Compendium of U.S. Copyright Practices, 3rd Edition

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1802.8 (A) (2) Identifying the Basic Registration

1802.8 (A) (2) Identifying the Basic Registration

The applicant must identify the basic registration that will be corrected or amplified by the supplementary registration. 17 U.S.C. § 408 (D). Specifically, the applicant must provide the following information on the Original Registration screen:

• Registration number for the basic registration. This number appears on the certificate for the basic registration, and it typically begins with two or three letters, such as “VA” or “VAu.” The applicant should provide this number in the field marked “Registration Number of Basic Registration (e.g. TXu003234533).”

• Year of registration for the basic registration. This information appears on the certificate for the basic registration under the heading marked effective date of registration. The applicant should provide this information in the field marked “Year of Basic Registration (YYYY).”

If the applicant fails to complete these fields, the application will not be accepted by the electronic registration system.

When providing the registration number for the basic registration, the U.S. Copyright Office strongly encourages applicants to use the format described below. This will facilitate the examination of the claim and prevent unnecessary delays.

Specifically, the registration number should consist of a twelve-character string without spaces or hyphens. For published registration numbers, enter two letters followed by ten digits. For unpublished registration numbers, enter three letters followed by nine digits. Every letter of the alphabetic prefix should be capitalized and zeroes should be inserted between the prefix and the numerical portion of the registration number so that it contains a total of twelve characters.

For instance, the proper format for a registration for a published sound recording consisting of the prefix “SR” and the numbers “123-4-567” would be “SR0001234567.”


• VAu 123-456 should be entered as VAU000123456.

• VA 1-357-911 should be entered as VA0001357911.

If the applicant includes spaces, hyphens, or other punctuation in the registration number (instead of using the format described above), the Office will remove these characters and convert the number to the preferred format, which may delay the registration decision.

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