Originally Posted by ronweeks
Many providers do offer the free domain name registration when you purchase a hosting plan with them, however lets say you decide for whatever the reason is you want to move to another provider, remember since they registered the domain name for you, you won't have access to it so you have to depend on them to make any changes for you and provide you with the transfer codes needed. You just need to make sure whoever you choose to go with that they will provide you with all this information and since it's your domain name assist you with moving it to your new provider.
A few hosts will provide a free domain when taking out annual/biannual etc. hosting. They will lock the domain so it remains with them. If you decide to leave and move to another host then normally you have 2 choices.
1) Pay the host for the domain, so they will release it to you.
2) Give up on the domain and register a new domain in your own name.