New HLA alleles are often identified initially from observing uncommon patterns found in low-resolution typing performed via polymerase chain reaction using sequence-specific oligonucleotide probes (PCR-SSOP). Recently, the HLA-DR oligotyping analysis of two Caucasian, one Caucasian/American Indian and two African American individuals resulted in the identification of three novel DRB3 alleles. Using DRB-specific primer sets commonly employed in amplification-based typing, all four individuals were originally characterized as DRB3 negative. Direct sequencing identified DRB3*0104 (variation at codon 8, TCG instead of TTG), and DRB3*0101202 (variation at intron (-13), G instead of C). One individual appeared to carry a DR52-associated DRB1 allele without an associated DRB3 allele. Lack of conservation at the junction of intron 1 and exon 2 of the DRB3 gene suggests that commonly used DRB-specific primer sets may need to be modified.