Domain Life Cycle
ACTIVE -> REGISTRAR-HOLD -> REDEMPTION PERIOD -> PENDING DELETE
Immediately upon registration a domain name becomes ACTIVE, meaning that it is not available for registration.
It may take anywhere from 1 hour to 48 hours for the whois record to be updated for a newly registered domain. While registrations take a fraction of a second, updating the whois record usually requires some time.
Under most circumstances, a domain can be active for 1-10 years depending on the duration of the registration selected by the user.
During the ACTIVE state a domain name can be transfered from one registrar to another.
REGISTRAR-HOLD or CLIENTHOLD
Once a domain name expires, it will usually move to the REGISTRAR-HOLD or CLIENTHOLD status.
Although the domain has technically expired, the owner still has the opportunity to renew it for at least 30 days (usually).
Under rare circumstances, a domain will not enter the REGISTRAR-HOLD status and will be dropped 1-5 days from its expiration date.
Depending on the registrar, a domain name can remain in the REGISTRAR-HOLD status anywhere from 1-45 days, with 30 days being the average.
Once a domain name leaves the REGISTRAR-HOLD status it goes into REDEMPTION PERIOD status.
Although the domain has technically expired and gone through REGISTRAR-HOLD status, the owner still has the opportunity to renew it for at least 10 days (usually).
Under rare circumstances, a domain will not enter the REDEMPTION PERIOD status and will be dropped immediately after being removed from REGISTRAR-HOLD.
Depending on the registrar, a domain name can remain in the REDEMPTION PERIOD status anywhere from 1-35 days, with 30 days being the average.
Once a domain name leaves the REDEMPTION PERIOD status it goes into PENDING DELETE status.
Under most circumstances, a registrar will not allow for you to renew your domain name once it has reached PENDING DELETE status. There are some rare exceptions (and it also depends on the registrar).
Under rare circumstances, a domain will not enter the PENDING DELETE status and will be dropped immediately after being removed from REDEMPTION PERIOD.
A domain name will drop, and become available for registration six days after it changes status to PENDING DELETE. Under some circumstances, a domain name can drop in 5 days instead of 6.
PENDING DELETE RESTORABLE (.org domains)
A status of PENDING DELETE RESTORABLE means the name is in Redemption Grace Period for 30 days and can be renewed by the registrant.
PENDING DELETE SCHEDULED FOR RELEASE (.org domains)
A status of PENDING DELETE SCHEDULED FOR RELEASE means the domain name is in the Redemption Hold Period and will expire in 5 days.
Although registrars are required to follow a standard drop cycle, many do not.
Always keep an eye on your domain names and never let them expire. If your domain name has expired, and moved to REGISTRAR-HOLD or REDEMPTION PERIOD contact your registrar and renew it immediately. Never wait until the last moment.
Protect valuable domain names by disallowing transfer requests. This is done by putting the domain name in REGISTRAR-LOCK status. This prevents hijacking, which is quite common in the domain business.