Registrar: Transfer domains not on Cloudflare


I’m trying to transfer some domains that were owned by someone else. Hence, I only have the EPP code, it’s currently not on Cloudflare as a site, and the DNS for the zone doesn’t point to Cloudflare.

But, I’m unable to transfer them over, as it is a requirement that the zone points to Cloudflare first. This is not a requirement with any other registrar, could this requirement be lifted please?


Probably not.

Cloudflare Registrar is a service offered to the users of Cloudflares DNS, Performance and Security products. If you don’t want to use Cloudflares DNS there are plenty of good registrars, PorkBun appears to be recommended frequently.

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I think the snag is here is that you can register a new domain, and you can transfer one already here. But you can’t transfer a new one, even if you want to use Cloudflare name servers once it gets here. It’s forcing an extra step that takes 60 days.

It’d be nice if Cloudflare would allow a domain transfer that included a name server update.

I do suppose the solution would be to add that domain to your Cloudflare account and have the current owner update the name servers. Then you should be able to transfer.

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Ah, I misunderstood the question. If the OP wants to transfer and activate in one go that would be nice.

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Didn’t this used to be an option? I’m sure at some point the onboarding flow had the option to either change nameservers or transfer.

I referred to it in the pervious version of this, Discourse seems to have removed the screenshot unfortunately.

Edit: Found another screenshot, I wonder where this went.


Well, I don’t mind the requirement, it’s just the order of it. All we’re asking for is to allow transfer first before changing the nameservers.

In this case, I actually want to point the NS to Cloudflare, but, don’t have access to the current registrar to be able to do that, only the EPP key.

So, if Cloudflare Registrar could advise the admins that the NS will be changed upon transfer, the same requirement is met?

I’m pretty sure this doesn’t work because Cloudflare expects a domain to already use the required Cloudflare name servers. On occasion, Cloudflare will transfer one in that has Cloudflare name servers, then the old registrar ever-so-unhelpfully changes them at the last minute, then you end up with name servers that don’t work.

And then Support has to go in and manually change them. I don’t think Cloudflare has come up with the logic yet to test name servers and reset them if they’re wrong. Biz/Ent plans often have non-Cloudflare domain name servers. And you don’t want to make those customers mad if Cloudflare breaks their DNS.

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End of the day, it’s all just technicalities within Cloudflare, as opposed to a limitation by external factors. So, I’m sure Cloudflare could fix it.

Or if someone (@domjh ?) could point me to where I could find this, the problem would already be solved:

I’m not sure where it went, to be honest. That used to be an option during the sign-up flow but it seems to have disappeared. I’ll check with someone from Registrar Support next time they’re on if that has gone permanently.