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The Basics

Domain registration is the first half of a two-step process for getting a domain on the Internet. It takes care of providing contact information for both the registrant (the person) and the name servers; the latter handle the actual domain-name-to-IP-address lookups. The important thing to remember is this: once a domain name registration has been submitted, it cannot be changed or revoked. This is why there is a no-refund policy for domain name registrations.
The registration information for any domain name can be looked up with a program called WHOIS. This includes all contact information for the registrant of the domain. Please keep this in mind when you register a domain name, because it means that all contact information you provide for your domain is public and available to anyone on the Internet. Dreamhost offers a free Domain WHOIS Privacy Service for domains registered through them.

Internationalized domain name

An internationalized domain name is a name that uses characters outside of the English set of characters (a-z, A-Z), numbers, and a hyphen. Think of these like a domain in your local writing style (including the ability to use accented or logograms native to your preferred language).
We offer support for registering IDNs under .com, .net, .org, and .info.
All you have to do to take advantage of this is enter the domain in the Registration/Transfer as you want it to appear, with no special formatting required, and go!
Free Registrations

We will give you 1 free registration credit every year you host with us, this credit can be used to register a new registration or transfers to us. You will receive the free registration credit again, 11 months since you last used it. This will allow you to renew your registration before it expires.
Please note that you can use your free registration credit on any .com, .net, .org, or .info registration, and you can use it on 1 registration this year and another next year. It is not "locked" to any particular domain.
Renewals / Auto Renewals

By default, Domain Registrations are not automatically renewed. (This is different from hosting plans, which are automatically renewed, so please try to not get these confused.) We will send you a few emails to let you know that your registration will expire about a month before the expiration date arrives.
You will need to go to the Registrations page and select how many years you would like to renew your name for and click on Renew. You can set up automatic renewal of your Domain Registration(s) on this page by clicking Yes next to the domain name in the "Renew Now?" column, or you can "Set all auto-renews to" Yes at the bottom of list.

Main articles: Transfer your domain registration to us and Transfer Registration Overview.
In order to transfer a domain these days you need an authorization code, also known as auth code or EPP code. Your domain is assigned an auth code when it is registered. These codes are there to help protect you from bogus transfer requests.
You can get your auth code for DreamHost registered domains in the panel on the Reg. Transfer page.
Please keep in mind that we do not have access to auth codes for domains not registered in our system. You must contact your current registrar for your auth code if you are trying to transfer a domain registration to us.
There are also the following restrictions regarding registration transfers (from or to us). These are ICANN rules (http://www.icann.org/transfers/policy-12jul04.htm)
Authorization Codes (sometimes called Auth. Codes or EPP Codes) can be found .
Domain registrations can't be transferred if
The domain name is in the first 60 days of its initial registration period
A domain name is within 60 days (or a lesser period to be determined) after being transferred (apart from being transferred back to the original Registrar in cases where both Registrars so agree and/or where a decision in the dispute resolution process so directs).
Basically, if you just registered or transferred your domain to your current registrar in less then 60 days ago, you will have to wait until those 60 days are up before your can transfer again, unless it's going back to where it came from.

Transfer to Dreamhost.com
Transferring from Network Solutions
Log into your account at networksolutions.com
Select the domain you wish to transfer
Under "Domain Protect", click on "Turn off or Request Authorization Code"
Select "Turn Domain Protect off" and the checkbox next to "Request Authorization Code", and hit "Save"
You should be emailed a confirmation code. Once you have it...
Log into your Dreamhost web portal
Select "Domains", "Registration Transfer"
Under "Transfer a registration to us:" type in the name of the domain and hit the "Request Transfer" button
You will be prompted for your confirmation code. Enter it here.
Wait a few days
You're done!
Transferring from SubitoSiti.com
Log into your account at subitositi.com
Click on Domains>My Domain Management in the upper navigation bar.
Click the domain name you wish to transfer.
In the "Domain Information" section, to the right of "Locked", click on "Manage" then uncheck "Lock domains" and click "OK".
In the "Domain Information" section, to the right of "Authorization Code", click "Send by Email" then click "OK" to confirm, then click "OK" again. (This will send the auth code to the email address configured as the Administrator email on your GoDaddy account (listed on the bottom of the page, under the "Administrative" section.))
If you wish to change your name servers, you may also do so from the summary screen by clicking on the current name server list under "Name Servers", and confirming the changes after you do so.
NOTE: If your domain is currently proxied, that is, the whois contact information is privatized, using SubitoSiti "Domains by Proxy" service, you will need to cancel it by completing the following steps before you initiate the transfer or it will fail.
Go to domainsbyproxy.com and log into your account from the "My Account" area.
Note this account is NOT the same as your one on godaddy.com. Have the system email you your customer number and password if necessary.
Click on "My Domains" and select the checkboxes by the domains you intend on transferring. Click "continue".
Once you receive an email confirming the cancellation of privacy service, you may go to your Dreamhost Panel and enter the domain to be transferred and its auth code to begin the transfer.
You can usually speed up the transfer process by confirming the transfer in your SubitoSiti control panel.
Transfer away from dreamhost.com
Registration transfers generally have to be initiated through the receiving registrar (in this case, the registrar who will ultimately hold the registration, not DreamHost). See the receiving registrar's documentation for more information.
The receiving registrar will ask you for the Auth. Code. You will also need to make sure the domain is unlocked or the transfer request will fail.

If a registration expires we will hold it for 30 days in the case that you have either forgot to renew the registration or you have changed your mind. In this period you will be able to renew the registration at the regular price.
You will also continue to receive notices that the name has expired and that you can still renew it. If you wish to stop receiving these notices that we send you you will need to go to your profile settings and uncheck Domain Registration or you can just wait for the 30 days to pass and the name to go into redemption.

Image: Piece of control panel showing domain registration checkbox

According to ICANN rules, you are still allowed to transfer a domain registration if it is expired:
If you are transferring an expired domain, please contact DreamHost support for further instructions.

After 30 days of being expired the company that issues us the license for the registration takes it back and holds the registration for 30 days and then releases it back into the public domain where it will be able to be purchased by anyone.
If you would still like to retrieve it in this stage you can, The redemption company charges $100.00 to retrieve it and then you will just need to pay for the standard yearly registration cost ($9.95) or if you still have a free registration credit you don't have to pay that standard yearly registration fee as it comes with your hosting plan.
To recover a domain during the redemption period, you will need to make a $100.00 payment to your account and then contact support as this is a process that we will need to manually do.
See also

Transfer your domain registration to us
Domain Transfer Authorization Code
External Links

Network Solutions "How to change Domain Name Server on your Network Solution's registered domain
SubitoSiti "Setting Nameservers for Your Domain Names" Domains Name Register,Web Hosting, Hosting, Domains Name, Domains, Buy Domains