The CUSIP number, also known as the Committee on Uniform Securities Identification Procedures number, is a unique nine-character identification number assigned to all stocks (and registered bonds) in the U.S. and Canada. It is used to create a concrete distinction between securities that are traded on public markets. The system is in place to facilitate the settlement process and the clearance of associated securities.
CUSIP numbers are nine-digits, alphanumeric, and used to identify securities, including municipal bonds. A CUSIP number is similar to a serial number. The first six characters are known as the base, or CUSIP-6, and uniquely identify the security issuer. The seventh and eighth digits identify the issue of the security, and the ninth digit is an automatically generated check digit.
How to Find CUSIP Number
Unfortunately, finding a CUSIP number for a stock can be a little difficult because the numbers are owned and created by the American Bankers Association and operated by Standard & Poor's. To get access to the whole database of CUSIP numbers, you will need to pay a fee to Standard & Poor's or a similar service that has access to the database.
However, here’s how to go about finding the CUSIP number:
- Individual companies will often display their CUSIP numbers to investors on their websites.
- CUSIP numbers can also be accessed through the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) via the Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA) system.
- CUSIP numbers are often listed on official statements relating to the security, such as on confirmations of purchase or periodic financial statements, or can be accessed through various securities dealers.
Another way to gain access is to CUSIP numbers is through the active quote search on the Fidelity Investments website. Simply enter the company you are looking for and the CUSIP will be displayed for you. For example, if you are looking for the CUSIP for Ford Motor Company just enter the name of the company and the CUSIP number will be shown (345370860). Note that a Fidelity account is required to access this information.