Assuming that there are no 'unusual' items that come up, what kind of disruptions can one expect when moving a domain between registrars?

I understand some of the below may vary over registrars. But assuming both ends are large proficient registrars:

a) Will the NS settings be mirrored? We use a dedicated dns service provider so we are not using the originating registrars name servers. All that we are concerned about is that the existing NS values are mirrored at the target registrar.

b) Are incoming domain transfers automated on the target registrar end? Eg: If we begin the transfer process during business hours at the source registrar, will someone have to manually approve the inbound transfer (most likely during their business hours) at the target registrar?

c) Is the domain ever 'in limbo'? At any time in the process is there ever a time when the NS values for the domain are not populated (as they were prior to initiating the transfer) OR one does not have access to populate them (at the target registrar)?

Thank you kindly for the help.

  • Is there an actual addressable problem you're trying to get an answer about? You shouldn't "expect" disruption at all, assuming the process goes right and you followed instructions(eg. you said there's variance between registrars, so check first.) Asking what might go wrong isn't really constructive. Theoretically, which is already a sign of a question needing work, just about anything might go wrong with any of the steps.
    – Su'
    Nov 5, 2012 at 11:15

1 Answer 1


a. The name-server settings of the domain should not be altered. (Some registrars on the receiving end give the option to modify the name-server settings automatically when the domain gets transferred but you would have to choose this)

b. No - unless you've instructed the target registrar to expect your domain how will they know it belongs to you? Approvals can be automated or manual - this depends on the registrars and the registries. The one I currently use has an automated system that approves transfers within about 5 minutes, but I have used others that have taken almost a week to approve a transfer. The delay might come from the source registrar not allowing the domain to leave for a few days to the target registrar taking it's time to recognize the domain has been transferred.

c. Unlikely - but if you begin a transfer close to the time that your domain expires and it hasn't completely transferred by the time it does expire you may find that the name-server records are temporarily removed. This is not common but has happened to me once before. These days I try to transfer domains while they still have at least 2-3 weeks to run before expiry.

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