Changing Registrars

You can change registrars at any time. However, check the contract with your current registrar before doing so.


  • If you transfer the domain name of an active website and change your hosting service at the same time, remember to take into account the lead-time for the change to be propagated.  


When you change your hosting service, it is common, but not compulsory, for you to also change registrars. You may also simply want to change registrars to obtain a lower rate or because the company will soon stop trading (if this is the case, you will be notified directly by AFNIC and benefit from an accelerated transfer procedure to the registrar of your choice). In all of these cases, it is important that the process involved in changing registrars takes place in two phases: an administrative phase which is systematic, and a second technical phase which only occurs when the DNS records need to be changed to match your domain name with the new IP addresses of the web resources on which it is hosted.


The procedure

* Review the contract between you and your current registrar and check the transfer conditions. In practice, the contractual clauses do not prohibit you from changing registrars, but they specify that you lose the fees that the registrar usually asks you to pay in advance for the entire duration of the contract.

* Retrieve the secret AUTH_INFO code associated with your domain name. This can usually be found online in the management interface of your account made available by your current registrar. If this is not the case, remember that a registrar must provide it on request.

* Choose your new registrar. If the domain name uses the .fr, .re, .yt, .pm, .wf or .tf extension, the registrar must be chosen from the list of registrars under contract with AFNIC.

* Make your application to the registrar you have chosen. Finally, note that the application is generally fee-paying and is frequently associated with other services such as website hosting.

* Inform your current registrar of your application, preferably by registered mail. If your domain name uses the .fr, .re, .yt, .pm, .wf or .tf extension, you are bound to do so by the Naming Policy.


Administrative lead-times

On receipt of your application, the AUTH_INFO code, and your payment, your incoming registrar will forward a formal request for transfer to AFNIC, the only body with the authority to make the transfer. In response, AFNIC sends the outgoing registrar, the one you are leaving, notice of the change. In theory, the outgoing registrar has 8 days in which to agree to oppose the change, thus obtaining a non-renewable extension of 22 days. But it can also automatically accept the request within minutes of receiving it. After the period of 8 days and if there is no response from the outgoing registrar, the domain name is automatically transferred to the incoming registrar. The transfer operation is invoiced by AFNIC to the incoming registrar. The transfer operation also changes the renewal date of your domain name.


Technical lead-times

Once completed, the change of registrar is immediately visible in the Whois database . If, however, it corresponds to one or more active Internet resources, such as your website or your email inbox, it must also be propagated to all the Domain Name Servers (DNS) liable to redirect queries by Internet users. The redirection operation consists in indicating to all the DNS servers the server which is authorized to return the IP address of the server corresponding to the requested resource. Around the planet, several days may be necessary, especially since the local copies (DNS caches) used by ISPs must also be updated in order to speed up browsing. For domain names managed by AFNIC, on average the change is completed in about ten hours. During this period, the outgoing registrar must keep the information enabling access to your resources.


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