At the beginning, shares were issued in physical form as certificates that used to have folio number, quantity of shares and the owner. In secondary market, these physical shares were exchanged between buyer and sell.

Demat accounts were introduced first by NSDL in 1996 and by CDSL in 1999. Now everything is in electronic form and these two depositories hold the shares. Though SEBI and exchanges issued various reminders to shareholders holding shares in physical form to convert to demat, still there are some shareholders who are holding on to physical shares.

Following are the pre-requisites to be in place for converting physical share certificates into demat.

1) There should be a demat account on the name of the person who owns the physical share certificate. If it is jointly owned, then the demat should also be jointly owned in the same order of names appearing in the share certificate. If A followed by B is printed in the share certificate, then in the demat account primary account holder should be A and secondary account holder should be B.

2) If any joint holder is no more, along with the required documents (explained in the following section), notarized death ceritificate of the deceased holder and transmission cum dematerialization form need to be included. If sole holder is no more, the inheritor need to contact RTA and submit requested documents to get new certificates on the inheritor name.

3) If there were any corporate actions that resulted in bonus or split or merger or demerger or change of name, then shareholder need to get in touch with RTA (Registrar and Transfer Agent) appointed by the company to get the latest share certificates in line with all the corporate actions happened from the date of issue of share certificate till date of submitting for demat

4) If there were dividends issued by the company whose share certificates were held physically, but were not claimed (earlier cheques were issued for dividends and some didnt both to encash them due to lower values) for more than 7 years, then those unclaimed dividends and shares would have been moved to IEPF (Investor Education Protection Fund (IEPF)).

On such cases, one has to register in MCA website ( and upload Web Form IEPF 5 to get the dividends and shares out of IEPF.

5) KYC of the share holder need to be updated with RTA

Once the above is in place, then one need to approach their stock broker where the demat account is present to get the share certificates converted.

Following are the documents to be submitted.

1) Original Physical Share certificate (retain soft copy / photo copy for reference)
2) Signed DRF (Demat request forms)
3) Self attested PAN along with latest address proof (Addhar)

This conversion process can take up to 4 weeks. Broker may charge for this process.

Following are potential issues in this process that can lead to rejection.

1) Mismatch of spelling of names in share certificate to the one in demat account. All submitted documents will be couriered back and the share holder need to get an affidavit stating both names belong to same person and resubmit

2) Signature in the DRf form and the signature with DP and/or RTA mismacthes. All submitted documents will be couriered back and the share holder need to get an affidavit or put old sign. This depends on the response from the broker/DP/RTA.

Though it may look like a tedious process, it is better for those holding shares in physical form to get it converted sooner.