A medallion signature guarantee is not a notarial service. It should not be confused with a corporate acknowledgement executed by a corporate officer before a notary public or U.S. State Department notarizing official authorized to administer oaths. A medallion signature guarantee is a special signature guarantee for the transfer of securities. It is a guarantee by the transferring financial institution that the signature is genuine and the financial institution accepts liability for any forgery. Signature guarantees protect shareholders by preventing unauthorized transfers and possible investor losses. They also limit the liability of the transfer agent who accepts the certificates.
When selling or transferring securities, the signatures of investors on stock certificates must be "guaranteed" by a financial institution participating in a medallion program approved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). An eligible guarantor institution (bank, stock broker, savings and loan association or credit union) must have a membership in an approved signature guarantee medallion under SEC Rule 17ad-15. Entities with membership in an approved signature guarantee medallion program must arrange a surety bond and apply for, and receive, acceptance as a program guarantor. The guarantor institution must then obtain the necessary equipment required to perform the medallion signature guarantee function.
U.S. consular/notarizing officers are not authorized to provide signature guarantee/medallion guarantee service. Only a financial institution participating in an SEC medallion signature guarantee program is authorized to affix a medallion imprint. No other form of signature verification can be accepted to transfer securities.
Persons who ask posts to perform signature guarantee/medallion guarantee services may be referred to local branches of U.S. banks, brokers or attorneys. Alternatively, they may contact the SEC directly via the internet, via phone at 1-800-SEC-0330 (investor assistance and complaints), via fax at 202-942-7040, or by mail at Mail Stop 11-2, 450 Fifth Street N.W., Washington, DC 20549.