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About a year ago I created a website for one of my clients. They already had a domain name and hosting through Vistaprint, so we changed the nameservers over to my server as Vistaprint would only let us use pre-made templates.

They told my clients that they had to unlock their domain to change the nameservers, so they paid to unlock it, forwarded us all the details, then we logged into OpenSRS.net and changed the nameservers accordingly.

Unfortunately the domain expired there in November, and has about 10 days left now before it gets released back into the public. They have contacted Vistaprint but there is nothing they can do apparently.

Who owns the domain, where is it, and is it in limbo somewhere?

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Seeing the rules offered by OpenSRS, I strongly advise you to switch to another registrar such as GoDaddy.com which does not lock domains when they expire. Also they offer auto-renewal capabilities for most of their products which means you don't have to be on top every year to make sure that the domain is always up to date. –  Alexis Wilke Jan 19 at 0:04
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Who owns the domain, where is it, and is it limbo somewhere?

It sounds like Vistaprint is using OpenSRS to manage their domain registrations. See the following schedule for domains that have expired with OpenSRS: Expired Domains

Likely OpenSRS is listed as the registrant now, or possibly its subsidiary Tucows. If they consider it a desirable or premium domain, they could even move it into their YummyNames portfolio, as indicated in the link above.

If it's a top-level domain, you can do a WHOIS search on it at Verisign, which will tell you what registrar the domain is at, along with the "Status" and "Updated Date". You can also do a WHOIS search at the registrar to see who the registrant (owner) currently is.

If the WHOIS at Verisign indicates that the Status is in Pending Delete, that means it will likely be dropped from the registrar within 5 days of the Updated Date. At that time it will be released for registration to the public on a first come, first serve basis.

You can try to register it then, however, if the domain is valuable to your clients, you should consider using a domain backorder service to attempt to register it as soon as it's dropped. Note that if the domain was popular and contained lots of backlinks or had high PageRank, others may also have it on backorder. I'd suggest doing some research to compare which backorder service might be the most efficient.

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