NO! The automatic registration box (through dreamhost) told me. It's not free!
What? Says I... I write to support. Oh, people have been having problems, they reply. Keep trying. It sometimes works.
I test it with other domains... it's sure spotty. I continue to attempt to secure my domain. And again. And again. Yesterday, I write and beg - please secure it for me manually, and send me a bill. Please! I could have registered it through whois on Wednesday, for the same price, even, but I didn't want the hassle of changing the registration.
Today, dreamhost gets back to me... oh, that domain is secured.
When was that domain secured? Wednesday. The 5th. By some stupid domain-grabbing hosting company.