VE3BUC, 3W3MD, N2AB and A41OO/45 are some examples of ham radio call signs. Call signs consist of a prefix and a suffix. The prefix identifies the country while the suffix is unique for every individual.
The prefix usually includes two letters and a number, such as VE4 for the province of Manitoba in Canada, or W2 for New Jersey and New York in the United States. Some countries have prefixes that contain a number and a letter such as 4X for Israel and 9K for Kuwait. In Canada, a call sign such as VE3ABC has VE3 as the prefix and ABC as the suffix. In the United States, the call sign N2MG has a prefix of N2 and suffix of MG. It is possible in the United States to have hams with a two letter prefix. Thus, AB2Z is a valid call sign. Suffixes may also have less than three letters.
In many countries, special call signs are used to observe a special event. These special call signs have an unusual prefix so users can easily recognize the station using. For example, the call sign CI3O was used in 1996 for the Charles Island DXpedition.
Vanity call sign is another type of call sign. In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission allows hams to apply for a call sign that has special meaning to them. For example, Ben R. may apply for KA5BEN to insert his name in the call sign.