If a registration expires, DreamHost holds it for 30 days in the case that you have either forgot to renew the registration or you have changed your mind. In this period you are able to renew the registration at the regular price. This is called the renewal grace period for a domain.
Not all domain TLDs offer a grace period. That all depends on the registry policy for that specific domain TLD. However, the 30 day grace period applies to the standard .COM/.NET/.ORG/.INFO domains.
Per ICANN policies, regardless of whether you wish to keep the domain name or not, as long as the registration is active, you will continue to receive the notifications for the domain name you own. There is no way around this as ICANN requires that the owner of the domain name is notified every step of the way until the domain is finally deleted from the registry.
If your domain is set to 'let expire', you'll still receive the following reminder emails from ICANN:
- 4 weeks before expiration
- 1 week before expiration
- final notice on expiration date
Also according to ICANN rules, you can transfer a domain registration away from DreamHost if it’s expired, but unfortunately, the domain’s WHOIS details cannot be edited after the domain expires. So, DreamHost recommends that the transfer of your registration is completed before it expires. Otherwise, you must renew it with DreamHost in order to adjust any WHOIS information.