Corynebacterium striatum is frequently encountered in the routine clinical microbiology laboratory. It is widely disseminated in the environment and constitutes part of the normal micro-biota of the skin and mucous membrane. Identification of this species by biochemical methods remains difficult and several misidentifications have been reported previously. A polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) method for the identification of this microorganism was designed based on the hypervariable region of the polymorphic RNA polymerase β-subunit gene (rpoB). All available Corynebacterium rpoB sequences were analyzed by computerassisted restriction analysis. The rpoB PCR-RFLP pattern predicted by using endonucleases MseI and NlaIV clearly differentiated C. striatum from all other Corynebacterium species. This method was successfully applied for the reliable identification of 67 C. striatum clinical isolates and can be used for the timely detection of infected patients or for epidemiological studies.