Why do .UK transfers take so long?

An explanation of the .co.uk transfer process by Sedo's Transfer Guru Justin Fletcher

Why, in this age of high-speed technology and

automated processes, does it take so long to transfer the ownership

of a .uk domain? Sedo's Domain Transfer guru Justin Fletcher explains:

First, when someone sells a .uk domain, they need to obtain change

of ownership forms from Nominet, the registry responsible for .uk

domains. The seller fills these out and writes an official letter

confirming their intent to sell. These documents are then sent to

the buyer, who similarly must complete forms and provide a confirmatory

letter. All of these documents must be sent to Nominet in the original-no

facsimile or scan accepted.

Naturally, all of this paperwork and snail mail takes time. From

requesting the forms to completion of the change of registrant process

we usually anticipate a turnover of between 3 and 6 weeks, but this

also depends on the locations of the two parties and also that all

details given are correct. Promptitude is paramount, and the earlier

a seller requests the transfer forms from Nominet the better.

The good news is that the old paper records are slowly but surely

being computerized, which will pave the way for an online transfer


Once the registrant update has been processed at Nominet the final

stage is the TAG change. The "TAG" record identifies what

registrar the domain is hosted at; you will need to change the TAG

in order to manage the domain at your desired registrar. You can

either have Nominet do this for you, or you can liaise with the

seller in order to get this done, either by opting for a push or

by changing the TAG itself. It varies from registrar to registrar

as to how this is to be accomplished so always check with them first.

All in all - our tips to speed up the process for all you .uk traders:

- be informed about the necessary paperwork

- be prepared to wait for paperwork to be processed

- request the necessary forms in time

- follow your Sedo transfer agent's instructions

- don't forget the TAG change