My transfer was successful, but why wasn't a year added to my domain?
There are three potential reasons why a domain name may not have a year added after a transfer:
- Certain top-level domains (TLDs) do not add a year when they are transferred to another registrar. These domains include (but may not be limited to) .UK, .LT, and .NL. For .UK and .LT, there no cost to transfer to Dynadot as they both are pushed to us by your current registrar with no additional year added. .NL, however, can be transferred to us normally, but doesn't have a year added initially because it is limited to a maximum of 1 year of registration by the registry. The price you pay to transfer goes towards an automatic renewal that our system will complete for you closer to the expiration date of your domain.
- Domains that are already at or very close to their maximum registration time (this can be up to 10 years depending on the TLD), will not have a year added during a transfer as that would increase the total registration period past the maximum amount of time. You can see what the maximum registration time for a domain is by going to the domain's page and looking at how many years of pricing are listed on its "Domain Pricing" table (you can click on the domain from our TLD list); for example, .IM only lists three years of pricing because that is its maximum.
- The domain was renewed after it expired (during its renewal grace period) and then transferred within 45 days of the renewal. Technically, this is called an "auto-renewal". If a domain is auto-renewed and then transferred within 45 days after the renewal, then the domain will not be renewed for an additional year after the transfer.
This does not make sense because it seems like your domain should get two years: one for the renewal and one more for the transfer. But this is the way the central registry works. This is not our policy and we gain nothing from only giving you one year. In fact, we have to deal with all the customers upset with this counter-intuitive policy of the central registry.
Here is what ICANN has to say about this situation:
"Registrants who transfer names within the 45-day Auto-Renew Grace Period should check with the registrar from which they are transferring regarding a possible refund. Even though losing registrars receive refunds of auto-renewal fees they have paid to the registry in these circumstances, not all registrars make refunds to customers. The effect of failure of the losing registrar to refund is that the registrant pays registration fees to both the losing registrar (for the auto-renew) and to the gaining registrar (for the transfer), but only receives a one-year extension of term."
(Full text can be found here: http://www.icann.org/announcements/advisory-06jun02.htm)
Basically, ICANN recommends contacting the old registrar for a refund if a registrant transfers a domain within the 45-day Auto-Renew Grace Period.
To avoid this unpleasant situation completely, please start your domain transfers at least 2 weeks before the expiration date.