I've Googled but haven't really found an answer.

  • When does a domain name really expire before someone else can register it?
  • Is this set by the domain registrar?

I've seen someone mention 75, 30, 45 days after the domain expires but nothing official, just wanting to confirm.

Related Question but doesn't answer my question:

Old Source (2005), is this still correct?


3 Answers 3


Usaually when a domain name lapses, your registrar will put it in a hold period for typically 90 days or so (I know it's at least a month or two with GoDaddy) and during that period what they do is they lock the domain so you can repurchase it -- at a premium of course (GoDaddy charges $80 as a recovery fee, vs maybe $10 if you renew on time).

I'm not sure of the logic behind this, such as if ICANN lets registrars hold domains temporarily so customers can renew if their primary billing info expires -- but overall I think the hold period is 90 days before the domain is unlocked and put to market, or in some cases the registrar will keep the domain and resell it on their own domain auction pages.


The life cycle of a domain can be a bit complicated. It also differs depending on the domain extension, but here is a basic run down of a typical domain life cycle:

  1. January 1, 2016: You register the domain for 1 year.

  2. November 1, 2016: This is typically when registrars start sending out renewal notices (~60 days from expiration).

  3. January 1, 2017: Your domain expires.

  4. February 9, 2017: 40 days after expiration, your domain is deleted unless you renew it (most domains have a 40 day grace renewal period) or someone purchases it in an expired auction, which many registrars offer.

  5. March 11, 2017: 30 days after the domain is deleted, the "redemption" period ends. During this period, the original owner can still restore their domain (unless it was purchased by someone else in an expired auction). Restoring a domain is typically much more expensive since the domain has already been deleted, but it's the original registrant's last change to get the domain before it's re-released.

  6. March 16, 2017: 5 days after the redemption period ends, the domain is "dropped" from the central registry and can now be registered by anyone. Often dropping domains are caught in what is called a drop catch or backorder. People place orders for domains that are dropping and registrars or other companies try to register them on their behalf as soon as they become available.

It's a bit long, but I hope that helps! We have a bit more info about the life cycle and an infographic here if you're interested: https://www.dynadot.com/community/blog/2012/04/know-the-lifecycle-of-your-domain-registration-expiration-renewal-grace-delete-auction-transfer.html

  • Welcome to the site. This appears to be a high quality answer with a bit of self promotion. Please refrain from further self-promotion without also becoming a regular contributor. Commented Sep 30, 2016 at 1:14

Your question depend on the TLD, which you do not provide.

For most gTLDs, this applies (with one or two exceptions, some TLDs are not on an autorenew cycle) : https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/gtld-lifecycle-2012-02-25-en

For ccTLDs: everything is possible.

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