• Current through October 23, 2012

(a) If a security certificate contains the signatures necessary to its issue or transfer but is incomplete in any other respect:

(1) Any person may complete it by filling in the blanks as authorized; and

(2) Even if the blanks are incorrectly filled in, the security certificate as completed is enforceable by a purchaser who took it for value and without notice of the incorrectness.

(b) A complete security certificate that has been improperly altered, even if fraudulently, remains enforceable, but only according to its original terms.

(Dec. 30, 1963, 77 Stat. 735, Pub. L. 88-243, § 1; Mar. 16, 1993, D.C. Law 9-196, § 4, 39 DCR 9165; Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-240, § 2, 44 DCR 1087.)



1. The problem of forged or unauthorized signatures necessary for the issue or transfer of a security is not involved here, and a person in possession of a blank certificate is not, by this section, given authority to fill in blanks with such signatures. Completion of blanks left in a transfer instruction is dealt with elsewhere (Section 8-305(a) ).

2. Blanks left upon issue of a security certificate are the only ones dealt with here, and a purchaser for value without notice is protected. A purchaser is not in a good position to determine whether blanks were completed by the issuer or by some person not authorized to complete them. On the other hand the issuer can protect itself by not placing its signature on the writing until the blanks are completed or, if it does sign before all blanks are completed, by carefully selecting the agents and employees to whom it entrusts the writing after authentication. With respect to a security certificate that is completed by the issuer but later is altered, the issuer has done everything it can to protect the purchaser and thus is not charged with the terms as altered. However, it is charged according to the original terms, since it is not thereby prejudiced. If the completion or alteration is obviously irregular, the purchaser may not qualify as a purchaser who took without notice under this section.

3. Only the purchaser who physically takes the certificate is directly protected. However, a transferee may receive protection indirectly through Section 8-302(a).

4. The protection granted a purchaser for value without notice under this section is modified to the extent that an overissue may result where an incorrect amount is inserted into a blank (Section 8-210).

Definitional Cross References

"Notice". Section 1-201(25).

"Purchaser". Sections 1-201(33) and 8-116.

"Security certificate". Section 8-102(a)(16).

"Unauthorized signature". Section 1-201(43).

"Value". Sections 1-201(44) and 8-116.

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 28:8-206.

1973 Ed., § 28:8-206.

Legislative History of Laws

For legislative history of D.C. Law 9-196, see Historical and Statutory Notes following § 28:8-101.

For legislative history of D.C. Law 11-240, see Historical and Statutory Notes following § 28:8-201.