Registrant FAQs


How do I transfer my domain name?

For Registrant-to-Registrant Transfers: The registrant should update the contact information through the sponsoring registrar. Afilias cannot do this for you; you must do it through the registrar. For Registrar-to-Registrar Transfers: Obtain the authorization code from the current sponsoring registrar of the domain. Please consult the WHOIS to find out who the sponsoring registrar is. After you receive your authorization code, supply it to the winning registrar. The winning registrar should then initiate the transfer. Once initiated, the transfer will be completed within the five-day grace period. Afilias advises that you change your auth code after a transfer. You can do this through the winning registrar.

My domain name is listed as "inactive." Why?

Any domain name that does not have at least two name servers associated with it is listed as "Inactive." The inactive status means that the domain will not propagate to the zone file, and will not be usable on the Internet. Once you add two name servers through your registrar, the Inactive status will be taken off automatically, and the domain name will propagate correctly.

What is an authorization code (auth code), and where can I get mine?

The authorization code is a 6- to 16-characters code assigned by the registrar at the time the domain name was created. The auth code is basically a password for the domain. Auth codes are an extra security measure, ensuring that only the owner of the domain can make transfers. If you do not know your auth code, you can obtain it from your registrar. Registrars are contractually required to provide the auth code upon the request by the registrant. Sponsoring registrars can obtain the auth code for their sponsored domains by sending an EPP command to the registry. Registrars are only able to obtain auth codes for the domain names they sponsor. Afilias does not give out authorization codes to registrants. Afilias advises that you change your auth code after a transfer. You can do this through the winning registrar.

How do I make updates to my domain record, or add nameservers?

To make a change, you must send a request to your registrar, who will then put the request through to the Registry. Afilias is not allowed to change records directly for registrants. This procedure is true of all domain name registries.

How long should it take for my registration to appear in the WHOIS?

The WHOIS will generally be updated within five (5) minutes of a change being received. Changes are sent to the Afilias registry by your registrar. If there is a significant delay, you may want to call your registrar's customer support line.  For more information about WHOIS and it's policies please visit

How soon can I start using my domain name?

Once the registry has been updated, the information in our database is shared with the Internet's zone files worldwide. This sharing process is called "propagation," because the new information about your domain spreads or propagates across the Internet. The zone files are propagated frequently, every day of the year. We cannot control the rate at which the millions of name servers on the Internet are updated, but generally your domain should be available to Internet users within a very short period.

How do I change the information associated with a domain name I've registered?

You must change your domain name information — such as contact information — through your registrar. Your registrar then submits these changes to the registry. The speed at which your change is made — and therefore the speed at which it shows up in the registry and the WHOIS — depends on your registrar. It is important to note that each registrar may affect information about only the domain names for which it is responsible.  

Where can I find information on ICANN WHOIS policy and other educational material?
How soon can I transfer my domain name? Can I buy existing domain names from current owners?
Names can be transferred from one registrant to another registrant at any time.  For more information about these transfer restrictions, please see Exhibit E, sections V.3 and V.4 of the Registry-Registrar Agreement, which is part of ICANN's agreement with Afilias.

What are "created on" dates and what do they mean?

Each domain name record in the WHOIS has a "created on" date, which is the date that the record was created in the registry database.

How do I make updates to my domain record, or add nameservers?

To make a change, you must send a request to your registrar, who will then put the request through to the registry. Afilias is not allowed to change records directly for registrants. This procedure is true of all domain name registries.

What are IDNs?

"IDN" is the acronym for: "Internationalized Domain Names". IDNs are domain/host names that are represented by native language, non-ASCII characters. The native language domain name is followed by the Top Level Domain (TLD), such as .info, .com, or .org. An example is: mü

What is RGP?

RGP stands for Redemption Grace Period. The Redemption Grace Period is a thirty (30) day period that begins after a registrar requests that the registry delete a domain name. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has required that registries implement this facility to allow the original registrants (domain name holders) to redeem a deleted name.

The reason for the introduction of the RGP process is to provide additional time to catch erroneous deletions before the name is made available for re-registration.

When a name enters RGP, it is removed from the zone file (if it was originally in the zone file). As a result, any Internet services served by the domain name will be disabled (e.g. e-mail or a Web site). The registrant must act IMMEDIATELY if he or she wants to keep the name.

If a name is in RGP, the Status field in the WHOIS will show the name as "Pending Delete - Restorable." Additionally, all Internet services associated with the name will remain disabled.

What is the Redemption Hold Period (RHP)?

Following the deletion of a name by the sponsoring registrar, if this registrar does not request that the name be restored during the 30-day RGP, then the name enters a Redemption Hold Period, or RHP. RHP lasts for five (5) days, and during this time the name is locked. After five (5) days, the name will become available for re-registration. Once the name enters RHP, the prior registrant cannot renew it.

If a name is in RHP, the Status field in the WHOIS will show the name as "Pending Delete - Scheduled for Release."

How do I redeem my name if it has been placed in RGP?

If your domain name has been placed in RGP, it is because your registrar requested to delete it.


The registrar of record for the name (as indicated in the WHOIS) is the ONLY registrar who can restore the name. Please note that your registrar may charge a fee for the restoration of the name.

Please also note that Afilias cannot directly restore your name. Name restorations can only be done by explicit instructions from the sponsoring registrar.

If my registrar has sent in a restore request to the registry, why can't my Web site and e-mail be live immediately?

Once a registrar formally requests to restore a name,it must provide a special restore report to Afilias within five (5) days of the request to restore the name. This report must include background documentation and a reason for the restoration. Afilias must have this report before it can unlock your domain and restore the domain name. If your registrar does not deliver the report within the five (5) days, the name will go back into RGP.

Why is my registrar charging me to redeem my name through RGP?

The registry does not determine the fees that registrars charge their customers. However, the registrar incurs extra costs each time it invokes the RGP process. Registrars may charge a fee to restore a name through RGP at their discretion. You should contact your registrar to inquire about the fee being charged.

Where can I find more information about the ICANN requirements for RGP?

Documentation of the Redemption Grace Period is available on the ICANN Web site.

What are common terms found in the WHOIS Database?

  • Domain Status: Normally operating domains have a status of "OK" or "Active." Other status values detail pending operations and restrictions regarding the domain.
  • OK: This is the nominal status value for a domain object at all times, whether or not the domain has pending operations or prohibitions.
  • New: This is the nominal status for a newly created domain object. The domain can be modified unless locked.
  • Active: The domain can be modified and appears in a zone file. This is the nominal status for a domain object once it has been published in a zone.
  • Locked: The domain cannot be transferred, renewed, or deleted. (Though the status value can be changed.) Hierarchical and associated objects cannot be added or removed from the domain object. Domain names involved in Sunrise and other disputes may be locked, subject to registry policies.
  • Hold: The domain will not be published in a zone for DNS resolution. Names without at least two nameservers may be placed on Hold status; in this case submit nameserver data through your registrar.
  • pendingTransfer: A transfer request has been received for the domain, and completion of the request is pending. The domain cannot be renewed, deleted, or updated while in this state.
  • pendingDelete: A delete request has been received from the registrar for the domain. The domain has been removed from the zone, but has not yet been purged from the registry database. The domain cannot be renewed, deleted, transferred, or updated while in this state.
  • clientHold: The domain will not be published in a zone for DNS resolution. This status is placed on the domain by the registrar.
  • clientLock: The domain cannot be transferred, renewed, deleted, or updated. This status is placed on the domain by the registrar. An update command may be used to change the status value. Hierarchical and associated objects cannot not be added or removed from the domain object.
  • ID: Each database record has a single field (its "ID") that uniquely identifies it. The ID is shown in parenthesis following the record's name.

For example: Doe, John (C100000-LRMS) The "C100000-LRMS" is the ID.

There is an ID associated with each "object" in the registry. An object can be a domain, host, or contact. For example, you can use the ID modifier (see above) to search for contact and registrar IDs. An individual will have multiple domain IDs if they own different domain names. They may have one or more contact IDs depending on how the registrar system creates this information in the registry.

  • Name: Most records will have a name field. Those that do not have a name field will display "[No name]" in their record output.

For individuals, the name is in last-first order. For example:

Doe, John

Doe, John T.

Other records typically have name fields like:

University of Pennsylvania

John and & Jane Doe Co.

  • Sponsoring Registrar: The registrar that currently administrates the name on behalf of the registrant. If the domain name was registered by a reseller, the reseller's name will not appear in the Sponsoring Registrar field. Instead, you will see the reseller's registrar.
  • Trademark Information: Owners of registered trademarks and service marks have been allowed to register their corresponding domain names as a way of protecting their intellectual property. In such cases, the domain record will note the mark name, the date the registered mark was registered, in which country, and the registration number.

What do I do if I have a problem with my registrar?

First, try to resolve the issue with the registrar directly. Registrars are required to have customer support mechanisms to assist you. Your registration agreement is a contract between you and your registrar, and therefore Afilias does not normally intervene in such disputes.

If the problem persists, visit the InterNIC Registrar Problem Report page. It provides additional suggestions, and a report form.

What do I do if I receive a challenge from Afilias?

If you receive a challenge from Afilias, there is something about your registration that does not seem to conform to the Sunrise registration rules.

It is possible that the data you or your registrar submitted to Afilias was inaccurate, and the challenge was issued based on that inaccurate data. Some companies, for example, accidentally sent in data claiming trademarks in one country, when in fact their trademark was registered in another country.

If you receive a bulk challenge from Afilias but think your registration is valid, what should you do?

If you believe your registration is valid, defend the challenge through WIPO. The e-mail you received from WIPO contains instructions; also see the Sunrise Rules. Defending the challenge will cost you a fee of US$295 -- but if your defense is successful, you will be refunded US$220.

In addition, you may fax a copy of your valid trademark certificate(s) to Afilias, Attention: Sunrise Challenge, at 215-504-1758215-504-1758. We are happy to examine your certificate. Please note that faxing your certificate to us is no guarantee of any action by Afilias. You should be prepared to defend your challenge through WIPO, and you are responsible for meeting all deadlines and requirements WIPO may have.

What will happen if you do not defend your challenge?

If you do not respond to WIPO, WIPO will eventually issue a default judgment against you.

How do I receive zone file access?

Please contact for zone file access for .INFO.  For access to all other TLDs, now including .PRO and .MOBI, please visit ICANN's Centralized Zone Data Service (CZDS).