• Current through October 23, 2012

(a) Before due presentment for registration of transfer of a certificated security in registered form or of an instruction requesting registration of transfer of an uncertificated security, the issuer or indenture trustee may treat the registered owner as the person exclusively entitled to vote, receive notifications, and otherwise exercise all the rights and powers of an owner.

(b) This article does not affect the liability of the registered owner of a security for a call, assessment, or the like.

(Dec. 30, 1963, 77 Stat. 735, Pub. L. 88-243, § 1; Mar. 16, 1993, D.C. Law 9-196, § 4, 39 DCR 9165; July 25, 1995, D.C. Law 11-30, § 7(f), 42 DCR 1547; Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-240, § 2, 44 DCR 1087.)



1. Subsection (a) states the issuer's right to treat the registered owner of a security as the person entitled to exercise all the rights of an owner. This right of the issuer is limited by the provisions of Part 4 of this article. Once there has been due presentation for registration of transfer, the issuer has a duty to register ownership in the name of the transferee. Section 8- 401. Thus its right to treat the old registered owner as exclusively entitled to the rights of ownership must cease.

The issuer may under this section make distributions of money or securities to the registered owners of securities without requiring further proof of ownership, provided that such distributions are distributable to the owners of all securities of the same issue and the terms of the security do not require surrender of a security certificate as a condition of payment or exchange. Any such distribution shall constitute a defense against a claim for the same distribution by a person, even if that person is in possession of the security certificate and is a protected purchaser of the security. See PEB Commentary No. 4, dated March 10, 1990.

2. Subsection (a) is permissive and does not require that the issuer deal exclusively with the registered owner. It is free to require proof of ownership before paying out dividends or the like if it chooses to. Barbato v. Breeze Corporation, 128 N.J.L. 309, 26 A.2d 53 (1942).

3. This section does not operate to determine who is finally entitled to exercise voting and other rights or to receive payments and distributions. The parties are still free to incorporate their own arrangements as to these matters in seller-purchaser agreements which may be definitive as between them.

4. No change in existing state laws as to the liability of registered owners for calls and assessments is here intended; nor is anything in this section designed to estop record holders from denying ownership when assessments are levied if they are otherwise entitled to do so under state law. See State ex rel. Squire v. Murfey, Blosson & Co., 131 Ohio St. 289, 2 N.E.2d 866 (1936); Willing v. Delaplaine, 23 F.Supp. 579 (1937).

5. No interference is intended with the common practice of closing the transfer books or taking a record date for dividend, voting, and other purposes, as provided for in by-laws, charters, and statutes.

Definitional Cross References

"Certificated security". Section 8-102(a)(4).

"Instruction". Section 8-102(a)(12).

"Issuer". Section 8-201.

"Registered form". Section 8-102(a)(13).

"Security". Section 8-102(a)(15).

"Uncertificated security". Section 8-102(a)(18).

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 28:8-207.

1973 Ed., § 28:8-207.

Legislative History of Laws

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

Law 11-30, the "Technical Amendments Act of 1995," was introduced in Council and assigned Bill No. 11-58, which was referred to the Committee of the Whole. The Bill was adopted on first and second readings on February 7, 1995, and March 7, 1995, respectively. Signed by the Mayor on March 22, 1995, it was assigned Act No. 11-32 and transmitted to both Houses of Congress for its review. D.C. Law 11-30 became effective on July 25, 1995.

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