Search for a ship name

To find out if a name you want to call your ship is available, use our online search tool (below) or contact Maritime New Zealand's Registrar of Ships. Also read our tips to help choose a ship's name.

Type the full name of the vessel you want to search for in the box below


Help using the online search tool

The search result will tell you only if the exact name you have entered is available. You cannot view all of the names that are registered at a particular time.

You must list three names in order of preference on the ship registration application form. Don't forget to check all three names here.

Search tips:

  • enter the full name you wish to search for in the search box
  • include any numbers, roman numerals or other suffixes that will be part of the ship name
  • prefixes specifying a ship's type (eg FV, MV), are not usually included in the registered name. Only include prefixes that you want to have as part of the ship's registered name
  • do not put quotation marks around the name you enter in the search box.

Contact Maritime New Zealand's Registrar of Ships

The Registrar of Ships can search the register and advise you if a name is available. There is no charge for this information.

Contact Maritime New Zealand's Registrar of Ships

Choosing a ship's name

Even if your first choice of name is available at the time you search, you must list three names in order of preference on the registration application form. The Registrar of Ships approves ship names in the order that applications are received. It is possible that the name you have chosen may have been approved for another ship between the time you search for a name and the Registrar of Ships receives your application.

Consider any numbers, roman numerals or other suffixes that you want to include as part of the ship name.

Prefixes specifying a ship's type (eg FV, MV), are not usually included in the registered name. Only include prefixes that you want to have as part of the ship's registered name.

Names that will NOT be approved include:

  • names that are likely to be confused with the names of registered ships or ships that are about to be registered
  • offensive names
  • names of members of the Royal family
  • the name "New Zealand" without a prefix or suffix
  • names that falsely suggest a connection with the Royal family, international, national or local government bodies
  • a name which sounds the same but is spelt differently eg Sea Breeze and Seebreeze; Cappella and Capella.


A name is not formally approved until the Registrar of Ships has received the appropriate application form and fee. Once approved, the name is available for registration for one year from the date of approval.