Certificates for stock shares can be made out to the owner or owners, or they can be kept in a book by a stockbroker or transfer agent. Stocks can only be moved successfully if the steps are followed to the letter. Each transfer agent will have different rules about how to transfer, but the basic steps and order will be the same.
Contact the transfer agent listed on the stock certificate to find out if he will accept a transfer request written on the back of the stock certificate or if he will need a separate transfer of ownership form.
Each owner must sign the stock certificate or transfer form and have a “medallion signature guarantee” witness their signature. You can get a medallion signature guarantee from a stockbroker or a bank. Each signature must be made in front of a person who has the power to guarantee the signature on the medallion.
On the transfer form or the back of the stock certificate, as directed by the transfer agent, write each new owner’s name, address, and social security or taxpayer ID number.
Make copies of everything you want to keep.
Send the stock certificate and transfer form to the address given by the transfer agent. If you need to, send them by certified or registered mail. The mailing should be insured for 2% of the stock shares’ value.
New share certificates will be sent to the new owner(s) at the address(es) listed in the transfer paperwork.
A person who wants to sell their shares must sign their name exactly as it appears on the stock certificate. If the transfer involves a death of an owner, a name change, a non-U.S. owner, or a minor owner becoming an adult, the transfer agent can give more instructions. If you aren’t sure if you should sign the stock certificate, you can send it with a letter of instructions that has the signatures and guarantees.
A notary public signature certification is not the same as a medallion signature guarantee, and it cannot be used to transfer stock ownership. Most of the time, it costs 2% of the value of the stock shares to replace a lost or destroyed stock certificate. This is why stock certificates should be sent with insurance.