thank you for the replies. I called Nikon USA and with you the serial number the first agent could not help other than to say US serial numbers generally start with 2 or 3. I called a second time with the number and go the run around and was told I'd have to send the camera in to get a positive answer. after expressing my dissatisfaction with the customer service and being on hold the rep attempted to register the number and told me that in fact it was a USA body otherwise the system would have not allowed an attempt to register it. So the folks at Nikon USA can tell you if they choose to you just have to find the right agent.