Medallion Stamps and Medallion Signature Guarantees

Why is it so hard to get a medallion stamp

A medallion stamp is a certification that provides assurance of authenticity of signatures on documents authorizing transfer of securities, issued by banks and credit unions located within the US as part of the Medallion Signature Guarantee Program and accept liability for documents falsified up to a specified monetary value.

Banks are hesitant to provide them

A medallion signature guarantee stamp is a special certificate that verifies that an authorized signature on a security transfer transaction is legitimate. Banks, credit unions and financial institutions typically provide them to existing customers; some charge a nominal fee while others don’t; typically only banks and financial institutions that belong to either the New York Stock Exchange Medallion Program or Securities Transfer Agents Medallion Program offer them.

Stamps issued by institutions are secured by their assets and must undergo a thorough screening process, unlike notary stamps that merely verify signatory identity and signature.

Most financial institutions require you to be an established customer in order to obtain a medallion signature guarantee, and may also ask for photo identification or other documentation. You may contact your local bank or credit union, or an endorsing institution outside the U.S. that has an endorsement relationship with U.S. banks to see if they offer this service.

They are expensive

Medallion signature guarantees (MSGs) are special stamps used in financial transactions that involve securities such as stocks or bonds held in physical certificate form, to verify whether their signatures are authentic and to protect all parties involved in the deal. MSGs may be requested by either party involved to ensure an efficient process and protect all parties involved in an exchange of this nature.

Many banks and credit unions provide MSG services; however, they tend to be costly – typically between $10 to $55 per guarantee with higher fees incurred from non-bank customers.

The MSG program is administered by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and organized into three programs: STAMP, SEMP and MSP. Each serves its own specific function while accomplishing the same overall goal; to obtain an MSG certification a bank or credit union must join one of these three programs; their certifying institution must also be in good standing.

They are time-consuming

Medallion Signature Guarantees (MSGs) are certification stamps used to certify signatures on transfers of securities as genuine. Banks and other financial institutions often offer this service for a fee to their customers; notarization services provided by notaries public are typically more focused on verifying identity than this certification process.

Only authorized bank or financial institution personnel may execute medallion signature guarantees. Members of one of three Medallion programs – New York Stock Exchange Medallion Signature Program, Securities Transfer Agents Medallion Program or Stock Exchange Medallion Program are eligible.

Most banks only provide this service to existing customers. A reader reported he was able to obtain one from Citibank and Wells Fargo branches nearby, while HSBC would not grant one even with an online account. This may be because an MSG binds endorsers directly to financial institutions and limits liability in case of forgery; furthermore it proves they possess significant assets compared to what a notary can guarantee.

They are difficult to get

Finding an MSG can be an exhausting and time-consuming process, as it involves verifying that a signature is genuine, usually by providing government issued identification that cannot expire. While document notarization verifies only identity of signatory, an MSG focuses on protecting both financial institution and customers of that financial institution.

A medallion signature guarantee is typically required if you wish to transfer or sell securities held in physical certificates. This type of guarantee helps limit liability of financial institutions in case of forgeries while making it more difficult to alter them and conduct unwarranted transactions.

MSGs can be obtained from various banks and financial institutions, although most require you to have been banking with them for an established amount of time before offering this service – those that do often charge a nominal fee; if you require one please reach out directly to your bank or credit union for more information.


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