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The main focus of this paper is the shape representation and registration using vector level set functions. This powerful representation is more flexible than conventional signed distance level sets since it enables us to control the shapes registration process by using more complicated transforms. Based on this model, a variational frame work is proposed for the rigid and non-rigid registration of shapes which can be extended to the higher dimensional case in a straightforward manner and also does not need any point correspondences. The optimization criterion presented can handle efficiently both the rigid and the non-rigid operations together. Experimental results in 2D for real shapes registration are discussed to show the efficiency of the approach with small and large global deformations of shapes.