including domain name



About Domain Name Renewal and Transfers


Domain names are registered for a period of 1 to 10 years, which gives you exclusive ownership of that name during that timeframe. Near the end of the period, you are given a chance to renew your own domain name for more years as you wish.

At SherwoodHosting, we have our registrar to automatically renew the domain name, unless you tell us that you want to cancel your account (prior to 1 month before expiration, no exceptions). This is a guaranteed method whereby there's no "forgetting" to renew -- it's just plain automatic.

The steps for transferring domain names changed a few years ago, making the process more cumbersome. Some registrars have taken advantage of the added process steps and have place impediments in the way so that one must accomplish and sometimes re-accomplish jumping through a series of procedural hoops. The following list (the order can be different, and sometimes recursive(!), depending on the losing registrar) must be accomplished before a domain registration transfer request can be initiated:

Domain Transfer Summary
     (for transferring domain registrations to Sherwood Hosting):

Simplest method - give us the login for your registry account, and we'll take care of the rest. Or:

1. Unlock the domain name at your registrar
2. Obtain the EPP transfer authorization code (sometimes call a key) and forward it to us
3. Forward to us one or more email confirmation requests.


  • The domain must be made non-private. This means that the registrant's email address needs to be visible in the WHOIS information so that they can receive the domain transfer approval email. Many registrars' private registration mechanisms intentionally filter/block transfer requests such that the owner would never get the chance to approve the transfer. We believe this to be an unfair business practice, but that's the way the world works.
  • The email address of record for the registrant needs to be a valid address. If it's not, one needs to petition the registrar to get it changed to be operable so the owner can receive and respond to the transfer approval email. The change for email or other contact information in an extreme case may require the real owner to fax their signature on letterhead so they aren't liable for any untrue claims.
  • No domain registration can be transferred twice within a given 60-day period. This is an unchangeable ICANN rule.
  • Some registrars impose an additional internal registration lock when ANY of the registrant's contact information is changed (even just the email address updated). This additional (and separate) 60-day waiting period can be nullified by calling the registrar and requested the hold be removed. This is yet another way to try to talk you out of the transfer.
  • The domain name registration needs to be "unlocked" (a.k.a. "unprotected"). This permits it to be transferrable.
  • In order to initiate a transfer, the EPP transfer key (a.k.a. code) must be obtained. This is available from the losing registrar, sometimes via phone request (so they have a chance to try to convince you to stay with them), or via web (link) request.
  • It has been our experience that once a losing registrar's database senses that these settings are being changed or queried, some of the settings are "mysteriously" reset to locked/private, such that one or more steps need to be repeated. For instance, one might unlock a registration first, then remove the "private" feature. The removing of the private feature can have the effect of locking the domain again- they make it as aggravating as possible!
  • Once the above are all satisfied, Sherwood Hosting can initiate the transfer request.
  • As you can see there are many mechanisms in place to inhibit successful transfers, to the point of trying to "wear down" the customer so they'll give up.

Transfer Approval Confirmation email:

When transferring a domain name to our registrar, the owner-of-record will receive an email message to confirm the changing of registrars. The header of that email will look something like:

The header will look something like:

FROM: Sherwood Hosting (
To: <your address>
Subject: Domain Transfer Request for YOURDOMAIN.COM

The status stages of a transfer show the following states:

  • Awaiting auto verification of transfer request (email was sent to email of record to approve transfer)
  • Domain awaiting transfer initiation (email recipient clicked on "approve" and losing registrar will be contacted)
  • Awaiting release by losing registrar (new registrar has sent the request to the losing registrar)

Transferring Expired Domains

If you are transferring your registration to our registrar, and it happens to have expired, it can become messy. Below is a table of time periods just before and after expiration to describe what happens and what the chances of renewal or transferring to another (our) registrar are.

Period before/after
Expiration date
Domain Name
Domain Name
Renewable at the
original registrar?
Domain Name
Prior to about 2-3 weeks before
Within 2-3 weeks before
Can be risky
Days 1 to 40 after expiration
Days 41 to 70 after expiration (1)
3-5 days after all that, and thereafter
Can be

Note (1): During days 41-70, the name is put on the Verisign "REDEMPTIONPERIOD" waiting list. Within this period, the domain name is only retrievable if you pay Verisign (Network Solutions) an unreasonably high ransom fee for it.
For GoDaddy, there's an 80-day redemption period during which the original owner can still claim it, followed by a 30-day lock period, and then it is available for anyone to capture (register). After the 80-day period, the domain name can be back-ordered, but capturing it is not guaranteed.
Each registrar has slightly different terms.

The table below are the states (stages) that a domain name goes through in its "life cycle"

Domain Name State
Time in
this state
Domain name is available to be registered, untethered
It's been registered for the time period shown in the WHOIS registry
(REGISTRAR-LOCK means it's locked against transferring registrars)
29 days
It has just expired; you can renew it with the CURRENT registrar at no penalty (usually)
30-75 days
up to
one year
It is being held hostage, and you have to pay the $170-$250 ransom (plus yearly renewal)
3-5 days
It's in the twilight zone, you just have to wait, and then it's free and clear to be registered by anyone and any registry. However, the registrars have the option to consider the name abandoned and take (permanent) ownership of it to resell at a price usually in the thousands of dollars.
Your domain name may likely be bought by an auction or other investor for the purposes of reselling, perhaps even back to you at a price of $1000-$20000 (all of which is quite legal and common practice)

So the moral of this story is never let your domain name expire - let us renew it automatically.


More about Renewals

While there is no guaranteed grace period, the registrar will usually retain expired domains up to 29 days. That gives the owner some time to correct a possible oversight in renewing the domain.

Domains may be dropped/deleted at any time without notice. We will not allow renewals on any name 29 days after expiration and may dispose of it, which includes the possibility of being sold in an auction. This is why we encourage registrants to renew prior to expiration to avoid disappointment caused by losing an expired domain. Unless otherwise noted, SherwoodHosting automatically renews all domain names.

Please note that only .com, .net, .org, and .cc domain names can be reactivated after they have expired. All other TLDs will be deleted upon expiration without any grace period.

Once a .com, .net. or .org domain name has reached the end of the grace period, the domain falls into a redemption status. There is currently a $160 fee plus the renewal year to recover the domain during this time period and only the previous owner can recover the domain. After that period, anyone, including watchlist services can snap it up within a few minutes of the database release.




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