An explanation of exactly when Go Daddy puts a transfer lock on domains for making a whois change.
It seems that every month someone emails me about how GoDaddy places a 60 day lock when you make certain changes to your whois information. The lock prevents you from transferring the domain name to another registrar.
I also get a lot of search visitors searching for information about this lock based on previous stories I’ve written.
Yesterday I caught up with Camille Ede, Director of Domain Services at Go Daddy, to understand exactly when the lock is placed.
As it turns out, the lock is currently only required in the very specific case where you change the registrant’s organization name or first/last name.
Whois information has four different contact types: registrant, administrative, technical, and billing. This may be somewhat confusing since most people list the same contact info for each contact type, as well as update all four at the same time if a change is necessary.
The registrant information is the most important. When a domain name is hijacked out of a Go Daddy account and transferred to another registrar, Go Daddy is more likely to be able to get it back if the registrant’s organization or name hasn’t changed. Ede says the registrar can rely on a provision in ICANN’s policy to more easily get the domain back if this information hasn’t changed.
So if you change your email address, address, or phone number, you are not required to opt-in to the 60 day lock. You also don’t have to opt in if you change the organization or first/last name in the administrative, technical, or billing contacts.
Technically, I believe what Go Daddy is doing violates this ICANN advisory. In fact, the advisory was likely written specifically because of Go Daddy’s locks as it says you can’t require someone to opt-in to a lock to change their whois information.
But since the lock opt-in requirement is only for changes to the registrant name, it’s not going to ensnare as many domains as I previously thought.
The biggest issue I can see is if you want to quickly flip a domain and the buyer wants it at a different registrar. For example, you may buy a domain from someone and change the registrant information to yourself; you’d then be prevented from transferring the domain to another buyer at a different registrar for 60 days.