Expired Domain Names – How Can You Get Them?

The domainer in you must have wondered at some time as to how exactly can an expiring domain name become available for re-registration by a new owner. To know the answer to this question, you must understand the Status of a domain as listed in the whois database. Here is the URL of the whois lookup provided by Domain Tools. When observing the results of a whois lookup, you will see a record similar in format to the one below:

ICANN Registrar: MARKMONITOR INC.
Created: 1997-09-15
Expires: 2011-09-14
Registrar Status: clientDeleteProhibited
Registrar Status: clientTransferProhibited
Registrar Status: clientUpdateProhibited
Name Server: NS1.GOOGLE.COM
Name Server: NS2.GOOGLE.COM
Name Server: NS3.GOOGLE.COM
Name Server: NS4.GOOGLE.COM
Whois Server: whois.markmonitor.com

There is a line item in the lookup data labeled Status. In the case of this domain, the status are listed as clientDeleteProhibited,clientTransferProhibited and clientUpdateProhibited Listed below are the various states that can appear in this field, and what they mean (There are two standard protocols, RRP and EPP – RRP is the older protocol that is being phased out in favor of EPP which is more fine grained. There is a specific mapping of statuses between the older RRP and EPP).

Below are the all RRP statuses, followed by EPP statuses.

Registry Operator Status codes: (RRP) Registry Registrar Protocol (Com/Net Registry Operator – Verisign Global Registry)

ACTIVE: The registry sets this status. The domain can be modified by the registrar. The domain can be renewed. The domain will be included in the zone if the domain has been delegated to at least one name server. A domain can only change registrars if in this state.

· REGISTRY-LOCK: The registry sets this status. The domain can not 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 will be included in the zone if the domain has been delegated to at least one name server.

· REGISTRAR-LOCK: The sponsoring registrar sets this status. The domain can not be modified or deleted. The registrar must remove REGISTRAR-LOCK status to modify the domain. The domain can be renewed. The domain will be included in the zone.

· REGISTRY-HOLD: The registry sets this status. The domain can not 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 will not be included in the zone.

· REGISTRAR-HOLD: The sponsoring registrar sets this status. The domain can not be modified or deleted. The registrar must remove REGISTRAR-HOLD status to modify the domain. The domain can be renewed. The domain will not be included in the zone.

· REDEMPTIONPERIOD: The registry sets this status when a registrar requests that the domain name be deleted from the registry and the domain has been registered for more than 5 calendar days (if the delete request is received within 5 days of initial domain registration it will instead be deleted immediately). The domain will not be included in the zone. The domain can not be modified or purged; it can only be restored. Any other registrar requests to modify or otherwise update the domain will be rejected. The domain will be held in this status for a maximum of 30 calendar days.

· PENDINGRESTORE: The registry sets this status after a registrar requests restoration of a domain that is in REDEMPTIONPERIOD status. The domain will be included in the zone. Registrar requests to modify or otherwise update the domain will be rejected. The domain will be held in this status while the registry waits for the registrar to provide required restoration documentation. If the registrar fails to provide documentation to the registry within 7 calendar days to confirm the restoration request, the domain will revert to REDEMPTIONPERIOD status. The domain status will be set to ACTIVE only if the registrar provides documentation to the registry within 7 calendar days to confirm the restoration request.

· PENDINGDELETE: The registry sets this status after a domain has been set in REDEMPTIONPERIOD status and the domain has not been restored by the registrar. The domain will not be included in the zone. Once in this status all registrar requests to modify or otherwise update the domain will be rejected. The domain will be purged from the registry database after being in this status for 5 calendar days.

EPP Domains (The newer better protocol)

Domain Status: Normally operating domains have a status of “OK” or “Active.” Other status values detail pending operations and restrictions regarding the domain. If the status is OK then the domain can be transferred.

· OK: This is the nominal status value for a domain object at all times, whether or not the domain has pending operations or prohibitions.

· New: This is the nominal status for a newly created domain object. The domain can be modified unless locked.

· Active: The domain can be modified and appears in a zone file. This is the nominal status for a domain object once it has been published in a zone.

· Locked: The domain cannot be transferred, renewed, or deleted. (Though the status value can be changed.) Hierarchical and associated objects cannot be added or removed from the domain object. Domain names involved in Sunrise and other disputes may be locked, subject to registry policies.

· Hold: The domain will not be published in a zone for DNS resolution. Names without at least two nameservers may be placed on Hold status; in this case submit nameserver data through your registrar.

· pendingTransfer: A transfer request has been received for the domain, and completion of the request is pending. The domain cannot be renewed, deleted, or updated while in this state.

· pendingDelete: A delete request has been received from the registrar for the domain. The domain has been removed from the zone, but has not yet been purged from the registry database. The domain cannot be renewed, deleted, transferred, or updated while in this state.

· clientHold: The domain will not be published in a zone for DNS resolution. This status is placed on the domain by the registrar.

· clientLock: The domain cannot be transferred, renewed, deleted, or updated. This status is placed on the domain by the registrar. An update command may be used to change the status value. Hierarchical and associated objects cannot not be added or removed from the domain object.

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.

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