Have you ever wanted to register a domain name but it was already taken but not in use?  If so, it’s important that you get to know the AU domain name drop list.

The .au drop list is run by the Australian domain name authority, AuDA that lists domain names that have expired or been cancelled and are about to be purged from the .au registry – meaning they can be registered again by anyone.

A WHOIS query will indicate a status of a domain name on the .au domain drop list as either “serverHold (Expired)” or “pendingDelete”.

Each domain name on the list includes a date, which is the earliest time it will be purged from the registry database. If the time is before 1pm AEST it will be purged that day, and any time after will be the next day.

Trying to catch a dropped domain name can be a competitive sport, particularly of the domain name has generic appeal.  There are multiple automated catch services available to give interested parties the best chance of registering the domain name.

Conduct your Due Diligence

Every domain name on the list has some form of history.  They could have just say dormant, parked or been used as an active website or on the extreme end used for dubious purposes.

It is recommended that before registering a purged domain name, interested parties check the history of the domain, particularly:

– its previous owners through a reverse whois lookup,

– what the previous site was used for through a wayback machine search,

– blacklist registry lookup to ensure that it has not been blacklisted on any search engine or spamhaus database.

Trying to clean a domain name that has checkered history can be an arduous process, so best to conduct your due diligence before you make the investment of time and effort.

Expired Domains and Deleted Domains

The drop list is divided into two sections: expired domain names and deleted domain names.

Expired Domains

All. AU domain names carry exactly a 2 calendar year licence.  If a domain name is not renewed within 90 days of the expiry date it will transition from “Registered” to an “Expired Hold” state and cease to function and the associated website and email will go offline.

However, Registrants still have a 30 day grace period in the Expire Hold phase to contact their registrar and renew the domain name.  if the domain name is not registered in this period it will transition into a “Expire Pending Purge” status.  The domain named can no longer be renewed and will be published on the .au domain name drop list.

Exactly one calendar day after the domain name appears on the list it will become eligible for purge as described above.

Deleted Domains

Domain names are deleted from Registry either at the request of the Registrant or by AuDA. Generally, auDA will delete a domain name due to a breach of its policy.  Each scenario has its own specific deletion process.

A Registrant initiated deletion would see the domain name  transition from ‘Registered’ to ‘Pending Delete’ as soon as the Registrar makes the deletion request.  The domain name will then be published on the .au domain name drop List for 3 days after which it will be purged as described above.

An AuDA initiated deletion usually occurs due to a breach of domain name Policy and would transition from ‘Registered’ to ‘Pending Delete’ as soon as the Registrar makes the deletion request. The domain name will then be published on the .au domain name drop List for 14 days after which it will be purged as described above.

AuDA policy deletions are the domain names that you need to conduct your due diligence on.  Usually policy deletions occur due to some form of complaint so its important to understand any background associated with this deletion and also conduct some thorough due diligence as described above.

About brandsec

Brandsec is a corporate domain name management and brand protection company that look after many of Australia, New Zealand and Asia’s top publicly listed brands.  We provide monitoring and enforcement services, DNS, SSL Management, domain name brokerage and dispute management and brand security consultation services.

Contact us today for a free consultation.



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