Signature Guarantee Locations

Medallion Signature Guarantee Locations

Most major brokerage firms and banks can perform a signature guarantee.  It must be performed in-person by an authorized agent.

When making a transfer of securities, most banks will require a signature guarantee to protect themselves against potential fraud.  When searching for a location to receive a signature guarantee, the best place to go is the financial institution that requests this type of signature verification.  Here is a directory of signature guarantee information for various banks:

Getting a Signature Guarantee in the United States:

Most large banks, credit unions, and brokerage houses will provide signature guarantees to their customers.  Many will do this free of charge as a service to their customers.  It is important to check with your institution to see if they offer this service.  Note that nearly every financial institution in the United States has notaries public on staff.  A signature guarantee is a separate designation that requires separate training.  A notary public cannot perform a signature guarantee.  Here are some US-based banks and brokerages that offer signature guarantee as a service to their members:

Fidelity Investments

Getting a Signature Guarantee outside of the United States

A signature guarantee is largely a US-based designation.  As such, you will likely need to find a US-based institution with a foreign office to conduct the guarantee for you.  The following are good options for receiving a signature guarantee in other countries:

  • A United States consulate or embassy
  • A foreign branch of a United States-based bank or brokerage house

If your bank does not offer a medallion signature guarantee, it is best to go to another financial institution where you have a business relationship.  Banks are much more likely to issue a signature guarantee to a customer with whom they have done prior business.  There should not be a fee for this service, but make sure that your bank location has an authorized agent to issue a signature guarantee stamp.

Signature Guarantee vs. Notary Public

Is there a difference between a signature guarantee and a notary?

The question commonly comes up, what is the difference between a medallion signature guarantee and a notary?  There are two main differences: the person who conducts each is different, and the "guarantee" is different.

Signature Guarantees and Notarizations Require Different Agents

Most agents who perform signature guarantees are also notaries public.  The reverse is not necessarily true.  It requires a higher credential to perform a medallion signature guarantee than it does to notarize a document.  As such, it is much easier to find a notary.  Many office workers, bankers, government employees, education administrators, and others are notaries public.  However, usually only certain bankers or brokers can perform a signature guarantee.  The main reason behind this is that a medallion signature guarantee is usually only used for securities transactions.

The Guarantee

When a notary public notarizes a document, he or she verifies that the signor appeared to be the person he claimed to be and that he signed the document  if his own free will and not under distress.  The notary does not guarantee that the signature is valid.

With a signature guarantee, however, the agent (who is usually also a notary public) verifies the identity of the signor and also guarantees that the signature is valid.

Learn more about medallion signature guarantee here.