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'Medallion Signatures' Explained

Notaries working in banks or financial institutions may be asked to provide customers with a “Medallion Signature Guarantee.” Often mistakenly refereed to as a “Medallion Notary” or “Medallion Stamp”, this request is not a notarial act. It’s a special type of signature guarantee provided within the banking industry.

A Medallion Signature Guarantee is used primarily when a customer transfers or sells securities, and it represents an assurance by the financial institution that the signature on the transaction is genuine and the financial institution accepts liability for any forgery. These guarantees are performed by specially assigned bank employees.

If you are asked to provide any “Medallion” related services by a customer, explain that Medallion Signature Guarantees are not notarial acts and can only be performed by specially authorized bank personnel.

If a financial institution is not a member of a recognized Medallion Signature Guarantee Program, it would not be able to provide signature guarantees. Also, if a signer is not a customer of a participating financial institution, it is likely the financial institution will not guarantee the signature.

More information about Signature Guarantees is available on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) website. Anyone who needs a signature guarantor should be directed to a commercial bank, savings bank, credit union, or broker dealer that participates in one of the Medallion Signature Guarantee programs.

44 Comments

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SUSAN BRAUN

18 Aug 2014

I have been a Notary Public since 1988. I currently work for Sanderson Wealth Management, LLC and am looking into become a Medallion Signature Guarantor (is that the right title?). Can you please tell me what is involved, or if this is even a possibility? Thank you. 716-566-2419

National Notary Association

18 Aug 2014

Hello Susan, A Mediallion Signature Guarantor is a separate function from a Notary Public. Since this service is provided primarily by banks and financial institutions, you may want to start by contacting banks in your area to find out if you can apply and what the qualifications are.

Dee Jackson

08 Sep 2014

I currently work for a bank and have my notary. My bank president has requested I do the necessary steps to acquire my Medallian Signature Guarantor seal. What would those steps be?

National Notary Association

08 Sep 2014

Hello Dee, A Medallion Signature Guarantor seal is different from a Notary Public seal and commission. You would need to speak with the issuing financial institution to find out the necessary procedures.

MarvyMuse

17 Dec 2014

In trying to become the successor trustees (the two prior trustees died) of a small estate in trust for my sister the holding bank requires medallion signature. I went to my bank (small branch), where I have banked for more than 20 years, and the manager told me she could not do that unless the trust was held in her bank (it's not) because they guarantee the trust and the funds. She said the only way to get my signature medallion guaranteed is to travel the 400 miles to the closest branch of the holding bank. This is a costly undertaking. And the other Trustee would have to take a day off from work to do that in CA. I see that, as I thought, the guarantee is of my signature--which she should be able to guarantee--not of the funds nor the trust she felt it crucial to review. Perhaps I need to go to a different branch of the bank? If not, what possibilities are open? I feel I'm in a catch 22 situation.

National Notary Association

17 Dec 2014

Hello, We're sorry to hear you had difficulty. Unfortunately, since medallion signatures are provided by financial institutions and are not notarial acts, you will need to contact a financial institution or bank for assistance with this issue.

MarvyMuse

18 Dec 2014

Thank you for such an informative and helpful site and for encouraging us to post questions which are so thoroughly responded to.

sharon

27 Apr 2015

Hello, I am currently a notary and I know there is a difference between notary seal and a medallion signature. I was wonder can I be both. Thank you

National Notary Association

27 Apr 2015

Hello Sharon. Because medallion signatures are normally issued by financial institutions, you would need to contact a local bank or other financial institution that issues them to ask about any restrictions.

Ina

19 Jun 2015

My late husband had some stock -- which has now been transferred to the State, this is really old ... 1970's-1980's I cannot find anything with the address he provided at that time. Name and SS# match, but they want something from me with this "old" address.... it must have been a residence he lived at with his parents -- but did not own, Help!! How do I get this info... Thanks

National Notary Association

22 Jun 2015

Hello. I'm sorry, but because this is not a question related to a notarial act we cannot assist you. For assistance with a legal matter you will need to contact an attorney.

Randall

13 Oct 2015

if customer has previously signed document and dated but now medallion stamp is needed, can client resign in front of bank agent and get stamp on same document without generating new document (cross out name and date new signature) ?!

National Notary Association

14 Oct 2015

Hello. A medallion stamp is not a notarial act. You would need to contact the bank providing the medallion stamp to answer these questions.

Dan Dettlaff

03 Aug 2016

To Whom It May Concern, I have a couple of questions as to a signature guarantee. 1.What does one need to do to become credentialed for a Signature Guarantee, or to become a person who can stamp a Signature Guarantee? 1.Is there a book or guideline in terms of how this all works? If so, how do I obtain this? 2.If one were to get items signature guaranteed, documents, applications, forms, etc...does the person who signed the documents for the firm requesting the Signature Guarantee need to know their documents are being signature guaranteed? (i.e. a Notary notarizes a form in the presence of the person signing the document) It appears a signature guarantee 'person' can stamp the forms or documents (with the proper ID of the person who provided the signatures) but not in the presence of the person who signed them. So, my question is, is the person doing the Medallion or the person gathering the signatures "legally" obligated to inform the person who signed the documents that they are being "stamped" with the signature guarantee? Thank you in advance for your assistance with these questions.

National Notary Association

03 Aug 2016

Hi Dan. This article has more information on "signature guarantees": https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2011/04/medallion-signatures-explained

Angela Franklin

05 Oct 2016

Hi I live in Memphis Tn and I have a document that need a Medallion Sigutare gaurantee. Now my cousin died and left my mother some stock at Forester Finanical and they tranfered ovet once he died. Now my mothet had a will and I am Executor of het Estate. The stock is 5, 000. 00 I went to court the judge signed off I went to my bank they notorized the Affidavit of Domicile. Now I have my valid drivers license the court papers the notary plus both death certificate and the will now I need the Medallion Sigutare. But only credit unions do them and one other bank here in Memphis and u must have a account at both if these banks. Now I have two bank accounts one at Bank of America an First Tennessee and neither of them does the Medallion. So my question is how I find a instution or broker firm to sign this document. I have done everything legally I am who I say I am and the court's have verified all my documents. Please help me and please tell me were can I get this one document Medallion Sigutare done in my state or in where ever.

National Notary Association

06 Oct 2016

Hello, Angela. A Medallion signature guarantee is not a notarial act, and is usually only offered by banks and financial institutions. You may wish to contact local branches of other national bank chains in your area such as Wells Fargo to ask if they offer Medallion services and if you can make an appointment if they do.

peggywiesemann1@yahoo.com

27 Oct 2016

If you have to be a customer of a bank before you can get a medallion signature guarantee,can you start an account and get your medallion signature guarantee the same day?

National Notary Association

28 Oct 2016

Hello. A medallion signature is not a notarial act, so you would need to contact the bank offering medallion signature services to answer any questions about their customer policies.

Charles Merlo

30 Oct 2016

I have been a 25 year client of a major brokerage firm and have purchased and sold securities on my account but never have been in possession of the securities. I am transferring my securities to my daughter and the brokerage is requiring a Medallion Signature guarantee. I do not believe that is required because I am not in possession of the securities and the Medallion bank has no ability to verify I own the securities, so it is a wasted effort. Am I right?

National Notary Association

31 Oct 2016

Hello. We're sorry, but medallion signatures are not a notarial act so we are unable answer questions on whether you require one for a financial transaction.

Steven Gibson

14 Dec 2016

My question is with regards to interpretation of limits on Medallion Signature guarantees. I have been going to my bank for medallion signature guarantees. Different branches have stamps with different limits: $500K, $1M with the upper limit at their corporate headquarters being $2M. So, I can get a guarantee of up to $2M by going to the corporate headquarters; so far so good. However, I have been told by several of the people doing the signature guarantees that the limit is based NOT on the value of the securities/funds being transferred but by the TOTAL value of the account. For example, I was told by several that if I needed to sell $100K in bonds from a $3M bond fund the bank could not do the transfer as the TOTAL fund value exceeds their $2M limit. Is this a correct interpretation of the Medallion Signature program?

National Notary Association

14 Dec 2016

Hello. We're sorry, but we can't answer questions regarding a financial institution's individual rules regarding medallion signatures. You would have to speak to a representative of the financial institution about their signature guarantee policies.

Susan Torbush

05 Jan 2017

Hello, i have a Virginia Small Estate Act Affidavit and a certified death certificate for my Mother i am the only child and she died single. I am trying to get my Georgia bank to accept the Va Small Estate Affidavit as legal proof as only successor they said they have never seen anything like it i am trying to get the MSG to transfer $2k worth of plan shares to sell. I don't want to be ungrateful this is such a nice group of local folks @ United Bank in Covington Ga. I feel that the bank officer is not an expert on these matters. They have other branches or I could drive way downtown to open a USAA acct this would be very inconvenient. Thank you, SJT

National Notary Association

09 Jan 2017

Hello. We're sorry, but these are legal and financial questions we cannot answer. If you are having trouble with a bank accepting an affidavit, you would need to contact an attorney or bank official for assistance with these matters.

AljerHyss

28 Apr 2017

This thing called a "Medallion Signature Guarentee" is an absolute joke. What this says is, "The notary system is the United States is not trustworthy." If you don't trust a notary for a signature on one document involving, let's say $10,000, you don't trust a notary on ANY document. "Medallion Signature Guarentee" is an absolute scam, right up there with Bernie Madoff.

Catherine

12 May 2017

Can a notary public become a 'medallion signing agent' if they don't work directly for a bank? This would be something I have interest in as no bank in my town offers this service.

National Notary Association

12 May 2017

Hello. You would have to contact individual banks or financial institutions to ask if they only use full-time employees to perform medallion signatures.

Derik

12 Jun 2017

Does a bank officer with the authority to issue a Medallion Stamp Guarantee have the discretion to refuse to sign off on any document he/she isn't comfortable with, similar to our rights as a Notary Public here in Arizona?

Tony

14 Jun 2017

Can more than one individual actually use the same Medallion Signature Guarantee stamp? or is each individual separately issued their own stamp?

National Notary Association

16 Jun 2017

Hello. We're sorry, but because a Medallion Signature Guarantee is not a notarial act, we don't have that information. You may wish to contact a local bank or financial institution that provides these services to see if they can answer your questions.

Jimmy

20 Jun 2017

What is the point of having a question-answer section when you don't ever answer the questions being asked??

National Notary Association

20 Jun 2017

Hello. What question did you ask that we did not answer?

Jean

19 Sep 2017

I received a document to sign so my ex can transfer his stick. Both of our signatures are required. Can I get a medallion stamp then return this document to the financial institution that sent it to me? Or do we both need to be present. We live 300 miles apart!

National Notary Association

20 Sep 2017

Hello. Because a medallion signature is not a notarial act, you would need to contact the financial institution providing the service to answer this question.

Jermaine Barlow

13 Oct 2017

It's very simple I've been a member for 3 year's now ....

Lee

25 Jan 2018

I was under the impression that when having something Medallion Signature Guranteed that the signature did NOT have to be the original. All you are say, as the Guarantor is that, "Yes, that is our client's signature". Is this correct? Thanks!

Lee

25 Jan 2018

Hello. We're sorry, but since a medallion signature is not a notarial act we don't have the answer to that question. We would recommend contacting a bank or financial institution that offers medallion signatures for assistance.

zamanvirk

06 Apr 2018

very good

LINDA GROSSBERG

27 Jun 2018

You have not answered 90% of the questions asked- and keep referring people to financial institutions. I seems that more standard rules are needed for Medallion signatures- each financial institution has their own rules making it difficult to navigate. For example Wells Fargo tell me I need to be a customer for 6 months before they will guarantee a signature.. Fortunately I use another bank too which will accommodate me..This took hours of my time to figure out.

Lori Catt

14 Aug 2018

My grandma had accounts set up in MY childrens name. When she passed away my Uncle begged me to find a bank to to the Signature Garuntee immediately. It has been over 3 yrs and I was "Guardian" of my 3 childrens account. I haven't seen any funds yet. Did my Uncle rip me off and had me get the Signature Garuntee so he couldnt be blamed for forgery? And how was my Uncle able to get my funds? He told my parents he mailed checks to me over a year ago. I have NOT recieved anything and my Uncle avoids my calls and text messages. What are the next steps I need to do.??

National Notary Association

14 Aug 2018

Hello. If you suspect you are a victim of fraud, you should contact law enforcement or an attorney for assistance.

carol

15 Oct 2018

My brokerage company sent me the paper work to get some stocks that I own transferred into my account. The forms were pre fill out, I just had to sign them. They required Med Signatures. I signed and sent to my brokerage company. The paper work I signed was to transfer whole share, sell fractions and close account. Someone at my brokerage company made changes on my paper work. They put a line through the transfer part and checked Liquidate. Therefore, the holding company liquidated and not at good price. Can paperwork that requires a Med Signature just be altered?? Seems to me that the paperwork would need to be resubmitted if one changes there mind and choices a new option. My brokerage company says that they can make these changes. Please Help

National Notary Association

15 Oct 2018

Hello. We're sorry, but a medallion signature is not a notarization and we cannot advise you regarding any issues regarding your financial transaction. You may wish to contact an attorney for assistance.

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