Frequently asked questions

  • The Lost and Stolen Securities Program was started in 1977 as a means for reducing trafficking in lost, stolen, missing, and counterfeit securities. The program is essentially a database of securities reported to the Commission's designee (currently Securities Information Center, or SIC®). The database can be accessed by registered participants to determine if securities in their possession are listed as lost, stolen or counterfeit.

  • In order for an institution to report securities to the database, or make inquiries against it, the institution must be registered with the Commission's designee (SIC®).

    There are two levels of access: direct and indirect. All registered institutions may report lost, stolen or counterfeit securities directly to the center--in fact, they are required to do so; but only direct inquirers are allowed to make inquiries against the database. If an institution is registered as an indirect inquirer, the institution must have an agreement with a Direct Inquirer who will make inquiries on their behalf. The only exceptions to this rule are non-bank transfer agents. A transfer agent that is not also a bank may register as an Indirect without having an agreement with a Direct.

  • There is a fee to register as a direct inquirer. A semi-annual usage fee is based on the size and type of the institution, not the number of inquiries made by the institution during the billing period. The usage fee fluctuates in accordance with how much the system is used by all participants during that billing period. During any given billing period all institutions of the same size will pay the same amount for usage.

    Indirect inquirers pay no fees to SIC® to register with the program, however, the direct inquirer acting on their behalf may assess a cost and service charges. The details of such fees will be between the indirect and the direct. SIC® plays no role in finding direct inquirers to act on behalf of Indirect's, nor can it control or mandate any fees that any Direct may wish to charge.

  • All direct inquirers are assigned at least one three digit access code. When combined with the direct's FINS identifier number, this code will allow access to the database for inquiring on certificates (note: an access code is not required for reporting lost certificates, though a FINS number is).

    All inquiries are made through the SIC® website or by transmitting electronic files. When a direct inquirer logs onto the website, the inquiry page requires the CUSIP number and certificate number of the security to perform the inquiry. If known, prefix, shares, and/or issue date may also be entered to further improve the accuracy of the inquiry result. If there are no reports of a security as being lost or stolen, the website will indicate this by displaying "no match". A transaction number is assigned to each inquiry. This allows the Inquirer to keep a record of inquiries made to SIC® for audit purposes.

    If only the CUSIP and certificate number are entered and match a report on the database, the website will indicate this by displaying that the certificate is a "potential hit". When a potential hit occurs the inquirer should click on the link to receive the reporting institutions contact information and contact the institution to receive more information.

    If additional certificate information is entered (CUSIP, certificate number, prefix, shares, and/or issue date) and the information matches the report the inquiry is said to be a "hit" or a "match". In such case the inquiring institution can click on the "hit" link to receive additional detail. The detail page will display the match result for each optional field (prefix, shares, and issue date) as well as the reporting institution’s contact information.

  • An access station is the address to which confirmation of inquiries or reports are to be sent, or the location from which inquiries will be made. Since every access station has an access code the two terms are virtually interchangeable.

  • Confirmations of inquiries are only sent to primary access stations. Confirmations for secondaries will be sent to the address and attention of the primary access code.

  • All that is required to register with the program is a properly completed registration form. Please read the instructions carefully before filling it out, and be sure you have your FINS number from DTCC before you send in the form. If the FINS number is missing from the form it will be returned to you.

    Be sure you sign the form where required as well. All institutions must sign in part IV, and those registering as Direct Inquirers must sign the agreement to pay fees in part II. A form that has not been signed cannot be accepted.

  • There is a specific format used to compare full certificate numbers. This note  (PDF download) describes the methodology in detail.

  • SIC® follows the New York Stock Exchange, excluding Good Friday for which SIC is open. The New York Stock Exchange holiday schedule can be found at

If you have other questions about the Lost and Stolen Securities Program, please contact our Customer Service team.