Domain name locking - Transfer Prohibited[Link]

It is possible to lock a domain name so a transfer is no longer possible. We decided to provide this feature because many (mainly large) companies were regularly receiving unsolicited transfer requests in their mailbox. As long as these requests are not approved, nothing happens, but they can still be extremely annoying. By ‘locking’ a particular domain name, the client doesn’t receive any unnecessary requests, as well as having the additional assurance that his domain name is still in good hands.

The flip side to the coin is that it is possible for registrars to lock all of the domain names in their portfolio as a standard practice, so their clients would be forced to stay with them. Transferring just before the expiry date of the domain name then becomes very difficult, so the registrars would be able to send out a new invoice to their client.

What safety measures have we built in to prevent abuse?

  • Any registrar can ‘lock’ a domain name in his portfolio. But locking can only take place at the explicit request of the client. Hence applying it as standard to all domain names is not the aim.

  • If there is an argument as to whether a domain name needs to be locked or not, it is up to the registrar to demonstrate this is the case. So be sure to keep the document in which your client requests you to do so.

  • If there is any abuse of the system, we will not hesitate to take the necessary steps.

  • Under normal circumstances, DNS Belgium does not communicate with the registrant. However, if the registrant contacts us with a legitimate request (e.g. because a registrar refuses to unlock the domain name), we will not refuse to investigate that request.

We hope the locking feature will be used for positive purposes. In the end, it is an additional service (which you may or may not want to charge for) you can offer your clients. If a registrant asks you to lock his domain name, he will probably want to stay in business with you.

Unlike .com domain names, .be’s may only be locked by registrars at the formal request of the registrant. By no means should you systematically lock all domain names in your portfolio, or the domain names of customers with whom you are involved in a dispute.


DNS Belgium will not allow abuse of the lock function by registrars or their resellers.

When we receive a complaint about the wrongful use of the lock function, DNS Belgium will:

  1. In the first instance ask the registrar to demonstrate that the locking has been carried out at the request of the registrant.

  2. Require the locking to be reversed within 48 hours if the registrar is unable to present this request from the registrant.

  3. If the registrar does not comply within this timeframe, DNS Belgium will unlock the domain name itself.

DNS Belgium also keeps each registrar updated about how many complaints we receive about the improper locking of domain names. If we notice that we are receiving regular complaints about a particular registrar, DNS Belgium can remove the lock function for that registrar.

We also wish to stress it makes no difference to DNS Belgium whether the domain name was locked by a registrar’s reseller or by the registrar itself. DNS Belgium’s agreement is with its registrars and not with resellers. As a registrar you are responsible for any errors your resellers may make.

There are two flags which determine if a domain name can be transferred: ‘clientTransferProhibited’ and ‘serverTransferProhibited’. The ‘clientTransferProhibited’ flag can be set by the registrar. The ‘serverTransferProhibited’ flag is set by the registry. Both flags are shown to the registrar, otherwise it can be confusing for the registrar to decide if a domain name can be transferred or not. DNS Belgium can disable the ‘clientTransferProhibited’ flag in some circumstances, e.g. abuse by the registrar.