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I have a problem with one domain and I have no idea how to go about it. I am volunteering for a small charity in Sheffield (UK), more specifically I am redoing their website. A while ago (few years) there was one guy who made that website for them, sorted out a free hosting with another charity, bought domain name etc. Since the domain name is registered in his name, and he disappeared and we have no way of finding/contacting him, we can't move it to different hosting or do virtually nothing about it. Somehow the domain is being renewed every year, we know which domain registration service provider it is registered with, we know the guys name, and that's about it. How would we go about re-registering that domain in the charity's name, instead of that guy, is that at all possible? If we happen to get in touch with him, what should we ask for?

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Does a whois lookup on the domain reveal any relevant contact details? The current registrar is presumably using this same information to contact the registrant regarding renewals? Although it might be possible it is auto-renewed? – w3dk Nov 22 '12 at 19:21
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Call the registrar and ask what their process is. Most (not all) registrars have a process where, if you can prove that the domain was bought on your behalf, or is your trademark, they will give you the account information, or transfer it to another account.

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thanks, that worked :) – Daniel Gruszczyk Dec 19 '12 at 14:25

As per ICANN's policy all owners must have up-to-date address and contact information in whois records of their domains. If the number is not correct, just contact the registrar and they will contact the owner so that he/she updates it. Privacy settings must not be turned on for the domains though. Otherwise buy whois history records of the domain from domaintools.com and see if anybody is reacheable.

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Even if privacy settings are on, you should be able to send a certified letter to that address and it will get forwarded. – Jeremy Stein Nov 28 '12 at 15:07

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