If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, is it a duck? Not always when it comes to getting a Medallion Signature Guarantee Stamp.
Many people think that a Notary Stamp and a Medallion Stamp are one in the same. Not only are they different in shape, size, color and type of ink but they also serve very different functions and carry different threshold requirements. They also have very different scopes of liability and the review process for ID verification is conducted by different people and are used on different types of documents. You will benefit from understanding the differences between a notary seal and a medallion signature guarantee.
To quickly summarize, signature guarantees, also known as medallion guarantee are for financial documents and the transfer of securities and notary stamps are for legal documents.
WHAT DOES A NOTARY PUBLIC DO?
Simply put, notary publics are people appointed by the state to act as an impartial witness to prevent fraud during the signing of a document.
A notary public acts as a licensed representative of the State and will essentially monitor the signing process for you. The duties of a notary public are to:
- ensure that you are actually you, the person signing the document
- ensure that you are not being forced into signing
- ensure that you understand what it is that you are signing
- sometimes administer an oath
Their presence is meant to prevent disagreements about the legitimacy of a signature and to protect people from being taken advantage of; however there are several new online platforms to obtain a notary such as notarycam.com. Examples of transactions that often require a notary include events such as: purchasing a home, transferring a car, providing power of attorney, authorizing consent to a parent or Guardian for a minor to travel abroad.
WHAT IS A MEDALLION SIGNATURE GUARANTEE STAMP?
In the United States, 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.
THAT EXPLAINS WHY IT MAY BE HARD TO FIND
The Medallion Signature Guarantee should not ever be confused with a notary public. The big difference is in the liability. The organization that guarantees the authenticity of the signature is liable for the financial value of the transaction. Because of the potential liability associated with signature fraud, many banks and financial institutions have stopped offering a medallion STAMP or have greatly limited the scenario under which they will provide one.
Some bank branches have decided that they do not feel comfortable in stamping any transaction that is worth more than $100,000, if it is stock held by a corporate entity, if it is a document that is being signed by a trustee or any paperwork associated with an estate or inheritance. Nevertheless, all of these cases would still require the transferring party to obtain a medallion stamp to access their assets.
eSignature Group provides a unique, patent pending online platform at esignatureguarantee.com which allows stockholders to obtain a medallion signature guarantee which is necessary for the transfer of securities. The platform is available for individuals, corporate entities, trustees and executors and can be used to obtain a medallion signature guarantee for shares in physical certificate form or for shares held in an electronic book entry account via the submission of a signed stock power.