Did you forget to renew your domain name registration? If so, don’t worry just yet.
It happens, and most domain registrars offer a domain expiration grace period within which you can complete the renewal process before they auction off or delete the domain name.
The procedure to redeem an expired domain registration varies slightly depending on the registrar you registered the domain with and the registry that manages the domain’s extension.
For example, a .com domain expiry grace period may differ from a .gov or .edu website.
However, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) requires registrars to notify registrants of crucial information regarding expiration notices, redemption procedures, and fees.
That means registrars should give you ample time to renew your domain before they can sell or delete it from the registry list.
While all registrars have their own way of handling renewals within ICANN guidelines, most follow the process outlined below.
Your registrars’ registration agreement details the options, fees, and terms of renewing your domain name registration, so be sure to read it carefully and understand the specific information and timelines.
Before the Domain Expiration Grace Period
Before your domain expires, your registrar has to notify you of the approaching expiration date and provide options for renewing your registration.
This usually includes two renewal reminders approximately one month and one week before the domain name expires.
Typically, you want to take immediate action when you receive these reminders to avoid potentially losing your domain name.
If for whatever reason, you can’t renew the domain name before the domain expires, the renewal grace period comes into play.
The Domain Name Expiration Grace Period
Once your domain name registration expires, the registrar will usually provide an automatic domain expired grace period that may last up to 45 days, subject to your service agreement.
Your registrar disables the domain during this period, but it can still be renewed manually at no additional fee above the standard renewal price.
Retrieving your domain during the renewal grace period is simple compared to what happens when the domain name gets to the next stage of the timeline.
If you domain is registered with GoDaddy, just make sure to clearly read through their information about the godaddy grace period for expired domains, as its slightly different to most other registrars.
The Redemption Grace Period
Once the renewal grace period elapses, your domain may go into redemption status. The redemption period is the last real chance you have of renewing your domain.
The period may last up to 30 days or have an extended redemption grace period. By this time, the registrar will have issued a delete request to the registry.
During the redemption period, the registrar will charge an additional redemption fee and the standard renewal fee. So, the total charge will be the standard fee plus the redemption fee.
Also, the domain must be retrieved by the previous registrant and only through the previous registrar.
The Domain Auction Phase
Registrars often use expired domain auctions where they will place your domain name into an auction in the hopes of selling it to the highest bidder.
At this point, you no longer own the domain name, so if you still want to keep it, you’ll need to prevent it from getting to this point.
If someone bids and wins the domain, the registrar will transfer the domain name to the new owner.
The Deletion Phase
If no one purchases your domain name at an auction or the registrar opts not to sell it, they may have it deleted from the registry. Once the registrar deletes your domain, you can no longer recover it as it was.
Registrars typically hold deleted domains for a couple of days before they release them back to the registry.
Once this happens, anyone can buy and re-register the domain on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Domain Expired? How Long To Renew?
As mentioned above, the grace periods for renewing expired domains largely depend on the registrar and registry involved.
Read the terms of your domain name registration for an exact timeline after a domain expires, but you’ll usually have between 30 and 60 days to renew the domain.
How To Avoid the Domain Name Expiration Date
Although registrars provide a domain expiration grace period, staying up to date on your domain renewals is the best way to maintain ownership of your domain names.
Your registrar will add renewal years to the end of your current registration period, so you’ll never lose time on your domain by renewing early.
All it means is that you’ll have a new expiration date.
Here are a few easy tips to help you ensure your domain name doesn’t expire:
- Enable the auto-renew feature
- Turn on your renewal reminder notices
- Make sure your registrar has your current contact information and payment details to auto-renew your registration