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Register a UK 406 megahertz (MHz) beacon

A UK 406 MHz beacon sends a distress signal to alert search and rescue authorities to your location.

Use this service to:

  • register a UK 406 MHz beacon
  • update your beacon registration details
  • update your vessel or aircraft details

You can register the following types of UK 406 MHz beacon:

  • Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), for any use
  • Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) or Simplified Voyage-Data Recorder, for maritime use
  • Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) or ELT dongle, for aircraft use

Registering is free and takes around 15 minutes.

Start now

Before you start

You’ll need:

  • the beacon Hexadecimal Identification (HEX ID) or Unique Identifying Number (UIN), manufacturer serial number and model
  • an emergency contact for search and rescue authorities
  • if you have a vessel - your vessel name, number, call sign, Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) number, and details of the radio communications equipment you use
  • if you have an aircraft - your aircraft make, model, registration mark, and details of the radio communications equipment you use

Other ways to apply

Contact the UK Beacon Registry team to:

  • get help registering online
  • register multiple beacons at once
  • register by post

The UK Beacon Registry

Data protection regulations

The Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) collect and retain the personal information provided when you register a UK programmed 406 MHz beacon. Processing your information allows the MCA to exercise its official duty and to identify persons in distress and helps save lives.

We will retain your information until we are advised that the beacon is no longer active, for example it has been removed from the vessel, replaced or destroyed.

We will share your information with global Search and Rescue authorities and those delegated authorities, such as RNLI, Police or Rescue helicopter crew, that are directly involved with investigations relating to a beacon activation.

Further details on Beacon Registration privacy policy can be found at 406 MHz beacons privacy information notice.

To find out more about how the MCA looks after personal data, your rights, and how to contact our data protection officer, please go to personal information charter.