Shares of marketable securities like stocks and exchange-traded funds can be transferred from another stock brokerage firm into an account with TD Ameritrade. Brokerage account transfers are accomplished through the Automated Customer Account Transfer Service – ACATS. The transfer process through ACATS should take five to eight business days.
If you have a signature verification on file with TD Ameritrade it is not necessary to obtain another. Mutual funds held by the mutual fund company and not by the broker must be sold and the proceeds transferred to a new account. TD Ameritrade has offices in many cities. If you have questions or problems with the forms, go to a local office for help.
First Steps Towards Share Transfers
TD Ameritrade won't charge you a fee to transfer an account to the brokerage, but the brokerage you are transferring from may charge you a fee. It's often worth contacting the brokerage ahead of time to see if there's a fee and how to pay it.
Open a new account with TD Ameritrade if you do not already have one. The account application can be completed online on the broker's website. The name or names on the account must match the names on the account the shares are coming from or you may have trouble transferring your shares.
Complete the online Transfer From an External Firm on the TD Ameritrade website. Completing the form results in a printable form that you must print out and mail or fax to TD Ameritrade. Also on the form page is a link to a Signature Verification Form pdf file. Print out that form, also.
Verifying Your Identity
Take the unsigned Signature Verification Form to a commercial bank or stock broker office and have the signature guaranteed by a bank or brokerage officer when you sign the form. Most banks require you to be an account holder in the bank for them to perform this service. Contact banks you do business with to find one that can help you process this form.
Mail or fax the signed transfer request form, the signature verification form and an account statement of the securities to be transferred to TD Ameritrade. The mailing address and fax number are on the transfer request form.
Assessing Possible Delays
Transfer delays can occur if the proper steps are not followed. Also, transfers must be between accounts registered in the same. Linked below are tips from the Securities and Exchange Commission to help avoid delays in your shares transfer.