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If I have a domain that has 10 years of paid service, how does that work with domain transfer? Let's say I bought 10 years on GoDaddy, and I'm transferring to namecheap. Is this registrar specific, if so the sending or receiving registrar? Or, is it ICANN policy? I've only ever transferred domains expiring and then it's just pay a year, get a year (if I recall correctly). Now, I'd like to close out GoDaddy.

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From ICANNs policies about transfer grace periods:

Transfer (other than ICANN-approved bulk transfer). If a domain is transferred within the Renew/Extend Grace Period, there is no credit. The expiration date of the domain is extended by one year and the years added as a result of the Extend remain on the domain name up to a total of 10 years.

So not only do you have your domain for your pre-paid period, you get an additional year as part of the transfer. You won't get the extra year though if you have the full ten years left.

  • What happens if your domain has 10 years left? – Evan Carroll Dec 10 '15 at 19:24
  • Domains can be registered for longer than 10 years. I would assume that you get 11 years in that case. – Stephen Ostermiller Dec 10 '15 at 19:25
  • I don't think they can be. At least not from what namecheap says. They say essentially it falls off and you lose the extra year. – Evan Carroll Dec 10 '15 at 19:37
  • I tracked down the official source and put that into my answer. Namecheap is correct, the year extension is only up to 10 years. – Stephen Ostermiller Dec 10 '15 at 20:21
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    This does appear to be register specific. (?) UK (Nominet) domains, for example, are usually free to transfer and you don't get a mandatory year added. (Incidentally, until relatively recently, UK domains were always 2-year only registrations.) – MrWhite Dec 13 '15 at 0:07

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