Can a Lost Stock Certificate Be Replaced?

Though many people buy stocks online and never receive physical stock certificates, some investors prefer to keep physical copies of their stocks. Stock certificates can be damaged or destroyed and also are at risk of being lost or stolen. If you need to replace a lost stock certificate, you can do so by contacting the brokerage or the company that issued it. Before the replacement certificate is issued, you might be required to purchase a bond to protect the company against loss.

Step 1

Tell the broker or the company that issued the original stock certificate that it has been lost or stolen. Tell the person you speak with that you wish to place a stop-transfer order on the original certificate to keep it from being transferred to someone else's name.

Step 2

Request any forms that you might need to fill out to have the lost certificate replaced. You might be directed to download them from the brokerage or company website, or you might have to wait for them to be mailed to you. If you buy from a local brokerage. you might be able to pick the forms up in person.

Step 3

Fill out an affidavit that describes how the certificate became lost, stolen or destroyed. If the stock certificate was stolen, the broker or company might require you to file a police report and include a copy of it with the affidavit.

Step 4

Purchase an indemnity bond from an insurance company or bond agent to protect the broker or corporation against the possibility that the missing certificate will later surface and be sold to someone else with no knowledge that a replacement was issued. This bond typically costs 2 percent to 3 percent of the value of the certificate, though this can vary depending on where it is purchased. If you need recommendations on where to purchase a bond, contact the broker or the agent you spoke to earlier.

Step 5

Submit the replacement request forms, your affidavit, police report if required, and the bond certificate to the broker or company agent, using the address provided on the forms themselves. Once your mailing is received, a new stock certificate should be issued within approximately two weeks.

Warning

  • According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, requests for new stock certificates must be submitted before an innocent purchaser buys a previously lost or stolen certificate. The longer it takes you to submit a replacement request after the certificate disappears, the more difficulty you might have in getting a new certificate issued.

About the Author

Born in West Virginia, Jack Gerard now lives in Kentucky. A writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience, he has written both articles and poetry for publication in magazines and online. A former nationally ranked sport fencer, Gerard also spent several years as a fencing coach and trainer.

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