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Medallion Stamp vs. Notary Public
Answer by John Burnett, BOL Guru

Question: Will you explain to me what a Medallion signature guarantee stamp is and how it is different from a notary public?

Answer: The signature guarantee program involves securities and securities accounts. Transfers and securities instructions requiring owners' signatures must have those signatures guaranteed by a bank or broker. The guarantee is backed up by an insurance policy. The program protects issuers and others from losses as a result of fraudulent securities transfers.

Notaries public are officials of state government who perform certain tasks to facilitate certain types of transactions. Among these is the taking of acknowledgments, which are statements that a person has signed a document as his/her/its free act and deed (not coerced). Part of the process is verifying the identity of the signer.

Many states require that deeds be acknowledged before a notary before they can be recorded. Some require acknowledgments of wills. Notaries public in some states can also administer oaths or affirmations, sign jurats, sign documents at the behest of someone who is unable to do so him- or herself, etc.

First published on 08/02/04

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