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When Does an Expired Domain Name Become Available?




In order to know exactly when an expiring domain name will become available for re-registration by a new owner, you must understand the Status of a domain as listed in the whois database.

Here is the URL of the whois lookup provided by Network Solutions: http://www.networksolutions.com/en_US/whois/index.jhtml.

When observing the results of a whois lookup, you will see a record similar in format to the one below:

Domain Name: YAHOO.COM
Registrar: ALLDOMAINS.COM INC.
Whois Server: whois.alldomains.com
Referral URL: http://www.alldomains.com
Name Server: NS1.YAHOO.COM
Name Server: NS5.YAHOO.COM
Name Server: NS2.YAHOO.COM
Name Server: NS3.YAHOO.COM
Name Server: NS4.YAHOO.COM
Status: REGISTRAR-LOCK
Updated Date: 20-oct-2003
Creation Date: 18-jan-1995
Expiration Date: 19-jan-2012

There is a line item in the lookup data labeled Status. In the case of this domain, the status is listed as REGISTRAR-LOCK.

Listed below are the various states that can appear in this field, and what they mean - I put a star by the 2 states that you should look for if you're interested in expiring domains. This data is taken directly from a document entitled, RFC 2832 - NSI Registry Registrar Protocol, May 2000 which is located at the following URL: http://ietf.org/rfc/rfc2832.txt?number=2832 and from General Counsel's Briefing Regarding Proposed Revisions to .com and .net Registry Agreements to Reflect Services Introduced 25 January 2003 located here: http://www.icann.org/minutes/report-vgrs-rgp-consolidate-23feb03.htm.

ACTIVE: This is the default status of a domain at registration time. The registry sets the domain to this status. The domain is modifiable
by the registrar. The domain can be renewed. The domain SHALL be included in the zone file when in this status if the domain has at
least one associated name server.

REGISTRY-LOCK: The registry sets the domain to this status. The domain cannot be modified or deleted by the registrar. The registry
MUST remove the REGISTRY-LOCK status for the registrar to modify the domain. The domain can be renewed. The domain SHALL be included in the zone file when in this status if the domain has at least one associated name server.

REGISTRY-HOLD: The registry sets the domain to this status. The domain cannot be modified or deleted by the registrar. The registry
MUST remove the REGISTRY-HOLD status for the registrar to modify the domain. The domain can be renewed. The domain SHALL NOT be included in the zone file when in this status.

REGISTRAR-HOLD: The registrar of the domain sets the domain to this status. The domain can not be modified or deleted when in this
status. The registrar MUST remove REGISTRAR-HOLD status to modify the domain. The domain can be renewed. The domain SHALL NOT be included in the zone file when in this status.

REGISTRAR-LOCK: The registrar of the domain sets the domain to this status. The domain cannot be modified or deleted when in this status. The registrar MUST remove REGISTRAR-LOCK status to modify the domain. The domain can be renewed. The domain SHALL be included in the zone file when in this status.

REGISTRY-DELETE-NOTIFY: A domain is set on this status if it has expired and has child name servers that are hosting other domains. Only the registry may set this status. The domain SHALL be included in the zone file when in this status if the domain has at least one associated name server.

The Redemption Service is implemented by applying the following statuses through which deleted names progress:

REDEMPTIONPERIOD:
A domain name is placed in REDEMPTIONPERIOD status when a registrar requests the deletion of a name that is not within the Add Grace Period. A name that is in REDEMPTIONPERIOD status will not be included in the zone file. A registrar can not modify or purge a name in REDEMPTIONPERIOD status. The only action a registrar can take on a name in REDEMPTIONPERIOD is to request that it be restored. Any other registrar requests to modify or otherwise update the domain will be rejected. Unless restored, the domain will be held in REDEMPTIONPERIOD status for a specified number of calendar days. The current length of this Redemption Period is thirty calendar days.

PENDINGDELETE:
A domain name is placed in PENDINGDELETE status if it has not been restored during the Redemption Period. A name that is in PENDINGDELETE status will not be included in the zone file. All registrar requests to modify or otherwise update a domain in PENDINGDELETE status will be rejected. A domain name is purged from the registry database a specified number of calendar days after it is placed in PENDINGDELETE status. The current length of this Pending Delete Period is five calendar days.

PENDINGRESTORE:
A domain name is placed in PENDINGRESTORE status when a registrar requests restoration of a domain that is in REDEMPTIONPERIOD status. A name that is in PENDINGRESTORE status will be included in the zone file. Registrar requests to modify or otherwise update a domain in REDEMPTIONPERIOD status will be rejected. A domain name is returned to REDEMPTIONPERIOD status a specified number of calendar days after it is placed in PENDINGRESTORE unless the registrar submits a complete Registrar Restore Report to the Registry Operator. The current length of this Pending Restore Period is seven calendar days.

So, for those of you interested in registering previously registered - but now expiring domains: the domain will always go into REDEMPTIONPERIOD status before it is released to be re-registered. It will remain in REDEMPTIONPERIOD status for 30 days at which time it will then move to PENDINGDELETE status. After 5 days in PENDINGDELETE status, the domain will be released to be re-registered.

If a domain is renewed by the original registrant during the REDEMPTIONPERIOD status, the domain will NOT go to PENDINGDELETE status. Once a domain reaches to PENDINGDELETE status, it will become available to re-register.

Good luck in getting your expiring domains!


CPU Review is a web hosting directory and webmaster resource site providing articles on web hosting, interviews with hosting professionals, and showcases featuring hosting companies. (www.cpureview.com)



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