Transferring UK domain names

When transferring UK domain names, there are two aspects to the domain name system - legal ownership and operational control.

To transfer the legal ownership of a name, we will initiate a transfer through Nominet's secure website. You will receive an email from Nominet with a link to their website, which will guide you through the process completely online. The transfer will be completed immediately. For more information see:
http://www.nic.uk/registrants/maintain/transfer/

The operational control of UK names is different to most other domain-name registries, as it is based on tags. Every domain is assigned to a tag, which allows that tag holder access to modify dns settings and other details relating to the domain. The tag holder is also responsible for keeping the domain information up to date (eg. contact details), and is liable for any fees relating to the domain name. The intention is that a domain is assigned to the tag of whoever is hosting a domain, so that they can easily change the hosting details and provide an integrated service. As we, giraffe.co.uk, are a tag holder ourselves, our names are assigned to our own private tag, but unfortunately we do not have the facilities to host any names on our tag once sold. Therefore, we require the tag of your web hosting company in order to transfer control of the name. All good web hosts with a UK presence have a UK tag, and will have some kind of protocol for the transfer of domain names. You should contact their support services for more information.

If your web hosting company does not support UK domain names, we recommend you open an account with a domain registry - for example http://www.ukreg.com or http://www.zoneedit.com - and transfer the name to them. They will have suitable online facilities to enable you to configure DNS and other settings to get your domain working.

It is also technically possible, but expensive, to register a name directly through Nominet without using a tag, but this costs 80 GBP plus VAT per year, as compared to typically less than 5 GBP per year through a registry.

Some related information from Nominet:

http://www.nic.uk/registrants/register/fees/
http://www.nic.uk/registrars/faqs/tagchange/
http://www.nic.uk/registrars/becomeregistrar/taglist/

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