domain registrars such as GoDaddy and Network Solutions LLC have as many as 45 days after the expiration date to notify the official domain registry whether a name is being renewed or deleted. Typically, registrars have given users a grace period -- sometimes as long as 45 days -- to renew their name.
If a name is deleted, ICANN guidelines then call for a 30-day "redemption grace period," during which the original owner can still claim the name. If there is no claim in the redemption period, the name is dropped from the registry after a five-day holding period, and anyone is entitled to seek it.
For the .com and .net registries, managed by VeriSign Inc., names drop starting around 2 p.m. Eastern each day, all year long.