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Last week, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization that effectively governs Internet infrastructure, announced an official date for a new policy regarding domain name transfers for all gTLDs (non-country code domains). The change will go into effect for all users on December 1, 2016. While six months may seem like a while from now, the policy will require some adjustments, so we wanted to give all of our customers, partners, and developers as much time to prepare as possible.

The Inter-Registrar transfer policy

ICANN is revising its Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy (IRTP) in an effort to reduce the risk of fraud and “domain hijacking.” It will now require domain name registrants to complete additional steps in order to confirm a transfer to another party. At the same time, it will also affect any domain name registrant making routine changes to their contact information. Here is a summary of the policy changes:

  • This policy comes into effect any time a gTLD domain registrant’s first name, last name, or email address is changed
  • Whenever a change is made, both the current registrant and the new registrant must confirm the change (even if those two are actually the same person or entity)
  • Both registrants will receive notification that the change is pending, and be given the ability to decline the change
  • After the change has been confirmed, the domain cannot be transferred to a new registrar for 60 days*

*ICANN does allow current registrants to opt-out of the 60-day transfer lock period for domains transferred to new registrants. This does not change the requirement for both parties to approve the changes before they are applied.

If either the current or new registrant rejects the change, or if they fail to confirm the change within a certain time period (which Enom will set), then the transfer/change will be cancelled, though the domain itself will not be suspended.

What this means for end-users

  • Any time you change the first name, last name, or email address for a gTLD domain, you will receive an email to confirm the change. If you are transferring the domain to someone else, the new registrant will also have to confirm the change. If that change isn’t confirmed, the name or email address will stay the same.
  • Any time you confirm a change to the first name, last name, or email address for a gTLD domain, that domain will be locked into the same registrar for the next 60 days.

What this means for Enom resellers and partners

  • For those resellers that have integrated with our platform, some changes to the API will be required to ensure the new policy is properly implemented. We’re hard at work developing the changes to our platform and will deliver the technical specs for the API as soon as we can, and well ahead of the policy change.
  • You will want to communicate the policy change to your own customers which may also necessitate some changes to your UI. Enom will support your outreach efforts by developing and delivering educational materials for you to leverage.

What Enom will be doing

While this is a big change that will affect thousands of users every day, we’re committed to maintaining the stability, security, and compliance of the Enom platform, and support our customers using the platform. We appreciate your patience as we continue working on the implementation of the policy up to the December 1st deadline.

But this will not be our only notice to you. We know that our reseller channel will want as much time as possible to prepare, test, and implement the policy themselves. To that end, we will continue updating you as we finalize our own approach to the change, and deliver many more details on our approach soon. In the meantime, to stay in the loop, be sure to keep watching this blog, subscribe to our regular retail and reseller newsletters, or browse the new Developer Hub.