Depositing stock certificates into Fidelity brokerage accounts is a straightforward process similar to making deposits at other financial institutions--essentially, you simply mail in or hand over your certificates. However, it is important that the associated paperwork is completed properly in order to ensure the stocks go into the proper account. It is also important that the name on the account matches the name on the deposited stocks.
Sign the back of the stock certificates. Before Fidelity, or any institution, can accept your stock, you must sign the certificates to indicate your intention to transfer. Although you will still be the legal owner of the stock, your signature will place the stock into what is known as "street name," which is a common practice in the industry. In essence, "street name" is a legal titling stating that a firm holds the stock for your benefit . This also allows Fidelity to sell the stock in your name in the future if you put in a "sell" order, without requiring additional signatures.
Make sure the certificate and account titles are identical. If your stock certificate says "John Brown" but your account is titled "Mr. John R. Brown," you must either complete a Certificate Release Request Form, available on the Fidelity website, or send Fidelity a signature-guaranteed letter of instruction signed by all owners of the account.
Write your account number in the top right corner of the certificate. If you do not know your account number, you can find it on your monthly statement, on your account-opening paperwork or by calling Fidelity and giving them personal identifying information, such as your Social Security number.
Mail or bring in your stock certificates to your Fidelity office. If you are bringing in your certificates personally, make sure to bring some government-issued identification with you. If you are mailing your certificates, send them to: Fidelity Investments, Attn: Banking Services Mail Zone KC1N 100 Crosby Parkway Covington, KY 41015
You may want to insure the package and send it via registered mail.
Follow-up on your deposit. Make sure that your certificates get credited to the right account and for the right number of shares. You can see your deposit online if you have set up an online account with Fidelity, or you can call a customer service representative to follow-up on the deposit for you.
John Csiszar earned a Certified Financial Planner designation and served for 18 years as an investment counselor before becoming a writing and editing contractor for various private clients. In addition to writing thousands of articles for various online publications, he has published five educational books for young adults.