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Memory Alpha
Multiple realities
(covers information from several alternate timelines)
USS Enterprise primary hull 2257

The registry of the USS Enterprise in 2257

NCC-1701 disintegrates

The disintegrating registry of the USS Enterprise

USS Voyager registry

The USS Voyager's registry number on its primary hull

A registry was a place to record or register information. One such registry was the Vulcan Genome Registry. (ENT: "The Forge")

Vessels were often registered by agency. They may have recorded a vessel's name, registry number, history, and basic ship information. (TOS: "The Ultimate Computer") This information was generally transmitted via registration beam. (TOS: "Mudd's Women") These registries could also be forged. (DS9: "The Maquis, Part I")

Ship registries were used as early as the 19th century. In 1893, after overhearing a time-lost Data mentioning a starship, Samuel Clemens asked, "What registry is that!?" (TNG: "Time's Arrow")

Throughout the 20th century, both civil and military aircraft were registered. In addition to registration, military aircraft were given serial numbers. One of these registry abbreviations, first used by American civil aviation, later appeared on Earth shuttles and starships. This was the abbreviation NC. An example of an NC registry was "NC 18602" (the California Clipper). (TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday"; VOY: "The 37's"; ENT: "Broken Bow")

In the 23rd and 24th centuries, Starfleet vessels were able to check both historical registries from Earth and Vulcan as well as the Starfleet Registry. (TOS: "Space Seed", "The Ultimate Computer"; TNG: "Unification I")

Between 2254 and 2364, registry numbers skyrocketed from the NCC-1701 of the USS Enterprise to the NCC-87270 of the USS Ticonderoga.

The SS Botany Bay was not listed in any registry, although this might have been a result of the fragmented records in that era, and the Augments' desire to remain hidden. (TOS: "Space Seed")

Registry numbers and prefixes[]

In some governments and agencies, a ship entered into a registry received a prefix that was placed before the vessel's name. This prefix was used to easily identify the vessel as belonging to that agency.

A registry prefix should not be confused with a ship's prefix code.

Vessel prefixes include:

Prefix Stands for Agency / Government Example
CGN unknown unknown (2369) CGN Caroliqe
CAR unknown unknown (2370) CAR 54-Q
CGM unknown unknown (2370) CGM Gh'aster
CSS Confederate States Ship Confederate States of America (1861-1865) CSS Virginia
unknown Confederation of Earth (2401) CSS World Razer
DEV unknown unknown (2183) DEV Eagle Valley
ECS Earth Cargo Service/Ship Earth Cargo Service (21022153) ECS Horizon
FGMS unknown unknown (2370) FGMS Gyt'aerat
FMS unknown unknown (2370) FMS Geldonero
GCA unknown unknown GCA Metlaok
GCS unknown unknown (2370) GCS Recio
GHD unknown unknown (2370) GHD Per'ot
GS unknown unknown (2370) GS 12
HMS His/Her Majesty's Ship Royal Navy (17052135) HMS Clement
IKS Imperial Klingon Ship Klingon Empire (22682375) IKS Rotarran
IRW Imperial Romulan Warbird Romulan Star Empire (2369) IRW Khazara
ISS Imperial Starship Terran Empire ISS Avenger
Terran Resistance Forces ISS Defiant
ITA unknown unknown (2370) ITA Elmira
KSF unknown Kelpien and Ba'ul Alliance (31st century) KSF Khi'eth
NSS unknown Ni'Var Government (32nd century) NSS T'Pau
PWB Praetorial Warbird Romulan Star Empire (2375) PWB Tomal
SS unknown unknown (19962401) SS Conestoga
Starship UN (2123) SS Mariposa
American Continent Institute (2236) SS Columbia
Merchant Service (22612262) SS Beagle
United Federation of Planets (22672370) SS Santa Maria
Starfleet (2364) SS Tsiolkovsky
USGS unknown unknown (2370) USGS Powell
USS United States Ship United States of America (1800s2130s) USS Enterprise (CV-6)
United Space Ship/United Star Ship Starfleet (2161–present) USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)
VK unknown Russian (21052160) VK Velikan
VSS Vulcan Star Ship Vulcan (25th century) VSS T'Plana

† With Earth's national prefixes (British HMS and Russian VK) still in use up to the founding of the Federation, it is probable that "USS" still meant "United States Ship" in the same time frame, but we only have one example to look at.

Items listed in a registry generally had a number or code to help identify the specific entry.

Registry numbers could be changed, as seems to be the case of the USS Yamato. The reason for this practice is unknown.

In some registries, the registry number was preceded by an abbreviation as well:

Registry Prefix Agency / Government Example
Starfleet (Alternate reality, 2250s) Bardeen (70172)
B unknown (2368) B-24-CLN
BA Starfleet (Alternate reality, 2250s) BA-36
BCD Iyaaran (2369) BCD-31775
BDR United Federation of Planets (2360) SS Santa Maria (BDR-529)
C unknown (2370) C-57-D
C1 unknown (21st century) Bonaventure (C1-21)
CV United States of America (1940s) USS Enterprise (CV-6)
CVN United States of America (1986) USS Enterprise (CVN-65)
ECS Earth Cargo Service (2151) ECS Fortunate (ECS-2801)
FG United States of America (1969) Bluejay 4 (FG-914)
H Starfleet (2373) H-47
NA unknown (pre-2143) Tycho Base (NA-01)
Starfleet (2381) USS Aledo (NA-01)
NCIA Section 31 (2250s) NCIA-93
NI Section 31 (2250s) NI-1101
NAR UN (2123) SS Mariposa (NAR-7678)
United Federation of Planets (22932368) SS Vico (NAR-18834)
NC Starfleet (2154) NC-05
United Federation of Planets (2269) Aurora (NC-17740)
NBT United Federation of Planets SS Shiku Maru (NBT-30894)
NCC Starfleet (21672379) Raging Queen (NCC-42284)
NCV Starfleet (2800s) USS Relativity (NCV-474439-G)
NFT El Aurian (2293) SS Robert Fox (NFT-1327)
NGA Federation (2328) SS Augyn (NGA-24858)
NSP Vulcan National Merchant Fleet (2364) T'Pau (NSP-17938)
NX Starfleet (21432375) Enterprise (NX-01)
OV NASA (19762000s) OV-165
VS Federation registered (Vulcan, 2270s) Surak (VS 5047 61192259584-5)
XCV unknown (pre-2143) USS Enterprise (XCV-330)
YLT Yridian (2369) YLT-3609

Aside from the registry prefixes, Starfleet has also used letters after the main registry prefix to further define specific types of craft. This was seen in the freighter USS Huron, with its registry of NCC-F1513 and the Antares-type grain ship with the registry NCC-G1465. (TAS: "More Tribbles, More Troubles", "The Pirates of Orion")

The first Earth ship to have warp drive installed, Bonaventure, had an anomalous arrangement of the registry numbers, 10281NCC. (TAS: "The Time Trap") So did USS Nash, with the registry NCC-2010-5, and the SS Columbia, with the registry NC 1540-J. (TOS: "The Cage"; DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations")

Shuttlecraft assigned to starbases and other installations were given registries indicating their origin. Such vessels were the da Vinci SB4-0314⁄2 from Starbase 4 and the Picasso SB11-1201⁄1 from Starbase 11. (TOS: "Court Martial", "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield") The shuttlecraft Verne assigned to Relay Station 47 was simply given the registry RS-47. (TNG: "Aquiel")

On Starfleet display graphics, Klingon, Romulan, and Cardassian starships had had registry numbers or identification codes without a letter prefix. These included ships like the Klingon IKS Fek'lhr (454435), Romulan warbird PWB Tomal (19386), and a Cardassian warship (324384950). (DS9: "Image in the Sand"; TNG: "The Wounded")

In the alternate reality, an escape pod of the USS Enterprise was registered as 313-C. Starfleet did not use registry prefixes on small craft such as jumpships and military shuttles that were not assigned to a starship. (Star Trek; Star Trek Into Darkness)

Starfleet sometimes used sequential lettering after a registry number was repeated. During the 23rd and 24th centuries it was employed to honor a former vessel. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home) In the 25th century, the practice instead changed to denote both a major refit of an existing vessel as well as the commissioning of a new ship. (PIC: "The Next Generation")

Examples of this include:

Starship Registry number Dates
USS Dauntless NX-01-A 2374
USS Excalibur NCC-1664-M 31st century
USS Enterprise-A NCC-1701-A 22862293
USS Enterprise-B NCC-1701-B 2293
USS Enterprise-C NCC-1701-C 2344
USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D 23632371
USS Enterprise NCC-1701-E 23722379
USS Enterprise NCC-1701-F 2401
USS Enterprise NCC-1701-G 2402
USS Enterprise NCC-1701-J 26th century
USS Relativity NCV-474439-G 29th century
USS Tikhov NCC-1067-M 32nd century
USS Voyager NCC-74656-A 2384
USS Voyager NCC-74656-B 2401
USS Voyager NCC-75656-D unknown
USS Voyager NCC-74656-J 31st century
USS Yamato NCC-1305-E 2365
USS Titan NCC-80102-A 23962401


Background information[]

The most famous registry number, of course, is "NCC-1701" of the original USS Enterprise. It was conceived by Enterprise designer Matt Jefferies, who was a pilot before joining the Star Trek staff as art director, and based the registry number on 20th century aircraft registration codes. In the early 20th century, the letter "N" indicated a United States origin, and the letter "C" indicated a civilian aircraft. As American craft used NC and Soviet craft used CCCC, Jefferies combined the two as NCC. His philosophy was, "If we do anything in space, we (Americans and Russians) have to do it together." [1](X) In a sketch of the Enterprise, drawn by Jefferies, he states the numbers "1701" stand for the 17th cruiser design, serial number #1. [2] Also, upon choosing the Enterprise's registry number, Jefferies decided that the number should be easily readable, so he was careful to avoid numbers that could be confusing, such as 3, 6 and 8. (Star Trek Magazine issue 162, p. 25)

Elaborating a bit more, Jefferies has stated in later interviews, "Since the 1920's, N has indicated the United States in Navy terms, and C means 'commercial' vessel. I added an extra C just for fun. Interestingly, Russia's designation is CCC. So The N and C together made it kind of international. After that, I had to pick some numbers. They had to be easily identifiable from a distance, so that eliminated 3, 8, 6, 9 and 4-none of which is that clear from a distance, That didn't leave much! So 1701 was as good a choice as any. The reason we gave for the choice afterwards was that the "Enterprise" was the 17th major design of the Federation, and the first in the series. 17-01!" (Star Trek: The Original Series Sketchbook, p. 62), "(…) which, incidentally and coincidentally, happens to be very close to the license number on my airplane – NC-17740. But I have never really stepped out and squashed the rumor that the number on the "Enterprise" came off my airplane." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 10, p. 26; Jefferies incidentally, bought his plane in 1968, four years after he had designed the Enterprise and her corresponding registry number)

According to the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual, the registry prefix NXP was used for study models, also called pathfinders, in the development phase of a starship class. For the Defiant-class escort, the pathfinder was designated NXP-2365WP/T. According to the Star Trek Encyclopedia, the registry prefix for the SS Odin was NGL and for the Milan it was NDT.

Based on usage – VK Yuri Gagarin and VK Velikan – it is probable that the "VK" prefix was used on Russian starships in Star Trek. In the real world, the Russians do not use prefixes for their ship names. VK, however might be an homage to Tom Clancy. In the book The Hunt for Red October, the primary Alfa-class attack sub is named V.K. Konovalov, in honor of Vladimir Konstantinovich Konovalov.


According to the novels of Diane Duane and Peter Morwood, Klingon starships use a "KL" registry number prefix. Diane Duane's Rihannsu novels give the prefix "ChR" for Romulan starships.

According to the Star Trek: Ships of the Line (2009) calendar (for the month of December), the registry prefix "X" was used for static test models. An example was the "X-17B", which was used for evaluating the performance of a refitted Constitution-class heavy cruiser in the mid-2260s.

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