When Do Domains Expire? Midnight? Time Zones? (Solved!)

Table of Contents

For those who want to snatch an existing domain name, expiration dates and times are particularly important.

The time matters, because you need to set up the parameters of your algorithm to begin watching and eventually clinching that domain name.

One miscalculation with the date and time may mean your inability to grab that domain name.

So, when exactly does a domain expire?

Domain names are considered expired on the date indicated in the contract with the registrar. If you signed up for a one-year contract, your domain name registration expires a year from the date. Expiration does not mean anyone can start getting that domain name.

If your domain name registration has expired, you have a grace period to renew or redeem the domain name before the name is dropped from the roster of registered names.

Do Domains Become Available at Midnight?

While domain names begin expiration at midnight, the current owner is still given a chance to renew the domain.

Unless he deliberately expresses his desire not to renew, the domain name enters the renewal phase by default.

At What Time Zone do Domains Expire?

Domain names expire on the time zone of the domain registrar.

If your domain registrar uses the Central Standard Time (CST), your domain will expire officially at midnight CST on the date indicated in the registration contract.

Once the expiration takes effect, the domain name will undergo a grace period.

After the grace period, a domain name will be under deletion status, wherein names are officially deleted from the lists after five days, between 11 AM to 2 PM Pacific Standard Time.

Is There a Waiting List for Expiring Domains?

If someone inquired about a domain name while active, chances are there is a waiting list.

You can consider lining up, but that does not guarantee you will get the domain name.

If the demand is high for a domain name, it is possible that it would be placed up for auction.

Domain registrars, as businesses, have the prerogative to auction domain names that are in demand. They need to make money, after all.

How Long Before You can Buy an Expired Domain Name?

For domain names that expired by default, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) stipulates that a period of 80 days is allotted before a domain name is dropped and available for anyone to register.

But, on the 75th day, a domain name will already be listed for deletion, which takes five (5) days.

While ICANN has prescribed a period to re-register a domain name, some domain registrars do not follow this time and may sometimes delete a domain as early as 30 days. Due to the millions of domain registrars around the world, it would be hard for ICANN to police erring companies.

Should you be after a particular domain name, consider hiring the services of drop registrars, who will snipe or bid for domain names for you.

Their services will be particularly useful in snatching domain names, especially when dropped earlier.

In the event the current owner of a domain name willingly cancels his registration, the registrar may immediately put the domain name up for grabs by anyone who may want to buy it.

This would be another instance where drop registrars would come in handy.

How do Drop Registrars Work?

Drop Registrars, or domain snatchers, are web services that track domain name expiration, especially after the grace period has lapsed.

Particularly, these registrars wait for a domain name to be dropped from the list of registered domain names and register them on your behalf.

Since auctions can also happen when domain names are drop, Drop Registrars can also handle the bidding on your behalf.

You set your highest bid, how the bid increments will be, and the Drop Registrar will do the rest.

Once a Drop Registrar has secured you a domain you are after, it will notify you of its success. Drop Registrars often have tie-ups with existing domain registrars, which helps them get first dibs on domain names that are up for taking.

Should you decide to avail of the services of a drop registrar, consider looking for one with ties with domain registrars.

Note as well that the cost of drop registrars may sometimes not include the actual registration of the domain. Consult with them on their fees so that you may gauge if you need their services.

Where Do I Check the Expiration Time on Domains?

You can do a WHOIS lookup to check the expiration of a domain name.

  1. Go to whois.com, and look for the WHOIS search bar on the upper right corner of the page.
  2. Enter the domain name and click “Whois.”

From here, Whois will show you the name of person or company who registered the domain name, including address, when the domain was last modified or renewed, and the date of expiration.

Scroll a little further, and you will see a body of text, wherein the domain expiration is listed, including the time.

What is the “Grace Period,” and How Does it Last?

The grace period for a domain name begins on the first day a domain name is considered expired.

The grace period is divided into two phases: the renewal period, and the redemption period.

The renewal period runs for 45 days. No penalties will be imposed on the owner of the domain name, and upon payment of renewal, the domain registrar has an obligation to make your domain name online again.

The redemption period runs for 30 days. The domain registrar is most likely to impose penalties to put back your domain name. The penalty fee varies from one domain registrar to another.

After the grace period lapses, the domain name is immediately placed on deletion status, which will take effect within five (5) days from the lapsing of the grace period.

References:

How do you calculate exactly when a domain in pending delete status will become available?

How to Determine When a Domain Name Will Expire

Life Cycle of a Typical gTLD Domain Name

FAQs for Registrants: Domain Name Renewals and Expiration

You Might Also Like...

We may receive commissions when linking to Amazon.com and other stores.