your domain name.

If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation where you are unable to transfer your domain name away from your current Registrar, web host or web site developer – fear no more as we will guide you through the process of obtaining your domain name.

Step one is to contact your current Registrar and inform them that they are required to release your domain name without any interference.

A Registrar, Web Host, or Web Site Developer may not prevent you from moving your domain name away from them if you have proof of ownership. Proof of ownership can be provided in the form of payment for your domain name.

If you have paid for your domain name, it is yours and irrespective of what agreements lie in place, the law is law and what you have paid for remains your property.

We often hear of excuses from non compliant Registrars, Web Hosts or Web Site Designers that the reason the transfer is denied is due to other outstanding amounts due on the clients account.

Sadly for the loosing Registrar, Web Hosts or Web Site Designers this is an entirely separate situation and they must act within the confines of the law in obtaining any monies owed to them.

If you have contacted the Registrar and asked them to rectify their non compliance, and they are still withholding your domain name or preventing it from being transferred away, you may lodge a complaint directly with ZA Central Registry