Nominet currently has the following expiry process:
- If a renewal request is not received within 30 days of expiry the domain name will be suspended (name servers stop working).
- Seven days before suspension Nominet will send you a suspension warning.
- When the domain name is suspended Nominet will send you a suspension notice.
- After a 60 day suspension period the domain name will be cancelled and will then be immediately available for re-registration by someone else.
- At any point during the suspension, your registrar can renew the domain name for you and the suspension will be lifted.
- One final reminder will be sent to you 83 days after the expiry date: this will be seven days before the domain name is cancelled.
- On 92 days after expiry .uk domains randomly drop and become available on a first come first served basis.
Also to change ownership of a domain name a registrant transfer has to take place:
Transfer a single domain name
If you want to initiate the registrant transfer process, you will need to log in to your Online Services account and select the ‘Registrant Transfer’ service. Please note that this service will cost £10 plus VAT, which can be paid by either the current or new registrant.
Transfer multiple domain names
If all of the domain names you wish to transfer are available when logging into our online service and they are being transferred to the same new registrant, the cost of a mass registrant transfer is £10 plus VAT.
Under Nominet’s proposal and clause 5.3.6 all of the above current policy process would be by-passed after 30 days of expiry – the registrar would be able to take the domain name and taste/monetize the traffic on the domain name. After day 90 the registrar could then sell the domain name at auction.