Call Sign is a unique alphanumeric identity that belongs to the vessel and acts in the same way as a registration number of a car. So, the Call Sign allows distinguishing two vessels with the same vessels name. It is used in voice calling procedure over VHF radio.

These Call Signs are issued by the appropriate authorities in the country of registration of the vessel and can be referenced back to a database of information about the vessel and it’s owners etc.

If a vessel doesn't have its own Call Sign, the vessel owner must apply for a Call Sign at appropriate authorities before a new VHF radio could be used on a vessel.

Each Call Sign begins with the Call Sign alphanumeric prefix that indicate nationality, e.g. prefixed allocated to United Kingdom are 2, G, M, VP-VQ, VS, ZB-ZJ, ZN-ZO and ZQ. The prefix is usually followed with 2 to 3 alphanumeric characters.

For example, Cunard Lines Queen Mary 2 Call Sign W6RO.

Also CRSs (Coast Radio Stations) have their own Call Sign because they have their own VHF radio and could be called by any vessels VHF radio.

For example, the Niton CRS in United Kingdom Call Sign GNI.

All Call Sign prefixes are available using the following link:
Last modified: Saturday, 25 April 2020, 7:50 PM