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How to recover your domain from the Domain Registry of America

Following on from last week’s post about the Domain Registry of America, this post will explain how to go about getting your domain back if you have mistakenly transferred it to them.

Firstly, you’re not alone. There are countless stories throughout the internet of people who have unintentionally given the DRoA authorization to take their domain.

The transfer letters sent out to these people are styled by DRoA, quite deliberately, to look like renewal forms. Terms are used throughout the forms which speak of what will happen if you don’t renew your domain, and that you should ‘act now’.

Many do act now, and return the form with payment. In doing so, they have handed over their website domain to DRoA.

If you wish to return it to the company you originally registered with, as I recently had to do on behalf of a client who had been in the same situation of unwittingly transferring a domain to DRoA, here are the steps you will need to take.

Firstly, you will need to choose a new registrar. There are hundreds available, amongst which are Fasthosts, 123-Reg and 1&1.

Once you have decided on a registrar, you will need to unlock your domain in your DRoA control panel. This is to allow the transfer to take place.

After unlocking the domain, open a new account with the new registrar of your choosing. Then, request the transfer of the domain you are trying to recover. The transfer procedure at each company may differ slightly, though it is a common task and a “How to…” guide should be easily found in the help section of the registrar’s website if required.

It is likely that a fee for one year’s registration will be charged, but this will pay for an extra year to be added to the domain’s registration.

The next task is to get an Authorization Code from DRoA. This is an important step in the process which is not commonly known, and even for someone experienced at dealing with domains, there is no obvious way of getting hold of such information. It doesn’t get sent to you automatically, as some registrars will do. Nor is it available on the control panel for you to have access to, as is a method used by others.

Instead you have to ask for it.

Specifically, you must send an email to support@droa.com from the specific email address which is registered to the domain. This will be the email address you wrote on the form which you returned to them. If a request is sent from any other email address, it will not be acknowledged.

Included in the email must be a request for an “authorization code” for the domain you are wishing to transfer. You must also include your control panel password in the body of the email.

If you have strictly followed the instructions in the previous two paragraphs, then you should recieve the Authorization Code required to complete the transfer, although it will be enclosed at the foot of a long email asking you to reconsider and renew with them instead.

So what do you do with your authorization code when you receive it?

Well as a result of placing a transfer request with your new registrar, you will have received an email asking you to confirm the transfer. The email will have been delivered to the email address registered on your DRoA account. Within the email, a link will be provided for you to either confirm or decline the transfer. Clicking this link will give you the option both to confirm you wish to transfer the domain, and also enter in the relevant authorization code.

On a successful entry of the code, the transfer will have been formally initiated. It should be noted that it may take up to five days to complete but if you, like my client, have enjoyed a less than pleasant experience dealing with the DRoA, it will be five days which will be worth waiting.

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