Certificates for stock shares can be issued in the name(s) of the owner(s) or held in book form by a stockbroker or transfer agent. To achieve a successful stock transfer, strict adherence to the processes is essential. Each transfer agent will have unique transfer guidelines, but the fundamentals and order of the steps will remain the same.
Contact the transfer agent indicated on the stock certificate to determine whether he accepts a transfer request on the certificate’s back or requires a separate transfer of ownership form.
Each present shareholder must sign the stock certificate or transfer form in the presence of a “medallion signature guarantee” witness. You can receive a medallion signature guarantee from a stockbroker or a bank. Each signature must be witnessed by a person with signature guarantee authority for the medallion.
As directed by the transfer agent, include the name, address, and social security or taxpayer identification number of each new owner on the transfer form or the back of the stock certificate.
Create duplicates of every document for your records.
Send the stock certificate and transfer form to the address provided by the transfer agent by certified or registered mail, if applicable. The mailing should be insured for 2% of the value of the shares being sent.
New share certificates will be mailed to the new owner(s) at the address(es) specified in the transfer paperwork.
The signature of a transferring shareholder must precisely match the printed name on the stock certificate. The transfer agent can offer additional instructions if the transfer involves the death of a shareholder, a name change, a non-U.S. shareholder, or the maturation of a minor shareholder. If you are uncertain about signing the stock certificate, an unsigned stock certificate might be accompanied by a letter of instruction including the signatures and guarantees.
A notary public signature certification is not equivalent to a medallion signature guarantee and is therefore invalid for the transfer of stock ownership. The fee to replace a lost or destroyed stock certificate is typically 2% of the value of the stock shares, hence the advise to insure stock certificates while shipping them.
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