In this study, we report the complete genome sequence of two contemporary human coronavirus OC43 (HCoV-OC43) strains detected in 2003 and 2004, respectively. Comparative genetic analyses of the circulating strains and the prototype HCoV-OC43 strain (ATCC VR759) were performed. Remarkably, a lower than expected similarity is found between the complete genomes and more in particular between the spike genes of the BE03 and BE04 strains. This finding suggests the existence of two genetically distinct HCoV-OC43 strains, circulating in Belgium in 2003 and 2004. Spike gene sequencing of three additional 2003 and two additional 2004 HCoV-OC43 strains, and subsequent phylogenetic analysis confirm this assumption. Compared to the ATCC prototype HCoV-OC43 strain, an important amino acid substitution is present in the potential cleavage site sequence of the spike protein of all contemporary strains, restoring the N-RRXRR-C motif, associated with increased spike protein cleavability in bovine coronaviruses. We here describe specific characteristics associated with circulating HCoV-OC43 strains, and we provide substantial evidence for the genetic variability of HCoV-OC43.