Basically I am working with a church who has a new pastor. The churches website hosting is paid by the church bank account and the domain name is up for renewal. The company are telling us that the previous pastor (the registrar) must be the one who renews the domain. As the old pastor is in another country we can't get old of him.

I looked on whois and the "Trading as" tag was set to the name of the church. So although the old pastor is the owner of the domain, is there no way that the church can renew the domain? We can prove that the church pastor has changed within the last two years. The hosting company have no problem billing them for the hosting, it's just the domain name we can't do anything with. We are not trying to transfer the domain either.

I will be looking forward to hearing back from you all.


We don't have access to the cPanel and we don't have access to the ewbsite with a username or password, that is what the old pastor has.



Domain ownership (and hence, who has the authority to effect changes to its registration) is mantained by ICANN (or RIPE in Europe).

A whois query will show you the administrative contact for the domain; this can be an individual, or an organisation, or a RIR or LIR (these have handles instead of names).

Any of the registered contacts for your domain should be able to contact the registrar and ask them to update the registry details.

If the registry entry does not have multiple contacts listed, you can apply to the registrar to alter the registration by showing them you are authorized to act on behalf of the domain owner.

If one person who is no longer available is the domain owner, I doubt they will allow you to trivially change it.

Collect as much detailed information as you can and make a case that you really need to take over the domain; it is ultimately in the hands of the registrar, but if the domain has expired, you have a much better chance of transferring ownership.

And yes, you DO want to transfer the domain; that's what changing ownership means.

  • Thanks for putting all your effort in the answer. We managed to get it sorted! Peter – Peter Stuart Nov 7 '12 at 19:56

Technically it should be possible to renew a domain if you have access to your domain name registrant website or you have access to the email account which was used as a contact email for this domain name. The legal situation of such renewal is more complicated and I don't feel entitled to give you any advice in this matter.

  • I forgot to mention that, we don't have any Control Panel access or email access. – Peter Stuart Nov 6 '12 at 17:22
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    @PeterStuart Then you had better contact the registrar's support again, or the old pastor. Good luck. – jscott Nov 6 '12 at 17:23
  • Yeah, we are talking to the company right now, but they are not very helpful. I am just hoping that somebody posts some useful tips or advice that we can hit them with. – Peter Stuart Nov 6 '12 at 17:25
  • Depends on registrant but sometimes you can confirm the identity with the help of your bank e.g. by wiretransfer or credit card. This could possibly be used to change the password for the control panel. – FINESEC Nov 6 '12 at 17:33

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