Medallion Signature Guarantees

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Medallion Signature Guarantees
ASN Hot Tip, January 2010-#2

Occasionally, a notary is confounded by the request for a “gold medallion notarization,” or something that sounds very similar to that. Exactly what service is being requested?

The answer is a “medallion signature guarantee,” a special signature guarantee required for the sale or transfer of securities (a type of negotiable instrument). This service is provided only by banks or other financial institutions that have been certified to issue medallion signature guarantees. Sale or transfer of securities instruments requires the holder’s signature. By issuing a medallion signature guarantee, the selling or transferring financial institution guarantees that the signature is genuine, and accepts liability for signature forgery. This differs significantly from a notary’s purpose in performing an acknowledgment or oath/affirmation notarial act.

In short, a medallion signature guarantee is the issuing financial institution’s certification that a signature related to sale or transfer of securities is authentic.  Medallion signature guarantees have a completely different purpose from notarization, should not be confused with notarization, and cannot be performed by a notary unless he/she is a certified participant in a financial institution’s medallion signature guarantee program. Any requests for a “medallion signature notary” or “golden medallion notarization” or similar should be referred to a bank. The requester may contact any local bank and ask if the bank can issue a “medallion signature guarantee.”

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