Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

Old Stock Certificates

The Securities Division of the Department of Financial Institutions does not maintain corporate records.

The Secretary of State is the source of information for Washington corporations. You may address your inquiry to:

The Department of Revenue may have information on unclaimed stock, bonds, dividends, and other corporate property:

Secretary of State
Corporations Division
PO Box 40234
Olympia, WA 98504-0234
360-753-7115 - Menu #5

The Department of Revenue
Unclaimed Property Section
PO Box 47477
Olympia, WA 98504-7477
800-435-2429 (WA residents


Information on active Washington businesses is available on the Internet from the Department of Revenue. Information on unclaimed property is also available from the Department of Revenue.

The following references may help investors in learning the value of old stock certificates. These books generally can be found in public libraries, stock exchanges, and stockbrokers’ offices. While the date in parentheses is the year the book was first published, each is updated periodically.

"Financial Stock Guide Service" (1927). Published by Financial Information, Inc., 30 Montgomery Street, PO Box 473, Jersey City, NJ 07303.

Contains a directory of active stocks (addressing currently traded, actives issues), and a directory of obsolete securities (providing a brief profile of companies whose original identities have been lost through actions affecting their outstanding stock) updated annually and through monthly supplements.

"Robert D. Fisher Manual of Valuable & Worthless Securities" (1920). Published by R.M. Smythe & Co., Inc., 2 Rector Street, 12th Floor, New York, NY 100006, 1-800-622-1880 or 212-943-1880.

Volumes 5 through 15 list companies whose securities may have a liquidating or exchange value, or may be identified as worthless. This reference superseded the "Marvyn Scudder Manual of Extinct or Obsolete Companies", which was published by Marvyn Scudder in four volumes, and included stocks issued from 1926 to 1937.

"Moody’s Industrial Manual" and "Moody’s OTC Industrial Manual" (1970). Published by Moody’s Investor Service, Inc., 99 Church Street, New York, NY 10007.

Summarize companies’ histories, background, mergers and acquisitions, subsidiaries, principal plants, and properties. Updated annually.

"National Stock Summary" (1913). Published by National Quotation Bureau, Inc., an Infobase Holdings Company, 150 Commerce Road, Cedar Grove, NJ 07009-1208.

Summarizes all over-the-counter and inactive listed stock offerings and bids that have appeared either in the national daily quotation services or the leading daily newspapers and financial periodicals. Published monthly.

"Security Owner’s Stock Guide" (1941). Published by Standard and Poor’s Corp., 25 Broadway, New York, NY 10004.

Provides information on stock group movements, weekly stock price indexes, and statistical tables for common and preferred stock. Published monthly.

Old Company Research, an affiliate of Scripophily.com LLC, The Gift of History, which provides collectible stock and bond certificates and other old paper items, will research information on old stocks and companies. They may be reached at: P.O. Box 223795, Chantilly, Virginia 20153; Phone 1-888-STOCKS6 (1.888.786.2576) toll-free.

Another research site is Old Stock Research, which has been in business since 1981 finding the cash values of old bonds and stock certificates. Old Stock Research is a subsidiary of America West Archives, Stock Research Services, P.O. Box 100, Cedar City, Utah 84721; (435) 586-9497.

There is a New York firm, R. M. Smythe & Co., 1-800-622-1880 or 212-943-1880, which will trace the value of old stock certificates. For a fee, the company will investigate the market or collectible value of your certificate.

Additionally, there is a firm, Stock Search International, Inc ., 4761 West Waterbuck DR, Tucson, AZ 85742, 1-800-537-4523, which will also research the value of old stock certificates for a fee. 

While we cannot endorse the organizations or publications described above, the information may be useful to you.