How Do I Convert Stock Certificates to Cash?

by Kathryn Hatter

Stock certificates denote ownership of stock in the issuing company. You may convert stock certificates to cash to liquidate the certificates. By utilizing a stock brokerage firm, the conversion from stock certificate to cash in your hand should be a simple process easily completed within days. You will encounter some fees, which will vary depending on the brokerage firm you use for the conversion process.

1. Open an account with a stock brokerage firm if you do not already possess one. A discount and an online firm both will accept the stock certificate. Generally, opening an account involves providing personal information, proof of identity, your Social Security number and payment information.

2. Examine the stock certificate to determine where you must sign it — usually on the backside. Speak with a brokerage representative about the correct signing process if you feel unsure about signing it correctly. Some brokerage firms may require that you take the stock certificate to a financial institution to have a notary witness the signature.

3. Present the stock certificate in person to a local brokerage firm or mail it via certified mail to the address provided by an online firm.

4. Monitor your account with the brokerage firm to know when the stock shares credit to your account. Once the shares hit your account, you may sell the shares for cash, minus the brokerage firm’s commission, using the brokerage firm's selling process. Wait for the cash from the sale to show in your account, after which you may transfer it to a personal bank account for withdrawal.


  • If you are an executor or estate administrator converting a stock certificate, expect the brokerage firm to request proof of your administrator status before converting the stock to cash.


  • The name on the brokerage firm account and the stock certificate must match in order to convert it to cash.

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