I Forgot to Renew My Domain – Can I Get It Back?Posted: October 9, 2011
Forgetting to renew a domain happens quite often. Many people and businesses lose track of the expiration until after it’s passed. In many cases the domain may be for a new project, promotion, or new business yet to launch so there’s little focus on it, but even active businesses have at times missed renewing their domain name in time.
Once you’ve found that your domain has expired, can you get it back? Let’s answer that for each of the different scenarios.
Expired domain scenarios
Scenario 1: The domain just expired in the past few days
Answer: Yes – you can renew it. Only exceptions are extremely obscure country-code extension domains that have no grace period.
This is the most likely scenario for your domain if it is actively used and monitored – all of a sudden emails are not being delivered and the website is not loading. Only in cases of a very few handful of country-code extensions (which are mostly obscure and not often registered) are names completely lost immediately after expiration. For all other extensions there is a grace period lasting up to 40 days after expiration depending on the registrar allowing you to still renew the domain.
Scenario 2: The domain expired 19-40 days ago and is not showing in my account
Answer: Yes – check with your registrar as you should have the ability to renew your domain with an added charge.
19 days may seem like an arbitrary amount, but it is highly pertinent to domains at GoDaddy. If you have a domain registered at GoDaddy or any registrar that is a GoDaddy reseller and it expires, it is removed from your active domains 19 days after expiration. In Domain Manager in your account, you’d have to go to Domains > Recover Expired Domains in order to renew the domain and would pay an additional $80 in order to renew the domain. Note: If you have an executive account, they’ll waive that fee as long as you renew the domain within 25 days of expiration.
GoDaddy has the shortest grace period of all major registrars, so if your domain has expired and you want to make absolutely sure you can renew it for normal registration fees, renew it no more than 18 days after expiration. Many registrars have a grace period of around 30 to 35 days.
Scenario 3: The domain expired 41-70 days ago
Answer: Maybe – Either you can redeem it for an additional fee ($100 or more depending on registrar) OR it may have sold in a “prerelease” backorder auction in which case it is under new ownership.
The Redemption Grace Period after a domain expires lasts for 40 days. After that comes the Redemption Period which lasts for another 30 days. You can still redeem a domain in Redemption period at a steep cost usually over $100, but your domain may have been sold by then.
Registrars partner with domain backorder companies such as SnapNames.com, NameJet.com and Pool.com and expired domains go into what are called prerelease auctions at some point after expiration (usually after the registrar’s grade period is over). If one or more people bid on the domain and it sells and is not redeemed by the , the registrar maintains registration of the domain and the winner of the auction becomes the new owner (see Scenario 5).
Scenario 4: The domain expired 71-75 days ago
Answer: Maybe – It will become available, so backordering it provides you the best chances to get it back. Expect to pay $60 or possibly more in a backorder auction.
Once a domain leaves Redemption Period, it enters Pending Delete status. This means it has expired and will become available again on day 76. If the domain has had any backorders placed on it, it will be caught by one of the backordering companies where it was ordered the instant it becomes available. So if you want to keep the domain at this point, place a backorder at SnapNames.com, NameJet.com and Pool.com to give yourself the best chances of catching the domain. You may have to win it in an auction however so it may be costly.
Scenario 5: Someone else now owns the domain
Answer: Maybe – the new owner may still sell you the domain.
Unfortunately many people realize they didn’t renew their domain after someone else bought the domain. The best option is to ask them if the domain is for sale and hope that they are willing to sell it at a reasonable price. If their purchase of the domain was in bad faith and they have no legitimate rights to it, you may be able to get it back through filing a UDRP to dispute the domain.