Bearer Share Certificate Elimination

What are Bearer Share Certificates?

Bearer share certificates are share certificates that do not state the name of the owner of the shares like a registered share certificate would. The owner of a bearer share is whoever physically possesses the certificate, and that person holds all the rights specified on the certificate.

What is the significance of Bearer Share Certificates?

Effective May 16, 2019, all companies must convert bearer share certificates to registered share certificates before any rights associated with the share can be exercised. Rights may include, but are not limited to: voting, dividend, share equity, etc. If a shareholder tries to exercise their rights under a bearer share, the company must refuse to recognize those rights until it converts the bearer share certificate into a registered share certificate that complies with section 57 of the Business Corporations Act.

What do I do if I have a Bearer Share Certificate?

If you are in possession of a bearer share certificate, you can contact the issuing company and request that the share certificate be converted to a registered share certificate that complies with the legislation.

Can I sell/trade my Bearer Share Certificate?

To determine the value of an old stock certificate, you will need to verify if the company is still active, the current name of the company and if its shares are still tradable.

Once the company converts the share into a registered share certificate, you have three options:

  1. Keep it in a safe place until you are ready to trade it;
  2. Deposit the shares into an existing brokerage account; or
  3. Open a brokerage account and deposit the shares.

I have a Bearer Share Certificate from the British Columbia Resources Investment Corporation. What can I do with them?

In June 1997, the shares from the British Columbia Resources Investment Corporation were subject to a compulsory buy-out as part of a privatization transaction. This buyout expired on June 30, 2007, and any outstanding share certificates no longer have any value.

For further information, the Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History has a webpage that provides the history of the British Columbia Resources Investment Corporation. It can be found online at: