Transfer your domain registration to DreamHost

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If you have a domain registered at another provider, but would like to manage it through your DreamHost account, you can transfer this domain registration to DreamHost. This makes it easy to manage all aspects of your account from a single location.

You can also transfer a domain registration from another DreamHost account to your own if you are taking over domain ownership from another person.

This page explains the process of transferring your domain registration to DreamHost. If you already have an active account and you want to transfer your registration, please review the steps below.

Dh-kb-note-icon.fw.png Notes:
  • Transferring your domain registration also processes a one-year renewal for the registration. This renewal is active once the transfer-in completes.

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Click the link titled ‘See all domain extensions and pricing’.

The transfer of your registration is only to transfer your domain name. If you’d like to transfer your hosting service to DreamHost, you can review the information in the following article:

Will there be any downtime?

If your domain is already using DreamHost's nameservers, and you choose to use these nameservers once the transfer goes through, you won’t run into any downtime.

If you choose to change namservers to DreamHost's after the transfer completed, you may run into downtime.

Dh-kb-important-icon.fw.png Important:

It's recommended that you point your DNS first before beginning the transfer.

If your domain registration expires while the transfer is proceeding, your site will go offline until the transfer finishes. It's recommended you initiate a transfer at least a month before your domain is going to expire. Also, not all registrars allow expired domains to be transferred. It would be best to check with your registrar first if your domain is coming up on expiration to see if they allow transferring of expired domains.

Before you request a transfer

There are a few steps that you must do before you submit the transfer request with DreamHost. The following changes should be done with the current registrar of your domain name:

  1. Unlock the domain registration for transfer at your registrar.
  2. Remove the privacy protection from your WHOIS registration information and make sure a valid email address is set up as the ‘Registrant’ contact to send the transfer-in approval email to.
  3. Obtain the auth code, also known as the EPP code, from your current registrar. This code is necessary to complete the transfer-in request.
Dh-kb-note-icon.fw.png Note: Make sure you have not transferred or registered the domain name in the last 60 days (ICANN policy prohibits transfers in this time period).

Transferring a domain from one DreamHost account to another

The transfer process between DreamHost accounts is very similar to transferring a domain from an external provider. First, the account holder that is releasing the domain must prepare the domain for transfer in their own panel, by following the steps in the Transfer your domain registration away from DreamHost article.

The account holder provides the authorization key/EPP code to the recipient of the domain. The recipient then follows the steps below to initiate the transfer in to their account.

Dh-kb-important-icon.fw.png Important:

Some international domains cannot be transferred from account to account using this process. In these cases, the receiving customer’s panel requests that they contact DreamHost support for further assistance.

Transferring .CO.UK domain registrations

The process for transferring .CO.UK domains slightly differs. The .CO.UK domains are managed by Nominet, so all changes done to these TLDs are to be done through the registry:

These TLDs also do not require a lock or an auth code (EPP code). Instead, the process to transfer this TLD is to simply change the IPS tag from the current registrar to DreamHost as described below.

The ENOM IPS tag

  • Contact your current registrar, and ask them to update the IPS tag on your domain to DreamHost’s tag which is ENOM.
  • IPS tags are case-sensitive so make sure ENOM is in capital letters.

Once that’s done, the domain is no longer in the losing registrar’s control and is in limbo until the transfer completes.

You’ll need to request the transfer-in with DreamHost once the IPS tag is updated.

Requesting the transfer-in with DreamHost

The request for the transfer of your domain registration to DreamHost is done in the panel at (Panel > ‘Domain’ > ‘Reg Transfer’).


Simply replace ‘’ with the actual domain name you wish to transfer to your account with DreamHost and then click the Request Transfer... button to proceed.

Entering the auth code, WHOIS, and nameservers

On the next page, you must fill in the ownership details. Here, you can enter in the ownership information as well as enabling the free privacy protection DreamHost offers to hide your personal contact details on the public WHOIS.


If you'd like privacy enabled on the domain's public WHOIS information, simply check the box above for 'I want all my contact information private'. This way it is set when the transfer-in completes.

Dh-kb-note-icon.fw.png Note: The privacy setting is free, but DreamHost does not offer this for all TLDs. If you do not see the checkbox above for the transfer-in of your domain, that particular TLD is not supported with this feature.


The portion above is where you are to enter in your ownership details for the domain registration. This must include valid address and contact information as per ICANN’s policy.

The checkbox at the top of this image can be checked to include the details entered in the contact fields to be applied to all four contact fields on the domain registration’s internal ownership detail: Registrant, Admin, Billing, and Technical details are the four contact details for the domain.

In this screenshot, the ‘AUTH CODE FOR’ field also appears. This is where you are enter the auth code or EPP code for the domain registration transfer. You must make sure you enter it exactly as it was provided to you by your current registrar.

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The last section of the transfer request page is where you can set the domain registration’s name servers. If you click the bubble for ‘Use DreamHost’s nameservers’, it automatically sets DreamHost's nameservers for you. If you click the ‘Use another host’s nameservers’, it opens up four fields where you can enter the outside name servers you wish to set up.

The ‘Registration Terms’ also appears before you continue, so you should read that first.

Once you’ve completed this page, click the Continue button to move onto the payment screen.

Paying for your transfer

You are charged for the transfer-in unless you have a free domain registration still available with your hosting service. You can read more about the free domain registration with your hosting service the Free Registration article.


If you have a free registration on your account and the domain registration you’re transferring in is eligible to use it, the page above appears which states that you pay “$0.00” for the transfer/renewal of your domain registration. Simply click the Continue... button to continue.


If you have to pay for the transfer, the cost of the transfer of that particular TLD is listed on the page for you before you proceed. Click the Continue... button to move forward.

Once you click the Continue... button, you are directed to the payment page. If you owe nothing, you’ll simply proceed by clicking the Submit transfer request now! button.

If you need to make a payment, the balance owed for this is displayed and the various payment options are listed on this page as well.

After you’ve gone through the payment process, the transfer is submitted. You should then see the pending registration transfer on the (Panel > 'Domains' > 'Reg. Transfer') page.

Your payment for this is held as a credit balance on the account until the transfer completes. The charge for the transfer is then applied.

Approving and releasing of the transfer

Once you’ve submitted the transfer-in, this should trigger the registrar to generate an approval email which is sent to your ‘Registrant’ email address within the hour. This approval email arrives from:

The email contains a link to approve the incoming transfer. You should approve the transfer-in through that email within 4 days otherwise it will expire and the process must be restarted.

After approving the incoming transfer through that email, this takes care of half of the process in getting the transfer completed.

The other half is left to the losing registrar as they control the release of the domain for transfer. As long as you’ve approved the transfer-in through the email sent for this process, you’ve done all you can on DreamHost's end. You may want to contact the current registrar to ensure that the domain is properly released.

Both the approval and release of the domain registration begins the transfer process. It should then complete within a few minutes and up to a few days. You are notified by DreamHost when the transfer completes and the charge for that transfer is applied at that time.

Common problems with incoming transfers

Sometimes a transfer doesn’t go through as smoothly as it should. This can be due to a number of reasons.

  • The most common problem is with the approval email not reaching the owner contact for the domain registration. Often times, this is due to the domain registration still having the privacy protection settings enabled.
Some registrars offer a proxy email address tied to the mail user that owns the domain name, however, that can get in the way with the delivery of the approval email.
To avoid issues, DreamHost suggests that privacy is removed as previously mentioned.
  • Sometimes the message is filtered into the junk/spam folder of the user set to receive this email. To avoid this, it is advised that once the transfer request is placed that you keep an eye on the junk/spam folder as well in case it’s filtered there.
You can consider setting up a whitelisting for the ‘’ user as well to ensure that the message is not filtered into junk/spam.
  • Certain domains may have updated the auth code to something else internally. For example, the .ORG registry is quite on top of their security measures and often changes the auth code (EPP code) automatically. It’s possible the transfer failed due to the auth code being incorrect because of that change. If this is the case, the current registrar must reset the auth code and submit the transfer-in request again.
  • The domain may be locked. If that’s the case, the WHOIS should also reflect this with a status of:
Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited
(The status may differ, but the general idea still points to a restriction with the transfer.)
Just unlock the domain and try the transfer again.
In the event that a transfer-in does not complete within a week or the approval email is not received to get this going, please contact DreamHost support so they may check on the incoming transfer status and retry the transfer again if needed: (Panel > ‘Support’ > ‘Contact Support’)

See also