The day of paper stock certificates is fading away as more and more records shift to electronic bookkeeping. Some companies no longer issue paper stock certificates. However, when you own shares in a corporation that still provides them, you can be issued paper stocks. If you bought shares through your broker, you can go through her to get paper stock certificates, but it’s probably going to cost you a fee that can run to hundreds of dollars. There’s another way that takes a bit more work, but you’ll get your paper stock certificates for a small fee or even free for charge.
Locate the name of the company’s transfer agent. A transfer agent is a third-party firm authorized to handle securities transactions on behalf of a publicly traded corporation under Securities and Exchange Commission rules. The name of the transfer agent must be stated in the company’s annual report. However, many companies also post transfer agent contact information on their investor relations websites.Step 2
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.Step 3
Call your broker if you already own the stock or if the company does not offer a direct stock purchase plan. Typically, shares purchased through a brokerage firm are held under street name registration. This means the shares are registered with the transfer agent under the broker’s name and credited to your account. Instruct your broker to transfer the shares to direct registration so the shares are listed under your name with the transfer agent.Step 4
Wait until you receive confirmation from the transfer agent that the shares are registered in your name. Once this is done, get in touch with the transfer agent and request that you be issued paper certificates. You may have to pay a small fee. However, some companies issue paper stocks to registered shareholders at no charge.
- "USA Today": Electronic Records Replacing Paper Stock Certificates
- "USA Today": Free Paper Stock Certificates? It’s Possible but It Does Take Work
- Securities and Exchange Commission: Holding Your Securitas – Get the Facts
- Securities and Exchange Commission: Direct Investment Plans: Buying Stock Directly from the Company
Based in Atlanta, Georgia, W D Adkins has been writing professionally since 2008. He writes about business, personal finance and careers. Adkins holds master's degrees in history and sociology from Georgia State University. He became a member of the Society of Professional Journalists in 2009.