ICANN requires that any transfer also extend the expiration date of your domain by at least one year. That’s one year from your current expiration date, not one year from the date of transfer. For example, if you transfer a domain on October 10, 2018, but it expires on March 10, 2019, your new expiration date will be March 10, 2020.
Whenever a domain is first registered, the registrant purchases control of that domain for some number of years. For example, a domain registered on October 8, 2010 will have an expiration of October 8th on some year between 2011 and 2020.
Transferring a domain adds time to the current expiration date. Time purchased is never lost. When you transfer your domain to Cloudflare, you are purchasing an additional year of registration on top of your current expiration.
Transferring a domain adds at least one year to the registration and the registry bills for that year. For nearly all top-level domains (TLDs), the registry bills the same rate as a renewal or new registration. For example, Verisign charges $7.85 for one year purchased through new registrations, renewals, and transfers.
ICANN fees also apply to transfers. For every year added to the expiration as part of a transfer, ICANN adds $0.18 to the total.
When will I be billed?
You will be billed when you input your authorization code and initiate the transfer. If your authorization code is incorrect, you can reenter the code.
What am I paying for as part of the transfer?
When you transfer a domain, you add one year to your expiration. If your domain does not expire until 2024, and your transfer adds time through 2025, the registries and ICANN still bill for the extension when the transfer occurs.
Transfers within 45 Days of renewal of an expired domain
When you transfer your domain to Cloudflare, we will automatically extend your registration by one year. However, in one specific circumstance your transfer could result in you keeping your original expiration date.
When a domain expires the registration enters the auto-renew grace period. During that time, you can renew the domain at your registrar to avoid losing it. If your domain expires at your current registrar, you renew it, and then you transfer to Cloudflare within 45 days, the registry can restrict the addition of an extra year.
Say you have example.com registered and it expires on December 10, 2018. You decide to renew it during the auto-renew grace period on December 20, 2018. That renewal extends the registration to December 20, 2019. You then transfer to Cloudflare on December 30, 2018. Since that transfer is within 45 days of the expiration, the registry may not add the year to your registration. When you transfer to Cloudflare or any registrar in this circumstance, your expiration can still remain December 20th, 2019.
If a year is not added to your registration, you have effectively paid twice for the same added year. Per ICANN rules, you are entitled to request a refund at your previous registrar.