1. September 2009 02:42
Last Saturday night I realized one of my clients web sites had expired about three weeks ago. The account owner of the domain had passed away and so no one received the renewal notifications. I thought it might be useful to explain the process of recovering domain names in case this ever happens to you.
The first thing to do is not panic. Most of the time you can recover a domain name even after it "expires" or you do not have access to it. For expired domains, there is a grace period for the owner to redeem their old domain name. This ranges from a couple weeks to 45 days. However, retrieving your domain after it expires will typically cost an extra $40+ to recover the name. It is always best to just renew the domain before it expires.
If the domain name is not expired, but you do not have access to your domain due to an event such as death or someone leaving your company, you can also regain control of the domain. Typically you will need to contact the company that the domain is registered through. Visit www.who.is in order to determine the registrar. Contact the registrar and explain the situation to them. They will normally ask you to fax identification and proof that the domain is yours. After a review period they normally will give you the domain that rightfully belongs to you.