Renewals

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Overview

By default, domain registrations are not automatically renewed. This is different from hosting plans, which are automatically renewed. This article provides information on renewing your domains that are registered through DreamHost.

How do I renew my DreamHost domain?

To manually renew your domain name, visit the (Panel > ‘Domains’ > ‘Registrations’) page.

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  • Click on the Renew! button to the right of the domain name you wish to renew. The next few pages will ask you to confirm the renewal and process payment for that item.

You can also set most domains to renew automatically. To do this, just follow the steps at:

When can I renew my DreamHost domain?

  • Most domains can be renewed at any time throughout the year, however some foreign or specialty domains (such as .de or .es) have different renewal requirements from their respective registries. Any special renewal requirements for these domains are noted in your domain renewal reminder emails which are sent to you starting 5 weeks before the domain's upcoming expiration date.
  • Domains must be renewed in full-year increments.
  • You will be unable to renew a domain if a one-year renewal would put you over the maximum renewal duration.
Note2 icon.png Note: You can also enable auto-renew in the web panel for most domain extensions.


What happens if I don't renew my domain in time?

When your domain expires, any services associated with the domain (your website, email service, and so on) will stop working. As a courtesy, DreamHost holds onto the domain registration for 30 days to allow you to renew it in case the renewal date was missed. After this 30-day period passes, DreamHost releases the domain back to the national registry service who starts the true expiration process at their level. They will place the domain in a ‘redemption’ period for another 30 days and will only release the domain back to DreamHost for a $100 redemption fee (in addition to a one-year renewal charge for the domain).

Once the redemption period ends, the national registry service will schedule the domain for release back to the public.

Some foreign registries, such as .es and .de, have different time frames for the expiration process, and the time frames above do not apply. If you own a domain that has a different renewal and expiration process, these will be noted in your renewal reminder emails, which are sent to you starting 5 weeks before the domain's upcoming expiration date.

What can I do with my domain while it is expired?

Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do with your domain once it has expired.

You cannot:

  • use any email or website services at that domain.
  • transfer your domain to another registrar.
  • change the WHOIS contact info for your domain.
  • change the nameservers for your domain.
  • unlock the domain for transfer.

Unfortunately, this isn’t anything DreamHost has control over as these restrictions are made at the registry level.

If you need to do any of the actions that are mentioned above, you must renew your domain first.

How can I set up auto-renewal?

You can set the automatic renewal of your domain registration in your panel at (Panel > ‘Domains’ > ‘Registrations’).

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On the ‘Registrations’ page, you will see this column for your domain registration in the far right. In the image above, the auto-renewal option is already set since the word ‘YES’ is in bold. Click the other links to set the other status.

  • The yes link will set the auto-renewal for the domain. The notices will still be sent as per usual, but the notice will state that the domain will be automatically renewed when it is set to expire and the charge for that automatic renewal will be applied to your account instead of requiring a payment for this up front.
  • The let expire link will set the domain to expire on its expiration date, but the notices for this will still be sent as per ICANN’s policy with regards to notifying the registration owner of this information.
  • The ask link will send notices to ask you if you wish to renew it. Manual renewals will require payment up front when clicking the blue ‘Renew!’ button for that domain on the ‘Registrations’ page.

Regardless of how you set up the renewal process for your domain, the notices for the domain’s expiration will still be sent even if it’s set to ‘let expire’. Starting 5 weeks before the domain’s expiration date, DreamHost begins sending you notices of the domain’s expiration and how you can renew it if you wish to do so.

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The image above shows the renewal will be processed for free as it’s showing a $0.00 price. Clicking the ‘Renew!’ button will renew the domain within 30 minutes.

  • If you owe something for the registration renewal, the cost will be listed in the drop-down menu in the screenshot above. This charge will have to be paid up front for manual renewals.
Note2 icon.png Note: You can click the drop-down menu to renew the domain for multiple years. However, DreamHost only allows up to a 3 years renewal into the future for any domain name.


How can I use PayPal to register or renew a domain name?

You can pre-pay the amount of a pending renewal using PayPal, which results in a positive Dreamhost account balance. This balance can then be used to renew (and Auto-Renew) domain name registrations.

To register using PayPal:

  1. Ensure that you have a zero balance on the account, which you can check in your panel on the (Panel > ‘Billing and Account’ > ‘Make Payment’) page.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • If you have a positive balance here, make a single PayPal payment for the amount of your yearly domain renewal fee.
    • If you have a due balance, you will need to pay for both the current due balance as well as the domain renewal fee.
    Once your PayPal payment processes, you will receive an email confirmation.
  3. Renew your registration.