Do I have to lose my domain registered 9 years and 11 months ago?

ICANN says the maximum length of time for registration is 10 years. As far as I can tell from what I have learned through registrars, I can renew my domain only up to 10 years.

What if my site is successful? Does my ownership of the domain end at the 10 years period? What do Google and other corporations do to keep their domain more than ten years?

6 Answers 6


Simple answer. At the end of the 10 year period, you can renew your registration again. There are domain names far older than 10 years including nearly all of mine, Google, MSN, and so forth. The 10 year limit does not mean that you lose your domain name. It means that any registration period can only be as long as 10 years at a time.

  • If I register for two years, can I renew it for another 8 years.After that,do I have to transfer it to another registrar?
    – user37464
    Commented Apr 2, 2014 at 3:29
  • 4
    No. That is not what the 10 year limit is about. It just means that no one can register a domain name for more that 10 years at a time. I think the limit has more to do with trimming abandoned domain names from the system. It is common that someone will register a domain name and then abandon it later. I used to be a webhost, and I got to tell you about half of all the sites I hosted were abandoned at some point. I kept the site alive for as much time as it was paid for. After that, people who abandoned sites not only were not interested in renewing, but also avoided contact.
    – closetnoc
    Commented Apr 2, 2014 at 3:35
  • @closetnoc, interesting insight... what do you mean by the last sentence "but also avoided contact"?
    – Sam
    Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 10:20
  • 2
    @Sam The people not only stopped responding, but also avoided being contacted. When I was a web host, most of my sites were charities, churches, small private schools, community theaters, legal aid attorneys, and so on. The reason for this was the personal assistance we gave in creating sites, modifying them, special projects, etc. All for the standard going rate. Technical support was my cell phone. If someone decided to move their site or not renew, they, I assume, felt some level of guilt. So they avoided us and left us no choice but to let the domain or site expire.
    – closetnoc
    Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 16:47
  • @closetnoc thanks for this insight in the clientel psychology. Interesting. Yes some people dont dare to face somebody without feeling some guilt and prefer to avoid contact. It probably also means that your level of service must have been outstanding for themn to feel some guilt when they were forced (for whatever reasons) to leave ;-)
    – Sam
    Commented Jun 29, 2017 at 11:30

Ummm.... Good one. We registered our main domain in 1996, just paid through 2019 last year on it... same registrar. So, no the 10 year life assumption is just flat wrong.

What you cannot do, be paid for more than 10 years. What you can do, 5 years after you paid for 10 years, pay for another 5 years. It's a sliding window, prorated for the years you've already used, see?

Max length is what you can have paid up when you pay up, and has nothing to do with how long you maintain and use the domain. Renewal is being confused with expiry here, you have the use of the domain name for as long as you keep paying up.


You can register it for up to 10 years, before it expires your registrar will email you and if you want to keep the domain you will have to pay again and that's it.


I have asked some domain providers and this is what they told me: For example, if you registered your domain name for 10 years. Then after almost 10 years (let's say 9+ years just before the expiration date), you can pay them again to renew your domain name for another 10 years next. That means you can renew it every 10 years. And you can keep doing like this forever. Which will mean that if you keep renewing your domain name right before the expiration, your domain name will keep working and will be yours forever !!! unless you decide to stop renewing it.


Unfortunately, 10 years is the maximum amount of years, for which a domain name can be registered. If you register the domain for 1 year, you will not be able to renew it for more than 9 years. 10 is the max for domain renewal and registration. If your site is successful, you can renew the domain before it expires. If you check google's whois the expiration date is 2020-09-13. Even they do not have it registered for more than 10 years.

  • What do you exactly mean? "If your site is successful, you can renew the domain before it expires. If you check google's whois the expiration date is 2020-09-13. Even they do not have it registered for more than 10 years." How did google managed to keep their domain name more than ten years?
    – user37464
    Commented Apr 2, 2014 at 3:40
  • If they could have managed to keep the domain for more than 10 years, they would have renewed it till 2050. You can renew the domain before it expires. Nobody can get hold of your domain if it is renewed in time.
    – MilesWeb
    Commented Apr 2, 2014 at 4:05
  • didn't want to bother you.But (" If you register the domain for 1 year, you will not be able to renew it for more than 9 years.").I hope you don't get annoyed.
    – user37464
    Commented Apr 2, 2014 at 4:12
  • No, I am not annoyed. But, I don't see there would be any major issue if you cannot renew it for more than 9 years. That's the limitation if ICANN & nobody cannot challenge it.
    – MilesWeb
    Commented Apr 2, 2014 at 5:30
  • 1
    This answer is misleading or just plain wrong. "If you register the domain for 1 year, you will not be able to renew it for more than 9 years." - This is wrong, of course you can. You can register/renew a domain for any period from 1 to 10 years, regardless of how long the domain was previously registered for. Register a domain for a 10 year period, and when it is nearing the time of renewal, you can renew it for another 10 years if you wish. (This is obviously assuming you are not trying to renew the domain years before it is actually due for renewal.)
    – MrWhite
    Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 15:04

There is more to Domain renewal than previously explained. When your domain expires, there is a grace period. (A "Renewal Grace Period" is the time during which a domain owner can renew an expired domain at the regular renewal price. This period typically lasts for 40 days, depending on the domain extension.) This grace period is included in the maximum 10 years a domain can be held. This can trip some people up.

So if you register a domain at a great deal, which many do, your thrifty bet is to add as many years as possible to that additional year. Trust me when I say prices go up in multiples if you wait until expiration notice. To add to the maximum time (9 years), you will have to wait until the grace period to do it or I promise it won't take. Get a jump on the bait and switch by immediately adding 8 years. After 40 days, add an additional year. Take note of any price increases (GoDaddy). The bait and switchers are not expecting you to do so and you will save $$$. The truth is price increases are what make people drop domains that are under-performing. 1 year is not enough time in many cases to make a domain successful.

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