FAQ: Valet Transfer Service

This FAQ explores all you need to know about the Valet Transfer Service.


What is the Valet Transfer Service?

The valet transfer service can help you if your domain is set up with an existing, active website or you have email with your current domain provider and don't want any downtime. With the help of one of our advisers and access to your current domain provider's account, we will make sure all your DNS is in place in advance of the transfer so everything stays up-and-running along the way.

Do I need a valet?

A valet transfer isn't needed if any of the following situations apply to you:

  • You don't have custom DNS, or Forwarding for a website or email
  • You use 3rd party name servers (such as your website hosting provider)
  • You host your own DNS on your own custom name servers
  • Your domains are parked or otherwise not used for anything with no live website or domain-based email services currently running

In these cases, there's no need to wait on us to start.  You can start your transfer right away by heading over to our Transfer-In Page.

For a quick and easy guide to walk you through the steps, visit How To: Transfer a Domain to Hover 

A valet transfer is your better option if you're in one of these situations:

  • You have a live, running website that you can't have go offline during domain transfer
  • You have domain-based email that you're actively using and need it to remain active during domain transfer

How does it work?

Before we begin, we'll need to gather the following information:

  • A list of the domain names you want to transfer. We'll verify the domains are available to transfer and that the tld's are supported by Hover.  We'll give you a price estimate, as well as some other details about the state of the domains or services we find associated with your domains.
  • The username and password of your current domain provider, so we can prepare your domains.
  • Valid billing information saved to the Hover account we will be transferring the domains to. If you don't have one yet, we will set this up with you.

This is where you get to sit back and let us take it from there. We'll begin to copy over the DNS, make all the necessary changes to your name servers (when appropriate), unlock your domain, remove Whois privacy, request the authorization codes, and submit the transfer requests.

NOTE: As much as we try to keep you as hands-off as possible, there are times during the valet process where we will need your help with such things as approving requests sent to the Admin email address, or forwarding authorization codes to us (if your current provider emails those out).  While we can often act on your behalf with your current provider, there are some occasions we may need you, as the domain owner and account holder with them, to contact your current provider to help overcome obstacles along the way.

How much does a valet transfer cost?

The valet service is free!

NOTE: Many registries will add an additional year of registration time to the existing expiration date of a domain when it's transferred between registrars.  If your domains fall into this category, you will be charged for 1 year of registration time per domain. In many cases, we charge you a lower fee for the additional time added during registrar-to-registrar transfer than we do for yearly renewals.

To see all the Transfer, Registration, and Renewal costs, please visit our Domain Pricing Page.

Can I transfer my email to Hover?

Yes. We can transfer your email when we transfer your domain name if you wish to also use Hover's email services. We can migrate over all your old emails, as well. However we recommend you back up all your emails to your computer first, just to be safe.

If you don't need Hover email, but are using a third party service for email, such as Google, not to worry! We can make sure this remains active during the transfer.  We'll make sure your DNS records are set up to point back to your email provider in advance of the transfer, so there's no disruption.

What about my website hosting?

Hover does not offer website hosting services.

If your site is hosted with your current domain provider, you should let them know you will be transferring the domain out, but that you want to continue to use their hosting service. This is to ensure they do not shut down your DNS or hosting services after the transfer is complete.  **Note:  Some website hosting providers do this if you don't give them advanced warning.

If you are changing to a new hosting service as well as transferring your domain to Hover, we can help there, too.  In advance of the transfer, we'll apply the DNS settings of your new web hosting supplier on our end so your new website is live before we move anything. If there's no rush, or if you haven't created the new site yet, that's okay.  We can move the domains first, and help point your domains to the new site later, when you're ready.

My domain is expired, can I still transfer it?

This will depend on your current provider and the type of domain you have. Some domain providers, like Hover, allow customers to transfer expired domains that are still within the grace period.  Many will not allow this, so you will want check with your current provider before attempting to transfer.  You may need to resolve the expired situation with them prior to attempting transfer away.

**Redemption Period:  It is not possible to transfer domains that have passed the grace period and are in redemption.  A valet transfer cannot assist you with this.  Please, contact your current provider for assistance if your domain is in redemption.

My domain is under a 60 day registry lock. What is that?

Domains that have been registered less than 60 days, and domains that have been transferred within the last 60 days, may be under registry lock. If the domain you want to transfer is within that 60 day lock period (that is, it was registered or transferred less than 60 days ago), we will not be able to transfer it until after the 60 day period ends. We're unable to bypass this registry lock.

Do I need to set up an account first?

No. We'll set that up with you if you don't already have one. Once the account is created, and billing information has been updated, we can proceed with the valet.

If you already have an account with us, once we verify your account and make sure you have valid billing information set up, we'll be able to transfer your domains into your existing Hover account. If you prefer we put them into a new, separate account, we can set one up for you.

What do I need to do once you have my information?

  • Following your call with us, be on the look out for an email summary of the call, including the price for the transfer. We'll also ask that you confirm everything is correct, and that you want to proceed.
  • We may need you to approve the transfers requests. We may need you to forward us the authorization codes, or if we get hung up on anything that requires a request from the domain owner, we'll let you know and walk you through it.
  • You may receive a final email from your previous provider asking you to confirm that you want to transfer the domains away from them. If you get such an email, you should follow the steps to authorize the transfer; otherwise, it may be cancelled. However, most transfers will auto-complete on their own in 5-7 days as long as they haven't been cancelled.
Once the transfer is complete, you will receive an automated transfer complete message.  The Hover adviser will follow up one last time and make sure the appropriate fees have been applied.

How long does a valet transfer take?

On average, about 2 -3 weeks. In an ideal situation, with little to no complications, the valet preparation done by a Hover adviser in advance of the transfer may take anywhere from 1-5 days or more, in addition to the standard 5-7 days for a transfer to complete once we've submitted the request to the losing registrar.

The timeline will be different for each valet. How long the work will take depends on several factors such as:

  • Which provider the domains are coming from.
  • Why type of TLD they are.
  • If there are any technical issues with the domains, such as registry locks, expired, suspended domains, etc.
  • How much DNS must be copied (this is done by hand), as well as waiting for DNS and Name Server changes to propagate.
  • How many domains you have.
  • If any of the transfers fail for any number of reasons and must be restarted.
  • How fast the losing registrar is to reply to any help requests needed to complete the transfer. For example, some providers may take a couple of days to email you the authorization codes which extends the time before we can submit the transfer request.
  • The losing registrar may send you an email asking you to confirm any changes made before they will allow a transfer to take place.

It can seem like a lot of steps, but most of these things are going on in the background and only apply to certain situations.  We will follow-up with you throughout the whole process to keep you updated on the status of your transfer. And of course, if you ever have any questions about it, you can always ask us.


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