Direct Registration System

The Direct Registration System (DRS) enables investors to elect to hold their assets in book entry form directly with the issuer by leveraging DTC’s connectivity with FAST transfer agents. Through DTC’s DRS Service, assets can be electronically transferred to and from the transfer agent and broker/dealer to easily move shares in and out of DRS.


DRS provides investors with an alternative to holding their securities in certificate or “street” form. Under DRS, investors can elect to have their securities registered directly on the issuer’s records in book-entry form. With DRS, the investor does not receive a physical certificate, instead receiving periodic account statements (at least yearly) from the transfer agent or issuer evidencing holdings. Dividend/interest payments, proxy materials, annual reports, etc., are mailed from the issuer or its transfer agent directly to the investor.

Who Can Use the Service

Issuers that act as their own transfer agent, transfer agents and DTC participants can use the service. Issuers and transfer agents must participate in DTC’s Fast Automated Securities Transfer (FAST) Program as well as open a Limited Participant Account (LPA), prerequisites to establish the DTC connectivity required for DRS. Prior to offering DRS, a participant is required to participate in either a Surety or Insurance program approved by DTC, or provide proof of similar coverage from an approved surety/insurance provider.



  • Provides accurate, quick and cost-efficient transfers between transfer agents and broker/dealers
  • Ensures secure electronic transfer
  • Reduces the risk associated with physical securities processing, including turnaround delays, mail losses and risks associated with stolen, forged or counterfeit securities
  • Eliminates the need for transfer agents to (a) maintain a supply of certificates for each issuer, (b) examine physical certificates and read medallions and (c) perforate, store, and eventually destroy cancelled certificates
  • Supports the industry’s move to T+2, and provides the platform to further enhance securities processing and the dematerialization efforts underway by the industry.
  • Reduces the cost of corporate actions
  • Investors can receive advices and statements, often available on-line
  • All the benefits of certificates without the costs and risks
  • Savings for transfer agents, investors, brokers and issuers

How the Service Works

Participants transmit registration instructions to the FAST agent or issuer through DTC by using the PTS/PBS function NWT1 or by file transfer. When the instructions are received by the transfer agent, they establish a book entry account for the investor on their records and mail a transaction advice to the investor.

Through the DRS Profile system, an investor’s broker requests securities to be transferred from their book entry DRS account at the transfer agent to the broker’s account at DTC. The request to transfer the securities is entered via the Participant Terminal System (PTS)/Participant Browser System (PBS) or via the depository's file transfer protocol. The user enters proprietary information about the registered account, including the customer's account number, account registration, share quantity, tax ID number, etc. A valid surety or insurance number must be submitted with the instructions from the initiating broker. The issuer/agent then validates the information and responds with a corresponding deliver order through DRS.

For More Information

Transfer agents/issuers interested in opening an LPA account should send an email to:

For FAST transfer agents with an existing Limited Participant Account (LPA) that would like to add the DRS service to a FAST security, please submit the completed form to