Beware of Domain Registrar “Ghost Records”


I received an email from Network Solutions last week to remind me about renewing a domain name. They even offered me a special discount code for renewing this domain name, which I previously won on NameJet:

The only problem with this email is that the domain name was transferred to GoDaddy back in March. A Whois search confirms that the domain name is no longer registered at Network Solutions.

It would appear that the record in my Network Solutions account is known as a “ghost record.” This means that it would appear to exist within my Network Solutions account, but it is really at GoDaddy. I would not be able to modify nameservers, set up forwarding, or do anything else with the domain name from within Network Solutions.

The big question I have is whether or not Network Solutions would process a renewal if I attempted to renew the domain name. I have no idea because I didn’t try, but it is something to be cautious about. If I had thousands of names in my portfolio, I could see this being a bigger issue if domain names with ghost records could be renewed.

This is not just a Network Solutions issue though. I recall having the same issue at several other registrars in the past.

I have no idea what causes these ghost records, but they can be confusing and potentially costly if a registrar can process purchases related to the ghost record (such as a renewal or privacy).

About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Shouldn’t be able to process the renewal. They need to enter the renewal dates into the record, which should no longer be accessible on their system. It should spit out a database update error.

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