I currently own several domains on which I am using a Whois privacy protection service to hide my personal details. In the near future, I would like to transfer some of these domains to a different registrar.

It has been many years since I last performed domain transfers, so I am no longer knowledgeable about what it involves. However, I have read from several registrars that they ask their customers to disable Whois protection before effecting a domain transfer. Since there are several websites out there that publish archived versions of Whois information (and ask handsome money for the information to be hidden, of course), I would prefer to avoid having such a "gap" in my privacy protection.

I figured that these websites would fetch Whois information mainly when a query is effected through their own website. However, I have found out that at least one of these sites had a copy of the Whois information for a new domain up on their site within hours after I registered it, so they must have some other source (of course I used a Google search to find that out, not their own site). What that tells me is that the time it takes for the domain transfers to go through would be more than enough for these rogue websites to cache my information.

If my new registrar offers privacy protection for domains right from the point of registration as well, is there no way to transfer the domain between the two without reverting to my default Whois information in between?

4 Answers 4


The new registrar will send an "approval request" (that is what GoDaddy calls it) to your previous (current at the time) registrar.

Here is the important part. If the privacy service of the previous (current at the time) registrar forwards the "approval request" then you will probably be able to do the transfer without disabling privacy. Many privacy services do not forward messages so that is why privacy must be disabled for them.

So now I know that prior to selecting a registrar, I must determine if the registrar's privacy service forwards email sent to the account in the domain registration.


It depends on the new maintainer. When you authorize the transfer to the new maintainer and the maintainer keeps in charge the domain, it has to provide contact details for the domain.

You just need to make sure you purchased the Privacy option and make sure the new maintainer will send the protected contact details.

You might want to contact the new maintainer before performing the transfer to make sure privacy protection is enabled during the migration.

  • 1
    I have the same question. I am sorry, I do not understand the answer. I assume that "new maintainer" is the new registrar. For me, the new registrar is Google, they say "As part of the transfer process in Google Domains you are required to set the WHOIS information of your domain name to public". So is that not true for all registrars?
    – Sam Hobbs
    Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 4:08
  • It depends on the prior registrar.
    – Sam Hobbs
    Commented Jul 2, 2016 at 8:52

It's not always possible, for example GoDaddy prevents transfers away from them without disabling the privacy protection first (docs):

You can't transfer your domain [...] if your domain has Ownership Protection.

There's also a "helpful" message about this when you turn it off:

Turning off privacy exposes your contact info to the public. Once it's out there, it can be misused for spam email, robocalls and phishing attacks, even if you turn it back on later.

Almost seems like they want to discourage you from moving away by scaring you with phishing attacks. On the other hand, it seems to be possible with good registrars.

  • 2
    "for example GoDaddy prevents transfers away from them without disabling the privacy protection first" - this is probably a good thing. I've encountered huge problems in the past when transferring a domain away from a registrar that had imposed its own "privacy protection". The problem was that the "privacy protection contact" was transferred as the official registrant - and once this had transferred to the new registrar I couldn't change it! Drove me nuts that did!
    – DocRoot
    Commented Jun 12, 2020 at 21:14

Godaddy can accept transfers and keep them private


Private Registration works with new, existing, transferred or backordered domains!

  • Where do you see that stated in that page? I don't. If it was there then they have removed it, probably because it is not true. Have you done it? Have you transferred a domain to GoDaddy without turning off privacy in the other registrar? I have transferred a domain to GoDaddy and I doubt they have anything relevant. GoDaddy has well-developed transfer software but I see nothing relevant to this question.
    – Sam Hobbs
    Commented Jul 2, 2016 at 8:51

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