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Reserve a Vessel Name

All vessel names on Part 1 and Part 4 should be unique and cannot sound the same when spoken as another registered vessel’s name. Names deemed to be offensive, or that may cause confusion, may not be permitted. Some names may need further authorisation before being allowed.

The Registry of Seaman and Shipping (RSS) will confirm that the name has been approved.

To ensure your vessel name is in place for you, a name can be reserved for three months. After the three-month period the name will become available for others unless a further name reservation application is submitted.

If you would like to apply to reserve a vessel name for three months, you can create an account and use the UK Ship Register online service.

You will be need to provide supporting documents and pay the appropriate fee. The Application to Register form will not be required if submitting your application online.

Documents required

The documents required to reserve a name for Part 1 or Part 4 vessels are listed below. Please note that you will need to print off and sign any documents, as we cannot accept digital signatures.

  • Application to Register a Part 1 vessel MSF 4740 (A) 
  • Application to Register a Bareboat Charter Ship (Part 4 ) MSF 4738 
  • Online payment of £153 fee via GOV.UK secure payment link (for three month period)

Any documents used to support your application for a vessel name reservation, if not in English, must be accompanied by a notarised translation.

If within the three-month name reservation period you wish to complete a full vessel registration, you can log back into the UK Ship Register online service, close the name reservation and apply for a Part 1 New Registration.

  • Where to send your documents

  • You can email these documents to us at

    You can also call us on +44 (0)20 3908 5200.