The sequenced prototype strains (A2 and A3) of polyoma virus lack sequence duplications characteristic of other papovaviruses. However, we found that five polyoma virus strains (P16, Toronto large plaque, MV, Ts 48, and NG59R) contain tandemly duplicated sequences in a region near the late RNA leader. Although the duplications vary in size (31 to 84 base pairs) and location (between nucleotide [nt] 5068 and nt 5185), the sequence between nt 5114 and nt 5137 is contained within all five duplicated segments. This region is known to be important in polyoma virus early gene expression, and it contains sequences capable of enhancing the expression of nonviral genes. Inspection of the sequences at and around the ends of the repeats indicated that the duplications do not arise by homologous recombination, and there was no indication that a sequence-specific mechanism results in their formation. However, the variation in the structure of the repeats among different polyoma virus strains suggests that these sequence duplications are a recent evolutionary occurrence. The potential biological significance of this variation is discussed.