Computershare acts as transfer agent/registrar to a range of US companies. For these companies, registered shareholders can manage their own holdings directly using our online platform, Investor Center.

Shareholders who currently own shares in these companies through a broker/intermediary (beneficial shareholders) can become registered shareholders and manage their holding through Investor Center by following these steps:

  1. Let your broker/intermediary know you would like to transfer your shares into registered ownership format
  2. Your broker/intermediary should then instruct the Depository Trust Company (DTC) to electronically transfer the shares/stock from DTC's nominee acting on behalf of the brokerage/intermediary into your own name at Computershare
  3. If you do not already have an account, you can register to use our Investor Center for free online
  4. Upon transfer of shares/stock to your own name, Computershare will send you a statement by mail to confirm you are a registered shareholder. For new users, this statement is required to log in to Investor Center for the first time. For existing users, your shares will be visible via Investor Center as soon as the transfer is processed by Computershare.

Please note that although Computershare does not charge investors for the transfer of shares into registered ownership, brokers/intermediaries may. You should ensure you understand what those fees are before initiating the process.

You can also become a registered shareholder by buying stock directly through Computershare online using our Investor Center.

Company share structure

Frequently Asked Questions

Registered shareholders, also known as "shareholders of record," are people or entities that hold shares directly in their own name on the company register. The issuer (or more usually its transfer agent, such as Computershare) keeps the records of ownership for the registered shareholders and provides services such as transferring shares, paying dividends, coordinating shareholder communications and more. Shares can be held in both electronic (book entry) through the Direct Registration System (DRS) or certificated form (when permitted by the issuer company).

​Ownership is recorded in your name directly on the register of the company. You are legally recognized as the direct owner of the shares. Computershare, as agent for the issuer, gives registered shareholders access to their holdings through our online Investor Center platform. Registered shareholders receive a proxy and can cast their vote directly at the company's shareholder meetings. The company has real‑time visibility of shareowners and can efficiently communicate with them. Other common registered shareholder rights include the right to transfer ownership of their shares to others, to directly receive share dividends and also to inspect certain corporate documents.

Beneficial shareholders have their stock held by an intermediary such as a broker. When shares are kept in this manner, it is often referred to as keeping the shares in "street name."

Many investors choose to be beneficial owners. They access their investments and account balances and other information through their broker/intermediary's online platform. All beneficial shares are generally held in electronic (book entry) form through the Depository Trust Company (DTC). In certain circumstances, shares may be 'lent' by the brokerage firm to cover other trading activity, such as short sells by others. The company has very little visibility of beneficial investors whose shares are held in "street name", and communications from the company are routed through the broker, usually by an agent acting for the broker.

​The Direct Registration System (DRS) allows registered shares to be held in electronic form without having a physical security certificate issued as evidence of ownership.

​We'll need to verify your identity. Depending on what information you can provide, we may need to ask you to confirm you Social Security Number (SSN), Employer Identification Number (EIN), ZIP code and the name of the company in which you are a shareholder. If you're based outside the US, we may need to confirm other details relevant to your jurisdiction.

Click here for detailed instructions on how to set up your account.

​Companies hire Computershare to undertake transfer agent/registry services on their behalf, which includes directly providing services to their registered shareholders directly. Although some of these services are free to registered shareholders, such as maintaining the record of a shareholding through Investor Center, we do charge shareholders themselves when they ask us to process specific transactions, including buying and selling shares. You can find out more information on these charges here.

​Yes, you can buy and sell shares/stock in companies for whom Computershare is the transfer agent/registrar through Investor Center once you have signed up for an account. Computershare charges fees for these services.

​No. This is not an authorized function of a transfer agent for shares held in registered form.

​The shares/stock you own, buy or sell in companies for whom Computershare is transfer agent/registrar can be monitored and accessed through your Investor Center account.

​Only companies for whom Computershare is the transfer agent/registrar are found on Investor Center. However, you can manually enter investments in other companies for reference but details such as share price will not automatically update and you cannot use Investor Center to buy or sell such shares.

​Yes. Additionally, if your broker/intermediary is a participant of the Depository Trust Company (DTC), they will be able to deposit your shares into DTC (removing your name as a registered shareholder from the register) or withdraw shares from DTC (adding your name as a registered shareholder), electronically. Otherwise your broker/intermediary will need arrange this via its commercial relationship with a DTC participant (if it has one) to give effect to such transfers electronically. Failing that, a physical transfer form may be required, which may necessitate a medallion guarantee to verify the transferring party's signature. Medallion guarantees may be difficult to obtain outside the US.

​No. You can be registered on the company's register without having to be registered with Investor Center.

​Yes. You can register to use our US Investor Center if you are not a US resident. We will use details relevant to your jurisdiction to confirm your identity.

Contact your broker. Your broker may use a custodian in DTC to hold shares in DTC. Only DTC participants can initiate a transfer to create a DRS holding in your name at Computershare, if the shares are held via DTC (please see above). Processes may vary depending on your jurisdiction.

​Yes. Please be aware that, although this should be straightforward via Investor Center, transferring 'off market' may require a paper-based transfer form and a 'medallion guarantee' to be authorized.

​In some instances, although higher DTC withdrawal fees may apply. Typically companies register investors into a DRS holding by default. Some companies have stopped issuing share certificates and DRS is the only way shares are maintained on the register.

​You can view all the information we publish on specific companies at

​Direct stock purchase plans are an alternative way to buy the shares of certain companies. Benefits of direct stock purchase plans include lower fees, the ability to set up automatic, periodic investments and automatic reinvestment of earned dividends. Individual companies set up direct purchase plans to allow investors to buy shares of stock directly in a company. The Company's transfer agent will effect trades through a trading broker and allocate shares to their registered accounts directly on the records of the company. For plan-specific information, including fees, shareholders should refer to relevant plan documents.

​The Depository Trust Company (DTC) is a repository through which stocks are transferred electronically between brokers and agents. It provides electronic recordkeeping and clearinghouse services. The DTC was established to reduce the volume of physical stock certificate transfers involved in the trading of securities. It holds eligible securities for financial institutions such as brokerage firms and banks, collectively referred to as "participants." Transfer agents are "limited participants". Participants then may request debits and corresponding credits to their DTC accounts to effect transfers. In this manner the DTC facilitates share transfers on behalf of shareholders via their brokers or transfer agents. The DTC is part of the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC).  DTC uses a nominee, Cede & Co, to hold securities on the register.

Transfer agents (referred to as the 'registrar' in some jurisdictions) maintain a record of ownership, including contact information, of an issuer's registered shareholders. Brokers maintain the records of beneficial shareholders. Transfer agents' responsibilities also include the transfer, issuance and cancellation of an issuer's shares. One of a transfer agent's primary duties is assisting registered shareholders and fulfilling their requests for transferring their shares.

Other core services provided by a transfer agent include issuing dividend payments and communication with shareholders on behalf of the issuer.

Transfer agents also ensure that companies do not issue more shares of stock than has been authorized.

​Stock issuances by companies are governed by the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and regulations thereunder, which are enforced by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Issuers are also subject to the corporate law of the company's state of incorporation, the rules of the exchange on which its stock is traded, operational guidelines and eligibility requirements of The Depository Trust Company (DTC), if eligible, and the issuers' corporate bylaws, articles of incorporation and other corporate governing documents.

Corporations may issue different classes of stock, which may be subject to different ownership rules, value per share and privileges, such as the right to vote on certain corporate matters. For more information, please see the diagram above.

Since the mid-1970s, transfer agents have been subject to federal regulation by the SEC in accordance with the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Transfer agents must comply with all applicable rules of the SEC, primarily sections 17Ad-1 through 17Ad-20 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These regulations include strict requirements for the accuracy and timeliness of processing shareholder transactions. Given wide fluctuations in trading volume and shareholder inquiries, transfer agents must also be prepared to handle associated periods of peak transfer volume. Activities that are governed by these regulations include:

  • Turnaround times for processing
  • Prompt responses to inquiries
  • Accuracy of recordkeeping
  • Retention of records
  • Posting, transportation and destruction of certificates
  • Safeguarding of funds and securities
  • Evaluation of internal accounting controls
  • Searches for lost shareholders
  • Notifications to "unresponsive payees"

Securities industry participants, such as transfer agents, must also comply with regulations designed to prevent fraud in connection with missing, lost, counterfeit or stolen securities, in addition to other data security requirements. These data security requirements also extend to industry participants' employees, who must be fingerprinted and undergo background checks. In addition, transfer agents are required to comply with certain provisions of the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations and can also be subject to regulations of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Transfer agents may also be subject to the laws of the states of incorporation for both issuers and their shareholders by virtue of the services they provide, including laws pertaining to data privacy and escheatment. Transfer agents are additionally required by IRS regulations to track and report the dividend income and share sale activity they facilitate on behalf of issuers via Form 1099 reporting. Transfer agents must follow IRS requirements concerning tax.

​We recommend first looking for answers via our FAQs at If you can't find the information you're looking for, you can try our Live Chat. You can also email or phone us directly using the contact details here.

We use double-entry accounting systems that ensure there is always an accurate balance between shares held directly by registered shareholders and those held by Cede & Co on behalf of DTC, banks & brokers and beneficial investors. This means that for every share transferred through DRS that can be registered on the share register, there is one fewer recorded as being in Cede & Co.

We can't give advice on tax or retirement accounts and you should discuss this with your financial advisor. If you have a question about your specific account please contact us on +1 (201) 680 6578 or 800 522 6645.

​The maximum price limit order possible through our systems is currently $214,748.36.

​Shares managed directly through our Investor Center are transferred by DRS are entered onto the register in the shareholder's name.

​In the context of registered shareholding Computershare as transfer agent is acting as a recordkeeper. Transfer agents do not have ownership of the securities for which they maintain the records of in any circumstances.

You can buy and sell shares/stock in companies for whom Computershare is the transfer agent/registrar directly through Investor Center once you have signed up for an account. Computershare charges fees for these services.

​Transactions with estimated sales proceeds at the time of the trade of over a $1million must be requested in writing.

​Yes. You can sell shares in companies for whom Computershare is the transfer agent directly through Investor Center.

​We can't usually tell how long has passed between a shareholder's request to transfer shares to direct ownership and the request being passed to us by the intermediary but, once we receive it, we should process it fully by the end of the next working day.

​Computershare is a publicly-listed company. We are listed the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) and our shares trade in Australian dollars with the ticker symbol CPU. You can find details by entering "CPU.AX stock quote" into your search platform, or by visiting our website Computershare is not listed in the US. However, some parties choose to trade the shares in US dollars in the "unlisted" US OTC market.

​No. Investors do not need an account with Computershare in order to be registered via DRS.

​No. Shares in DRS form can be sold and purchased via the US public markets and can only be transferred by the investor or his or her broker with permission.

​A dividend would only be paid in NFT form if the issuer decided that this is the format they would like to use.

​We use a proprietary algorithm across all our clients, so numbers are not company specific.

​Optionally, an international payment can be made in foreign currency (e.g. Euro, GBP or AUD).

​You need to discuss this with your broker, who in turn may need to work with its custodian in DTC. 

​Yes. We instruct our broker to execute all orders on an applicable exchange, for example, the New York Stock Exchange. We do not receive ‘payment for order flow’ or route orders to dark pools.

​Account creation is an automated process at Computershare. Our systems are resilient and perform effectively during periods of both low and exceptionally high demand. We are not currently experiencing, nor do we envisage any delays in the processing of transfers, including transfers to DRS and account opening.

​We do not publish a list. Please ask individual brokers directly about the services they offer. We're able to process any valid transfer initiated by a DTCC participant to transfer shares to direct ownership, and we usually complete the transaction by the end of the next working day, following receipt of that request from DTCC.

​No. Computershare does not receive any information about a request to transfer shares to DRS. We are only notified when the transfer is initiated by a DTC participant. A DTC participant may be your US broker, a clearing firm acting for your US broker, or a custodian acting for your international broker or another intermediary (e.g. an international central securities depositary) who, in turn, is acting for your international broker. We have no visibility of where your instruction sits in the chain.

​In order to improve information security and help prevent fraud, Computershare sends certain information to shareholders through the post.

​Your broker may use a custodian in DTC to hold shares in DTC. Only DTC participants can initiate a transfer to create a DRS holding in your name at Computershare, if the shares are held via DTC (please see above). Processes may vary depending on your jurisdiction and the number of intermediaries in the chain. Computershare is able to process any request for a transfer of shares to direct ownership that includes the necessary information for the transfer to take place, and we usually complete the transaction the working day after the request comes through.  You do not need an account with Computershare for a DRS transfer to be initiated.

​In the unusual event we needed to reject a DRS transfer owing to insufficient shares in the name of Cede & Co (as transferor), we anticipate we would let our issuer client, DTCC, the broker and the investor know.

​We can't give advice on tax or retirement accounts, and you should discuss this with your financial advisor. If you have a question about your specific account with Computershare, please contact us on +1 (201) 680 6578 or 800 522 6645.

​SIPC is not relevant in the context of transfer agents, as investors' assets are on the register, and the register would be taken on by a successor agent. Computershare carries professional indemnity insurance as cover for other issues.

​No. We have not experienced delays in processing new shareholder registrations in DRS form. We generally complete all requests to transfer from “street name” to registered form by the end of the next working day after receipt, provided such request is in good order (well within regulated timeframes). Please note that we have no knowledge or visibility of the point at which a beneficial owner asks their intermediary to initiate the transfer of their position from ‘street name’ to a direct registered shareholding and the relevant DTC participant initiating a DRS transfer via DTC with the required information.

​We can't give advice on tax or ISAs, and you should discuss this with your financial advisor. If you have a question about your specific account with Computershare, please contact us on +1 (201) 680 6578 or 800 522 6645.

​We accept DRS transfer requests from DTC participants, as the DRS system is facilitated through DTC.  If your broker is not a DTC participant, your broker should discuss how to give effect to a DRS transfer (on your behalf) by working with its clearing firm or custodian in DTC, or other intermediary that in turn may have a commercial custody or clearing arrangement with a DTC participant. 

They are mostly the same for all practical purposes. However, there are some minor differences:

  • Both forms of ownership are recorded directly on Computershare’s platform and may be managed by the investor through Investor Center
  • It is not possible to hold fractional entitlements to shares registered in DRS form, only whole shares. It is possible, however, to hold fractional entitlements to shares in book-entry form through the DSPP
  • Dividends are paid, and proxy voting instructions are issued, on a consolidated basis, i.e. for the aggregate of DRS and DSPP book-entry positions. We do not issue separate proxies or make two dividend payments.
  • Shares held in DRS form and DSPP book-entry form (with the exception of any fractional amount) can be transferred to a broker in a single parcel to a broker or in multiple parcels to multiple brokers at any time via the DRS system
  • Shares held in DRS and DSPP book-entry form can be sold via Computershare, subject to the terms and conditions of the DRS Sales Facility or DSPP, as applicable
  • Computershare holds a portion of the aggregate DSPP book-entry shares via its broker in DTC for operational efficiency, i.e. to enable any sales to be settled efficiently (and Computershare determines the portion needed for operational efficiency reasons. Such shares are not available for lending. These shares are eligible to be withdrawn from DTC).
  • An investor can, at any time, withdraw all or part of their shares in DSPP book-entry form and have them added to their DRS holding. The investor is able transfer whole shares from DSPP book-entry to DRS at any time, e.g. after any DSPP purchase settles. Any remaining fractional shares will be handled as set forth in the DSPP terms and conditions.