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What is it with the Medallion Guarantee? - Zer Netmouse
July 19th, 2010
12:00 am

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What is it with the Medallion Guarantee?
I've changed my name before. I don't remember anyone asking for more than a copy of the marriage license and possibly a copy of my driver's license.

Now I've got three companies, all investment firms (well, in one case, the stock trade office of a company whose stock I hold), asking for a representative from a bank (not a notary public) to witness the fact that I'm me, and promise that my new signature comes from the same person as the old one.

This might be tricky with the company whose stock I hold directly, actually, since I never officially changed my name from my maiden name with them, and I'm not a member of any bank right now that has my maiden signature on file. Well, I've been a member of Ann Arbor Commerce since before I got married, so they *might*, but that was a long time ago.

In any case, this feels a little weird. Like these companies are declaring that they don't care what legalities the state or federal government might choose to document, they only trust other banks, although as I look into it, it appears the medallion signature program is overseen by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

This looks like yet another service that comes free to people who are well-off financially and have standing relationships with institutions, since if I didn't have a long-standing relationship with Ann Arbor Commerce I could be charged a fee for this, and it looks like if I didn't have a bank account at all, that fee would be substantial and the process could involve lawyers. Yet I can only imagine that situation *must* occur sometimes.

Wouldn't you think? I can see how this would increase security for stock trading companies, but it seems like it does so by imposing a burden on individuals.

And if I'd known who would require it, I would have collected all their paperwork in advance and taken them into the bank all at once, so as not to inconvenience my bank officer...

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From:shekkara
Date:July 19th, 2010 04:09 am (UTC)
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When I bought my piano, I had to get a medallion signature to do a large funds transfer from an investment/life insurance account to the seller's. It was a pain in the *ss! Had I realized the effort I would have to do to do the transfer, I would have just written a check (if the seller was willing to take it), but I thought for such a large purchase that this would be safer.
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From:shekkara
Date:July 19th, 2010 04:10 am (UTC)
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By the way, are you a member of a credit union? Perhaps through Brian? If not, join UM's through him. They'll do a medallion signature for free - well, they did mine for free.
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From:netmouse
Date:July 19th, 2010 11:22 am (UTC)
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Michigan commerce bank is doing mine for free. Thanks anyway
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From:blue_duck
Date:July 19th, 2010 11:09 am (UTC)
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Wow. What a pain in the butt. I'm personally not planning to change my name if I marry, but it seems like I should be able to if I choose without having it be a gigantic pain. :P
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From:minkrose
Date:July 20th, 2010 04:04 am (UTC)
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Andy & I are both changing our names. I expect this to be a colossal hassle but at least gay marriage in MA makes it a little easier. We think...
From:sethb
Date:July 20th, 2010 09:17 pm (UTC)
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I still have stock in my mother's name under the Gifts to Minors Act because the transfer agent insisted they had to get a certified copy of my birth certificate in order to prove I was over 18. I don't have one (I have the original copy they gave my parents), and I'm not about to get one for them.

The fact that, at the time I requested the transfer, the account had had that title (and my SS#) for 30+ years apparently did not suffice to prove I was over 18.
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From:netmouse
Date:July 20th, 2010 10:00 pm (UTC)
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*that's* pretty funny.
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