I Lost My Share Certificate. Do I Still Own the Stock?

stock certificate

Minus any brokerage fees, you now own the current market value of the old stock certificates. You can buy or sell shares of a stock without ever actually having an actual paper certificate in your possession that establishes your ownership of the shares. Instead, modern brokerages provide regular account statements as an indication of your stock holdings. If you own paper stock certificates, you can convert these into electronic records. To sell stock certificates, start by identifying the transfer agent for the company you own stock in, which you should be able to find on the company’s website.

What Is a Stock Certificate?

They will tell you how to issue a return on stock certificates. Losing a share certificate can be remedied by contacting the company’s investor relations department.

In the past, stock certificates were issued any time someone purchased stock in a company. Today, however, the records of stock ownership are generally kept in electronic form. The transfer agent can transfer your shares to your brokerage account at their present value. Also, they can mail you new certificates issued in your name.

All stock trading used to be conducted with paper certificates. The certificates were proof of stock ownership and had to be handled like cash or other financial securities.

But ownership is much easier to prove now thanks to the internet. If you bought shares through a broker, the firm will have an account with your name and number of shares. Although you don’t need one now, you can still get ask for a certificate. Companies will issue one if you make a request, but the process can be both expensive and time-consuming. Sell your stock with a broker with whom you do not have an account.

Research the value of the stock to know whether you are holding on to fortune in cash or simply a pretty, collectible piece of paper. Wait until you receive confirmation from the transfer agent that the shares are registered in your name.

Over time, these functions have been rendered redundant by statutory schemes to streamline the administrative burden on corporations, and to facilitate and streamline trading on a stock exchange. A stock certificate is a physical piece of paper that represents ownership in a company. A stock certificate is usually printed on a large piece of paper and features elaborate graphic designs that are intended to prevent fraudulent replication.

What to Do With Old Certificates

Once this is done, get in touch with the transfer agent and request that you be issued paper certificates. However, some companies issue paper stocks to registered shareholders at no charge. Stock certificates were once the only way you could prove that you owned shares in a company.

This department will inform the shareholder how to contact the transfer agent who can place a stop payment on the shares and reissue a new certificate. The shareholder may have to complete an affidavit and purchase an indemnity bond.

  • Transfer agents are simply the companies that keep track of the shareholders’ information.

You can contact any stock broker and request that they sell your stock certificate for you. However, most customers did not go on to open accounts with the brokers, so most brokerage firms stopped offering this service. Therefore, you need to contact the current company transfer agent.

Transfer agents are simply the companies that keep track of the shareholders’ information. Occasionally, large companies will be their own transfer agents, but generally the transfer agents are banks or trust companies.

Then, contact the agent and inform them that you want to transfer your stock certificates to direct registration. When they’re finished, you can then call the agent at any time and tell them to sell your stock. Call the transfer agent and ask for instructions on how to transfer the stock to direct registration. The Direct Registration System (DRS) allows owners of stock certificates to hold their shares in book entry-form with the transfer agent instead of as a physical stock certificate. Book-entry means that the transfer agent keeps a record of your ownership of the stock in its books.

They’ll have on record the number of shares issued to each shareholder, the stock certificate numbers, and the contact information for shareholders. Contact the transfer agent if you want to be issued paper stock certificates and ask if the company offers this option. If the answer is yes and you haven’t bought the shares yet, ask if you can make your purchase directly from the transfer agent. If the company offers a direct stock purchase plan, you might want to make your investment using this service. You are able to request paper stock certificates, and you might save on broker’s commissions in the bargain.

How do you get a stock certificate?

A stock certificate is the physical piece of paper representing ownership in a company. Stock certificates will include information such as the number of shares owned, the date, an identification number, usually a corporate seal and signatures.

Once you have done this, you can easily sell the stock at any time. If you find yourself in possession of old stock certificates, you have a few options for selling them. You can cash them in through the transfer agent of the company with which the stock is owned.

Don’t Sign That! Legal Pitfalls of Signatures

If you have paper stock certificates and lose them, you may not be able to readily sell your shares of stock, and you might be charged a substantial fee for replacing the certificates. For this reason, many people who have paper stock certificates keep them in bank safety deposit boxes.