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What Does It Mean to Hold a Stock 'In Street Name'?

Q. What does it mean to hold stock in 'street name'?

Stock CertificateA. 'Street name' is the standard method of registering the ownership of shares of stock at a brokerage firm. The broker holds the shares for you, so the shares are registered or issued in your name directly. In fact, whenever you buy stock from a broker, they don't issue physical shares unless you request them.

The reason this is important as far as DRIP stocks go is that that in order to participate in a DRIP, shares must be issued to you directly and not 'held in street name' at a brokerage firm. Your brokerage firm will issue certificates for your shares at your request, although some may charge for the service.