How to transfer domain to AWS Route 53

AWS Route 53 is a highly available DNS service offered by Amazon. It also serves as domain registrar where you can register and manage your domain registration. It’s competitive and reliable. The post illustrates how to transfer a domain registration to Route 53 if you want to use it to manage your domains.

Step 1: Transfer DNS service to Route 53

Route 53 – Create Hosted Zone

  • login to AWS console
  • click on Services
  • type and search Route 53
  • click on Route 53
search Route 53
  • click on Get started now for DNS management
get started now

Note: if you already have some hosted zones, Route 53 Dashboard will be shown instead. Click on Hosted zones in this case.

  • click on Create Hosted Zone (may need to click twice)
hosted zones
  • enter Domain Name
  • click Create
create hosted zone

Hosted zone of your domain should be created. Now duplicate any necessary DNS records to the hosted zone from your original DNS service provider using Create Record Set button.

zone created

Point Name Server at original registrar to Route 53

  • login to current registrar account
  • click on Edit DNS
  • select the domain to transfer and click Edit DNS
  • click on Move DNS
  • change the Name Servers to the ones shown on Route 53’s records of type NS
  • click Move DNS >>
  • confirm change by clicking Save Changes >>
move dns

You should be greeted by the following screen:

name servers moved

IMPORTANT: The changes would take sometime to become effective through the Internet. If you are using current registrar’s DNS service, you should wait a day or 2 to ensure update is done throughout the Internet. That’s because when you perform domain transfer, your current registrar could disable DNS service of your domain right away. Resolution to your domain may be disrupted if the name servers update is not completed yet. You can check the name servers with the following command:

nslookup -type=ns

Please note that even if this command confirms the name servers have changed, it does not necessary mean that it’s updated throughout the Internet. So ensure you have waited long enough and double check your domain is working as expected.

Step 2: Update settings with current registrar

  • Ensure contact email is up to date. You need to be able to receive emails during the transfer process
  • Unlock the domain (Transfer lock) to allow domain transfer
  • if your domain is currently using DNSSEC, you need to delete the public keys because Route 53 does not support DNSSEC
  • Renew your domain if it is expiring soon
  • Request an authorization code
unlock domain

For Network Solutions, I have to wait 3 days to receive the authorization code through contact email.

Step 3: Request the Transfer

Note: most domain will incur a fee for the transfer to include 1 year renewal. For example, .com domains will cost $12.00.

1: Select Domain

  • go to Route 53 > Registered domains
  • click Transfer Domain
  • enter name of domain to the text box
  • click Check
  • if domain is available for transfer, click Add to Cart
  • click Continue
transfer domain

2: Domain Options

  • enter Authorization code received
  • select Import name servers from a Route 53 hosted zone that has the same name as the domain for Name server options
  • click Continue

3: Contact Details

IMPORTANT: It is recommended that the contact information stays the same as those at your current Registrar. Moreover, contact person’s name would better off be your official name because there may be a chance that you are asked to provide proof to your identity. These measures are to minimize any potential issues that may arise during the transfer process.

  • enter Registrant Contact information, preferably same as what you have with your current Registrar
  • click Continue
contact info

4: Review & Purchase

This shows information your provided for final review before confirming the domain transfer order.

  • click checkbox to agree to the Terms and Conditions after you read and agree to it.
  • click Complete Order
final review

Once the order is submitted, your domain transfer order will be listed under Pending requests. It would take as long as 10 days to complete the transfer. It took about 5 days for my domain transfer.

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