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The process of getting a medallion signature guarantee typically involves visiting a bank, credit union, or brokerage firm. You’ll need to bring along documentation that proves your ownership of the securities you intend to transfer. Several financial institutions such as Bank of America, Chase Bank, Fifth Third Bank, Navy Federal Credit Union, Edward Jones, and Morgan Stanley offer medallion signatures, but this service is usually restricted to their account holders.
For those unable to visit a branch or who aren’t members of institutions providing this service, there’s an alternative called eSignature Guarantee, which allows for a remote option.
In essence, a medallion signature guarantee is a form of verification ensuring the authenticity of signatures for certain financial transactions. It’s important to note that not all banks, credit unions, and brokerages offer this service, so it’s advisable to check the specific institutions that provide or do not provide the medallion signature guarantee.
What is a Medallion Signature Guarantee?
A medallion signature guarantee is a special stamp that certifies the authenticity of a signature authorizing the transfer of securities, like stocks or bonds, held in physical certificate form. This guarantee is necessary when an owner wants to sell or transfer these securities. However, if the securities are held through a broker, a signature guarantee is not usually required.
- The medallion signature guarantee confirms that the signature authorizing a securities transfer is genuine.
- Institutions must be members of specific medallion signature guarantee programs to provide this guarantee.
- Typically, you can get a medallion signature guarantee at a financial institution where you already have an account.
- This guarantee is mainly required for securities held in physical certificate form. Nowadays, individual investors often prefer electronic records over physical possession of share certificates, reducing the need for this guarantee.
How Medallion Signature Guarantees work
A Medallion signature guarantee is a special stamp given by certain financial institutions, which confirms the authenticity of a signature on important documents related to securities transactions. To get this guarantee, you usually need to visit a bank or financial institution where you have an account. They might charge a small fee for this service, which can vary from being free for loyal customers to quite expensive, depending on the relationship with the institution.
The guarantee, backed by the institution’s assets, is not easily granted. Institutions offering this service are part of specific programs like STAMP, SEMP, or MSP. Once you apply for the guarantee, if the institution has the necessary stamps readily available, they can provide the guarantee on the same day if there are no outstanding issues. Otherwise, it might take a few business days for them to complete the process.
Some of the institutions offering Medallion Signature Guarantees include Chase, Citi, Capital One, Merrill Lynch, Navy Federal Credit Union, and Northeast Credit Union.
There are three distinct programs for medallion signature guarantees, all holding equal validity. Each program serves the same purpose but may be preferred by specific organizations based on their affiliations or operating procedures.
All three are considered valid and equally acceptable for the medallion signature guarantee process.
- Securities Transfer Agents Medallion Program (STAMP): This program is utilized by financial institutions in both the United States and Canada. STAMP is accessible to all signature guarantors, offering a medallion guarantee that verifies the authenticity of a signature on documents related to securities transactions.
- Stock Exchanges Medallion Program (SEMP): SEMP is employed by member firms of various regional stock exchanges and trust companies. It’s available to members of several American stock exchanges, including the American Stock Exchange, New York Exchange, Boston Stock Exchange, Midwest Stock Exchange, Pacific Stock Exchange, and the Philadelphia Stock Exchange. Additionally, clearing and trust companies can participate in this program. SEMP provides a medallion guarantee for eligible transactions.
- New York Stock Exchange Medallion Signature Program (MSP): Exclusive to firms that are members of the New York Stock Exchange, MSP is specifically designed for applicable transfers and sales within this exchange. It’s a specialized medallion signature guarantee program tailored to the needs of NYSE members, ensuring the authenticity of signatures for relevant transactions.
Each program serves as a verification mechanism for signatures on different types of documents involved in securities transactions. The distinction lies in their accessibility to various financial entities and the specific transactions they cater to, allowing different organizations to utilize the program that best aligns with their operational requirements and affiliations within the financial industry.
What documentation is required?
To obtain a medallion signature guarantee, certain documents need to be presented in person to the guarantor:
- Documents that confirm your complete ownership of the security.
- Documents showing the value of the transaction you’re involved in.
- Documentation proving your legal authority if signing on behalf of someone else.
- A form of photo identification.
- Proof of any name changes due to marriage, divorce, or legal alterations (if relevant).
It’s important to note that requirements might slightly differ, so it’s wise to verify specific document needs with your provider before visiting.
If visiting a bank, credit union, or brokerage firm isn’t possible (for instance, if you’re abroad or unable to leave home), obtaining a medallion signature guarantee becomes more challenging. However, there’s an option to obtain it online through services like eSignature Guarantee. Despite this, you’ll still need to provide identity and ownership documentation.
For those overseas, reaching out to the U.S. Embassy might provide assistance. Alternatively, contacting the transfer agent or the company requiring the guarantee and explaining your situation may also be helpful in finding a solution.
Locations that offer medallion signature guarantee services:
Banks and Credit Unions
Banks and credit unions typically do not provide specific information about how to get a medallion signature guarantee on their websites. Therefore, we contacted the main offices of these financial institutions to verify the details.
Some of these banks and credit unions offer medallion signature guarantees only at certain branches. In such cases, using the location finders provided can help identify these branches. It’s advisable to reach out to your local branch directly to confirm if they offer medallion signature guarantee services.
1. Bank of America
Bank of America provides medallion signatures at no cost to their account holders. However, these signatures are specifically available for certain types of documents, subject to limitations. To obtain a medallion stamp, you must confirm your identity and submit any necessary supporting documents as requested by Bank of America.
2. Bank of the West
Bank of the West offers a Medallion signature guarantee service, which is accessible at select locations and exclusively for individuals holding accounts with the bank. The associated cost for this service varies based on the branch you visit; it might be offered for free at certain branches, while at others, there could be a charge of $10.
3. Capital One
Capital One’s Medallion signature policy is a service offered at select locations and is exclusively available to individuals who hold an account with the bank. This service is provided at no cost to the account holders, meaning there are no charges or fees associated with obtaining a Medallion signature through Capital One at these eligible locations.
4. Chase Bank
Chase provides medallion signature guarantee services at specific branches for its account holders at no extra cost. This service is exclusively offered at select branches that have Chase Private Client banking services available.
The Medallion signature policy at Citibank is a service offered at select branches and is exclusively for individuals who have an account with the bank. This service is provided at no cost to account holders.
6. Citizens Bank
The Medallion signature policy at Citizens Bank allows customers to obtain a Medallion signature guarantee at select locations, but it’s typically only offered to individuals who hold an account with the bank. This service is provided at no cost to eligible account holders.
7. Digital Credit Union (New Hampshire and Massachusetts)
The Digital Credit Union in New Hampshire and Massachusetts has a Medallion signature policy. This policy allows account holders to obtain a Medallion signature at certain locations. The service is provided for free to eligible account holders, ensuring they can access this signature service when needed.
8. Dollar Bank (Pennsylvania and Ohio)
The Medallion signature policy at Dollar Bank in Pennsylvania and Ohio is a service offered at all bank branches and is exclusively for people who hold an account with the bank. It’s provided without any charge or fee, meaning account holders can get this service for free when they need it.
9. Fifth Third Bank
Fifth Third Bank offers a Medallion signature service, but it’s not available at all their locations. This service is exclusively for people who have accounts with the bank. The good news is that getting a Medallion signature from Fifth Third Bank won’t cost you anything; it’s provided free of charge for eligible account holders at the locations where this service is available.
10. First Interstate Bank
The Medallion signature policy at First Interstate Bank allows customers to get a Medallion signature guarantee at select bank branches, but it’s exclusively offered to individuals who hold an account with the bank. The cost of obtaining this guarantee can differ depending on the specific branch or location where the service is requested.
11. First Midwest Bank
The Medallion signature policy at First Midwest Bank allows account holders to obtain a Medallion signature guarantee at specific bank locations. This service is free of charge and is only available at certain branches to individuals who have an account with the bank.
12. First Republic Bank
The Medallion signature policy at First Republic Bank is a service offered at specific branches and is exclusively for customers who have held an account for more than a year. This service is specifically for transferring securities valued at $2 million or less. The bank provides this service free of charge to eligible account holders.
HSBC’s Medallion signature policy is a service offered at select locations and exclusively for individuals who hold accounts with the bank. The cost for this service can differ and is determined by each branch manager’s discretion, meaning fees may vary from branch to branch.
KeyBank’s Medallion signature policy is a service offered at select locations and exclusively to individuals who hold accounts with the bank. This service is provided at no charge to account holders, meaning there is no fee associated with obtaining a Medallion signature through KeyBank.
15. Navy Federal Credit Union
The Navy Federal Credit Union Medallion signature policy is a service offered at all of its locations, exclusively for individuals who hold accounts with the credit union. This service is provided at no cost to account holders.
16. Northeast Credit Union
Northeast Credit Union offers a Medallion signature policy, which is accessible at select locations and exclusively for individuals who hold an account with them. This service is provided free of charge.
17. Northwest Bank
The Northwest Bank Medallion signature policy allows customers to get a Medallion signature guarantee at certain bank locations. This service is exclusively offered to individuals who hold accounts with the bank. To get this signature guarantee, there is a fee of $10.
18. PNC Bank
PNC Bank’s Medallion signature policy allows individuals to get a Medallion signature guarantee at select locations, but this service is exclusively offered to account holders. The bank provides this service at no cost to account holders, meaning there is no charge associated with obtaining a Medallion signature guarantee from PNC Bank if you have an account with them.
The medallion signature policy is a service offered at certain locations for people who have accounts there. It allows account holders to get a special medallion signature guarantee, and in these places, it doesn’t cost anything – it’s free of charge.
20. TD Bank
The medallion signature policy at TD Bank is a service accessible at most branches exclusively for account holders. It’s strongly advised to get in touch with your local branch before your visit to check if the service is offered and to verify the required paperwork and types of ID needed. The best part? It’s free of charge.
21. Union Bank & Trust
The Medallion signature policy at Union Bank & Trust is a service offered at select locations, exclusively for individuals who hold accounts with the bank. This service incurs a fee of $50.
22. U.S. Bank
The U.S. Bank’s Medallion signature policy means it’s offered at specific branches and exclusively for people who have accounts with them. Getting this signature usually doesn’t come with a fee; it’s free of charge.
23. Wells Fargo
Medallion signature services are offered at select Wells Fargo locations. This service is exclusively for Wells Fargo clients who have held an active account (including mortgage accounts) with the bank for a minimum of 60 days. The fees for this service can differ based on the specific location where it’s requested.
Medallion guarantee stamps can often be found at brokerage firms, but are available primarily for account holders. These firms typically don’t explicitly outline the process for getting a medallion signature guarantee on their websites. We made direct inquiries to their corporate offices to gather this information for you.
Establishing a strong rapport with your brokerage firm allows you to opt for holding your stocks in “street name.” This means that the stocks are registered under your brokerage firm’s name rather than your own.
This setup streamlines the selling process because, when you sell these stocks, a signature guarantee won’t be required. Since the brokerage firm is recorded as the seller of records, the need for a signature guarantee is eliminated.
24. Ameriprise Financial
Ameriprise Financial offers Medallion signature guarantee services, which are available at select locations specifically for account holders. To get this service, you’ll need to start the paperwork process at your nearby office, and then it goes through Ameriprise Financial’s main office for processing. The best part? It’s completely free of charge.
25. Charles Schwab
Charles Schwab’s Medallion signature policy is limited to its operation centers in Phoenix and Orlando and exclusively for account holders. Documents can be sent to either center via regular or overnight mail. To verify details, individuals should reach out to their local branch for specifics on necessary documents. Importantly, this service is provided free of charge.
26. Edward Jones
Edward Jones requires a medallion signature for certain transactions, and it’s offered at all their branches. However, this service is exclusively for account holders. To get the signature, start the paperwork at your nearby Edward Jones office. They’ll send it to the main office for processing. The best part? It’s provided to account holders for free.
27. Fidelity Investments
Fidelity Investments has a Medallion signature policy that’s accessible at certain locations and exclusively for individuals who hold accounts with them. This service comes at no cost to account holders, meaning there’s no fee associated with obtaining a Medallion signature through Fidelity Investments at these specific locations.
28. Merrill Lynch
Merrill Lynch’s Medallion signature policy is offered exclusively at all their Wealth Management Services locations and is specifically accessible for individuals who hold accounts with them. The service incurs no cost, being entirely free of charge for eligible account holders.
29. Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley’s Medallion signature policy ensures a signature guarantee service, typically accessible at most of their locations. While smaller branches might not offer this service on-site, they can redirect the paperwork to larger branches. It’s exclusively available to individuals holding an account with Morgan Stanley.
The guarantee is provided for transactions directing funds into a Morgan Stanley account, not for those moving funds out of one. Importantly, this service is offered free of charge.
30. Raymond James
Raymond James has a Medallion signature policy that’s accessible at certain locations, but it’s exclusively for people who hold accounts with them. The cost for this service can either be free or it might differ based on the specific institution or branch you’re dealing with.
31. Wells Fargo Financial Advisors
The Medallion Signature Policy offered by Wells Fargo Financial Advisors is a service exclusively available to account holders through any Wells Fargo Financial Advisor. It’s a free service, meaning there’s no charge associated with obtaining a Medallion signature through this channel.
Getting a medallion signature guarantee from banks, credit unions, or brokerage firms can be tough if you don’t have an account with them. They usually don’t provide this service to non-account holders.
However, there’s an online service called eSignature Guarantee that offers this guarantee without requiring membership with a specific financial institution. Here’s how it works:
32. eSignature Guarantee
This service makes it easier to get a medallion signature guarantee compared to the restrictions imposed by traditional financial institutions, but it comes with a fee for each stamp.
You verify your identity online, pay $149 per medallion stamp, and either upload your documents digitally or mail them in. The service charges $149 for each medallion stamp, and if you choose to mail your documents, there might be an additional shipping fee.
Locations that do not provide medallion signature guarantee services
In our research, we discovered that the financial institutions below do not provide medallion signature guarantees:
Banks and Credit Unions
- San Diego County Credit Union
- TD Ameritrade