The structure (syntax) of ISRC comprises 12 alphanumeric characters, formed from the four code elements:

  • Country Code – two characters issued by the ISRC Agency
  • Registrant Code – a three-character alpha-numeric code issued by the ISRC Agency
  • Year of Reference – the last two digits of the year in which the ISRC is assigned to the track – allocated by the Registrant
  • Designation Code – 5-digit unique code assigned by the Registrant. These numbers must not be repeated in the same calendar year.


Code Identifier Country Code (2 characters) Registrant Code (3 characters) Year of Reference (2 digits) Designation Code (5 digits)
ISRC JM K40 14 00212

The International ISRC Agency uses the Registrant Code JM-K40 for illustrative purposes and this code will never be assigned to recordings.

There are some basic checks that can be carried out to detect whether an ISRC is validly formed. These checks may be automated and could be used as part of a system for maintaining data quality.

ISRC Validity

As with any widely used system, errors may occasionally arise that can cause improperly formed codes to be circulated in place of ISRCs.

There are some checks that may be carried out to determine whether codes meet the requirements of a validly-formed ISRC. The code should be a 12-character alphanumeric string that fits the structure of ISRC.

Country code characters should correspond to that subset of the ISO 3166-1 alpha 2 country code table which has been utilised within the ISRC system. Details of code validity and a listing of all country codes used currently within the ISRC system can be found in:

- Validating ISRC Codes

The ‘Year of Reference’ should not be an implausible number, neither being a year which has not yet occurred, nor a date which is implausible in the context of the recording or genre. Parties who may implement databases containing ISRC, or may implement data interchange infrastructure to handle ISRC, are encouraged to consider implementing automated checking of correct syntax and validity of the ISRCs handled by their systems.

Instances of systemic errors should be reported to the International ISRC Agency.