Negotiable Financial Instruments > This page

CUSIP Security Identifier (Screen)


CUSIP Service Bureau : Mission Statement 

The CUSIP Service Bureau, operated by Standard & Poor's for the American Bankers Association, exists for the primary purpose of uniquely identifying issuers and issues of financial instruments within a standard framework, and disseminating this data to the financial marketplace via various media. CUSIP numbers and standardized descriptions are used by virtually all sectors of the financial industry, and are critical for the accurate and efficient clearance and settlement of securities as well as back-office processing.

The CUSIP Service Bureau seeks to assign unique numbers and standardized descriptions in a timely and accurate manner, using its best efforts to use primary or reliable sources of information. However, because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by securities issuers, CUSlP's sources, Standard & Poor's or others, neither Standard & Poor's nor the American Bankers Association guarantees the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of any information, and Standard & Poor's and the American Bankers Association are not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from use of such information.


Subscribers acknowledge that the Service to be provided under a CUSIP Agreement contains information obtained, selected, arranged and published by Standard & Poor's (S&P), under authority from the American Bankers Association, and according to methods and procedures developed and used by S&P, all at the expenditure of substantial amounts of work, time and money. Subscriber agrees to protect the proprietary and copyright position of S&P, and of the American Bankers Association, during the existence, and after the termination, of this Agreement. Subscriber agrees that without S&P's prior written consent, Subscriber shall not transfer or sell such information or copies thereof, or extracts therefrom, or summaries thereof, to any other person or organization, or permit any other person or organization to use or distribute such information. Subscriber represents and agrees it shall not publish or make distribution copies of, or distribute, any or all of the information provided Subscriber hereunder in any form, provided, however, that this Agreement shall not be deemed to prohibit the use by Subscriber of CUSIP uniform descriptions and CUSIP numbers in the normal internal processing of security transactions of business of Subscriber.

Background to the development of the CUSIP numbering system 

In 1962, after many informal discussions with members of the financial community, the New York Clearing House Association established a Securities Procedures Committee to study the question of developing a standard method of identifying securities. This Committee concluded that a uniform securities identification system was feasible and timely and because of the magnitude of the problems to be solved and their far-reaching implications the development of the system should involve the cooperation and support of the entire financial community.

The Clearing House approached The American Bankers Association's Department of Automation to develop the system. In July 1964, the A.B.A.'s Committee on Uniform Security Identification Procedures (CUSIP) was created under the chairmanship of John L. Gibbons, Chairman of the Trust Committee of Chemical Bank New York Trust Company. The main goals of the CUSIP Committee were to develop specifications for a uniform security identification system, for devising a format for imprinting the identification number on the certificate in man/machine readable type font, and to establish an agency to administer the identification system according to specifications.

The CUSIP Committee appointed three subcommittees: The Technical Subcommittee to develop specifications, and Legal and Agency Subcommittees to implement the system.

Development of the CUSIP Number

In developing specifications for the numbering system, the CUSIP Technical Subcommittee found two needs: 1) that the number should contain as few characters as possible, and 2) that it should be linked to an alphabetic sequence of issuer names. Also, the number should be capable of meeting future as well as present operating requirements; that it must be adaptable to the internal systems of all users, to communications systems, to automated document reading, etc.; and that the structure of the system should allow each user to assign numbers to securities or other assets carried by him but not covered by the CUSIP System.

In January, 1967, the A.B.A. announced the development of a CUSIP numbering system which met as closely as possible these criteria. This system is explained in detail in this Introduction. Basically, the CUSIP number consists of nine digits, the first six of which uniquely identify the issuer and have been assigned to issuers in alphabetic sequence, and two other characters (alphabetic or numeric) which identify the issue. The ninth digit is the check digit.

Who endorses the CUSIP numbering system?

The CUSIP numbering system has been endorsed by all major segments of the financial community including:

American Bankers Association

American Stock Exchange

Bond Market Association (PSA)

Canadian Depository for Securities Ltd.

Depository Trust Clearing Corporation

Midwest Stock Exchange

Government Finance Officers Association of the U.S. & Canada

Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board

National Association of Securities Dealers

National Association of Variable Annuities

National Securities Clearing Corp.

New York Stock Exchange

Philadelphia Depository Trust Company

Philadelphia Stock Exchange

Securities and Exchange Commission

Securities Industry Association

Who controls the CUSIP numbering system?

The CUSIP Board of Trustees controls the operation of the CUSIP numbering system. Through the work of the CUSIP Legal and Agency Subcommittees, the CUSIP service functions were outlined and Standard & Poor's was awarded the contract to function as the CUSIP Service Bureau, the operational arm of the system, which is responsible among other functions for the compilation and publication of the CUSIP Directory.

What securities are covered by the CUSIP numbering system? 

General interest is the primary consideration in determining what securities are covered by the CUSIP identification system, provided appropriate documentation is supplied to the CUSIP Bureau in requesting the assignment of a CUSIP number. Below are the types of documents which should be sent to the CUSIP Bureau with a cover letter requesting CUSIP assignments:

What do I send to CUSIP?


  1. Public Offering of Equity or Debt -- " Red Herring" (Preliminary Prospectus) or Registration Statement

  2. American Depository Receipts -- Registration Statement F-6

  3. Bank Holding Company Formation -- Registration Statement S-4

  4. Bankers Acceptances -- Summary of Offering / Information Statement

  5. Certificates of Deposit -- Summary of Offering Terms ("Fact-Sheet")

  6. Church Bonds -- Prospectus / Official Statement

  7. Commercial Paper (Book Entry only) -- Info Statement & DTC-CP Filing

  8. Company Emerging from Chapter XI -- Disclosure Statement

  9. Medium-Term Notes (Book Entry only) -- Prospectus Supplement & DTC-MTN Filing

  10. Merger / Acquisition -- Merger Agreement or Proxy Statement

  11. Mutual Funds -- Registration Statement N-1

  12. Name Change -- Proxy Statement (or) Certificate of Amendment

  13. Publicly Traded Limited Partnerships -- Prospectus with S.E.C. File #

  14. Reverse Stock Splits -- Letter to Shareholders

  15. Right Offerings -- Rights Agreement / Company Press Release

  16. Rule 144A Securities -- Offering Circular / Prospectus with 144A Representation

  17. Shelf Registrations (415) -- Initial Shelf Filing (S-3) & Subsequent "Prospectus Supplements"

  18. Unit Trusts -- Registration Statement S-6

  19. Variable Annuities -- Prospectus and/or Contract


  1. Negotiated Issues -- Preliminary Official Statement (to be followed up by final O/S)

  2. Competitive Issues -- Notice of Sale (and follow-up final O/S)

  3. Private Placements -- Private Placement Memorandum

  4. Short-Term Notes -- Notice of Sale and/or Legal Opinion

The CUSIP Agency may, from time to time, review this list and add or delete as is deemed appropriate.

Although the foregoing describes those items included in the CUSIP System, subscribers may be interested to know that the following items, because of their short life or special status are not normally assigned CUSIP numbers:

For Corporate Issuers, CUSIP numbers have not been assigned to Fractional Shares and small local over-the-counter issues. In addition, no distinction is made between shares trading "when issued" and "regular way" (except where redemption of certificates is required).

Requests should be addressed to:


Data Collection Department

Standard & Poor's

55 Water Street, 47 Floor

New York, N.Y. 10041

Additional CUSIP Coverage

Canadian Issues

CUSIP numbers are assigned by the CUSIP Service Bureau of Standard & Poor's to securities listed on Canadian Exchanges and other securities as may be deemed of general interest by the CUSIP Agency. The Canadian Agent for Standard & Poor's is the Canadian Depository for Securities Limited ("CDS"). All applications by Canadian issuers for a CUSIP number must be made through CDS. The following is the prescribed procedure to ensure that the CUSIP is issued expeditiously:

  1. A request in letter form should be sent to the attention of:

The Canadian Depository for Securities Limited

600, Boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Bureau 310

Montreal, Quebec Canada H3A 3J2

(514) 848 - 1010

  1. The request should contain the following information:

  1. Name of the Company

  2. Head office and registered office address of the company

  3. Law and date of incorporation

  4. Authorized and issue capital for all classes authorized

  5. Description of security for which the number is being requested

  6. Nature and description of the offering to be made

  7. For name changes, provide both the old and new names

  8. Exchange(s) Issue is intended to be listed on

  1. The following documentation, where applicable, in draft form, must be included with the request:

  1. Preliminary Prospectus

  2. Rights Offering Circular

  3. Information Circular

  4. Statement of Material Facts

  5. Articles of Amendments in the case of reclassifications, reorganizations, or name changes

  1. Final copies of the above documentation, where applicable, must be filed with CDS when available. Processing of the request will not be delayed pending receipt of the final copy.

  2. Payment for service is in Canadian dollars, payable to the Canadian Depository for Securities Limited.

Note: Issues of local interest in Canada have been included in the Corporate edition of the CUSIP Directory, and are denoted by "CDS" in the Issuer and Issue descriptions.

TBA Securities

TBAs are futures contracts on mortgaged-backed pools. Working with the MBSCC, the CUSIP Service Bureau developed a specialized numbering scheme for TBA (To be announced) mortgaged-backed securities. TBA CUSIPs incorporate within the number itself, a security's mortgage type (Ginnie Mae, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac), coupon, maturity, and settlement month.

International Issues

For securities actively traded on an International basis, which are either underwritten (debt issues) or domiciled (equities) outside the United States and Canada, the securities will be identified by a CINS (CUSIP International Numbering System) number.

The CINS number was developed in 1988 by Standard & Poor's and Telekurs (USA) in response to the North American securities industry's need for a 9-character identifier for international securities. CINS numbers appear in the International Securities Identification Directory (ISIDPlus Services) which is co-produced by Standard & Poor's and Telekurs (USA).

ISIDPlus contains over 400,000 global securities and cross-references all major national numbering systems. ISIDPlus has been designed to minimize the impact on back-office systems and operations, while facilitating cross-border communications among global custodians, depositories, banks, securities organizations, and exchanges.

CINS numbers employ the same Issuer (6 characters)/Issue (2 character & check digit) concept espoused by the CUSIP Numbering System, which is described in detail on the following page. It is important to note that the first position of a CINS code is always represented by an alpha character, signifying the Issuer's country code (domicile) or geographic region:

A = Austria

E = Spain 

J = Japan 

N = Netherlands

S = South Africa

W = Sweden

B = Belgium

F = France

K = Denmark

P = South America

T = Italy 

X = Europe-Other

C = Canada 

G = United Kingdom

L = Luxembourg

Q = Australia

U = United States 

Y = Asia

D = Germany

H = Switzerland

M= Mid-East

R = Norway

V = Africa-Other

ISIDPlus provides a cross reference to major national securities numbers including the International Securities Identification Number (ISIN) which will facilitate global communications utilizing any global identifier. The following national numbering systems are incorporated in the ISIDPlus Services:

Argentina Canada Euroclear Italy Netherlands Switzerland

Austria CEDEL France Japan Panama United States

Belgium Common Code Germany Luxembourg Peru Venezuela

Brazil Denmark Great Britain Mexico Spain

ISIDPlus Services are available in the following formats: Transmission, CD-ROM and Internet. Updates for the ISIDPlus Master File Transmission Service are available daily or weekly; updates to the ISIDPlus CD-ROM Service with specialized search functionality are available daily, weekly and monthly; updates to the ISIDPlus Access Internet service is available daily or weekly.

Private Placements

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) in October 1988 mandated the use by insurers of a uniform private placement number (PPN) to identify investments in their annual statements filed with State Regulatory Authorities. Standard & Poor's CUSIP Service Bureau was selected by the NAIC to create, assign, and administer the PPN system primarily for the Insurance Industry.

Requests for a Private Placement Number (PPN) can be made in writing to:

Standard & Poor's

CUSIP Service Bureau

55 Water Street, 47 floor

New York, NY 10041

Attn: PPN Department

Please contact the CUSIP Service Bureau Customer Service Department at (212) 438 - 6500 for more information about PPN Services.

The CUSIP numbering system

The CUSIP number consists of nine characters: a base number of six characters known as the issuer number, (the 4th, 5th and/or 6th position may be alpha or numeric) and a two character suffix (either numeric or alphabetic or both) known as the issue number. The ninth character is a check digit which is described later.

Issuer Number

A single alphabetical file has been developed of corporate, municipal, and governmental issuers, and an issuer number of six digits has been assigned to each in alphabetical sequence. One number will be assigned to an issuer, except in those few cases where the issue numbers are not sufficient to accommodate all outstanding issues with their various rates and maturities, such as U. S. Governments and certain municipalities or states. In such instances, one or more additional issuer numbers will be assigned.

Gapping Factors: Gapping factors have been incorporated throughout the numbering system to allow for future file expansion; these are described more fully below.

Provision for Overflow: Issuer numbers (900 to 989 in each group of 1,000 numbers) have been reserved for overflow. These overflow numbers will be assigned in ascending sequence to any new issuer that cannot be accommodated at the proper alphabetical position in the preceding group of issuer numbers. Such names are always in a positively identifiable position as the number assigned will contain a 9 in the hundreds position.

Issuer Numbers Reserved for Internal Use: Issuer numbers (990 to 999 and 99A to 99Z in each group of 1,000 numbers) have also been reserved for the user's own purpose. This permits a user to assign an issuer number to any issuer which might be relevant to his holdings but which does not quality for coverage under the CUSIP numbering system. Other issuer numbers (990000 to 999999 and 99000A to 99999Z) are also reserved for the user so that they may be assigned to non-security assets or for other internal operating purposes. Thus, with the addition of at least two numeric digits in the issue number field, a minimum of three million numbers are available to the user for numbering internal miscellaneous assets.

The alphabetic character Z in the 5th and 6th position has been reserved for use by the Canadian Depository for Securities.

The Issue Number

The issue number uniquely identifies each individual issue of an issuer. (Each individual rate and maturity is considered a separate issue for numbering purposes.) The issue number consists of two numeric characters when assigned to equity securities and two alphabetic characters or one numeric and one alphabetic character when assigned to fixed income securities (this permits the user to differentiate between issues in the two groups).

Issue numbers are assigned in sequence as each issue is originated. However, in the setting up of the CUSIP numbering system and in the assignment of numbers to issues then in existence, numbers were assigned on the basis of rate and maturity and no consideration was given to the original date of issue.

Issue Numbers for Equity Securities

The first issue number for an issuer's equity securities is 10 (blanks in the issue number position indicate this is an issuer; in some cases only an issuer number has been assigned. As additional information is gathered, it will be added to the CUSIP file). The unit position of the equity number is used to identity rights, warrants and so on and is assigned on an as- available basis. When there are insufficient tens positions available for all individual issues, the necessary additional numbers are found through the use of the first open two-position digit in reverse sequence starting with 88 and assigned in descending order. (see illustration below) Issue numbers 00-09 are reserved for future use.

Options: Issue number 01 has been designated to identity options for an issuer.

Overflow Linkage: Issue Number 89 will be reserved for overflow linkage and will not be assigned to a specific issue.

Issue Numbers for Fixed Income Securities

The issue number assigned to an issuer's fixed income securities may consist of two alphabetic characters (AA etc.), one alphabetic character followed by one digit (A2 etc.), or one digit followed by one alphabetic character (2A etc.), assigned in that order. A separate issue number is assigned to each rate and/or maturity for each issue of bonds - thus a serial bond having 40 different maturities is assigned 40 separate issue numbers - but general obligations of a municipality having the same issue date, rate and maturity are normally assigned the same number regardless of purpose. The alphabetic letter "I" and numeric "1" as well as the alphabetic "O" and numeric zero are not used in the assignment of issue numbers to fixed income securities.

Overflow Linkage: Issue Number 9Z will be reserved for overflow linkage and will not be assigned to a specific use.

Issue Numbers Reserved for Internal Use

Issue Numbers 90 through 99 in the equity group, and 9A through 9Y in the fixed income group, are reserved for the user specifically for assignment to those issues of an eligible issuer where no CUSIP issue number has been assigned.



Equity Issues



PFD 5% ..............................................20

PFD 3.75%..........................................30

PFD 1st Ser 6%..................................40

PFD 2nd Ser 6%.................................50

CL A......................................................60

PFD Ser A Conv 5% ..................... 70

PFD Ser B Conv 5%...................... 80

PFD $3.50............................................88

PFD 7.24%...........................................87

Fixed Income Issues

1st Cons Mtg 4% 10/01/1999..............AA

Sub Income Deb 5.25% 11/15/2000..AB

Sub Deb Conv 4.75% 06/01 /2005.....AC

Equip Tr Ser 70 7.75% 08/01 /2008...AD

Equip Tr Ser 72 7.00% 11/01/2010....AE

Check Digit

In data transmission, when accuracy of the number may represent the only means of identification, the use of a check digit becomes mandatory as it provides the means of mathematically determining the accuracy of the whole number transmitted. For this reason it is necessary to use the full nine digits of the CUSIP code.

A check digit based on the Modulus 10 Double Add Double technique will be assigned to each CUSIP security number. Modulus 10 was selected over the other systems because it provides the greatest degree of reliability without the loss of any available numbers.

The illustrations below will clarify the manner of calculation of a Modulus 10 Double Add Double check digit.

Illustration 1

Issuer Number 837649 Issue Number 12

8 3 7 6 4 9 1 2

x 1 x 2 x 1 x 2 x 1 x 2 x 1 x 2

--- --- --- ---- --- --- --- ---

8 6 7 12 4 18 1 4

Thus, 8 + 6 + 7 + 1 + 2 + 4 + 1 + 8 + 1 + 4 = 42

The complement of the last digit of the sum becomes the check digit. The complement of 2 is 8; therefore, the CUSIP number with optional check digit would appear as 837649 12 8

In the calculation of the check digit, alphabetic characters will be assigned a numeric value. The letter A will be 10; and the value of each subsequent letter will be the preceding letter's value incremented by 1. Normally, validation of the number would be made internally within a computer, using a relatively simple program.

Illustration 2

Issuer Number 392690 Issue Number QT

3 9 2 6 9 0 26(Q) 29(T)

x 1 x 2 x 1 x 2 x 1 x 2 x 1 x 2

---- --- --- --- --- --- ---- ----

3 18 2 12 9 0 26 58

Thus, 3 + 1 + 8 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 9 + 0 + 2 + 6 + 5 + 8 = 47; the complement of 7 is 3, and the CUSIP number with check digit would appear 392690 QT3

To avoid confusion, the fixed income issue number assignments have omitted the alphabetic "I" and numeric "1 " as well as the alphabetic ''O'' and numeric zero. However, in the check digit computation described above, the value of "Z" is 35.

A check digit has also been computed for Issuers assigned a six character issuer number.

Alpha characters and their equivalent numerical values

Alphabetic characters are assigned a numeric value. The letter A will be 10; and the value of each subsequent letter will be the preceding letters value incremented by 1:

A = 10 F = 15 K = 20 P = 25 U = 30 * = 36 (PPN System)

B = 11 G = 16 L = 21 Q = 26 V = 31 @ = 37 (PPN System)

C = 12 H = 17 M = 22 R = 27 W = 32 # = 38 (PPN System)

D = 13 I = 18 N = 23 S = 28 X = 33

E = 14 J = 19 O = 24 T = 29 Y = 34

Z = 35



KEVIN SMITH, Senior Vice President, Bank of New York, New York, New York

RICHARD BETTS, Vice President, Deutsche Bank, New York, New York

J. DOUGLAS ADAMSON, Executive Director, American Bankers Association, Washington, DC

EDWARD R. BRANDS, Vice President, Union Bank of California, San Francisco, California

NOLAND CHENG, Executive Vice President, Lewco Securities, Jersey City, New Jersey

JOHN H. HAYNIE, Managing Director-Operations, Interstate/Johnston Lane Corp., Charlotte, North Carolina

JEFF KERR, Senior Vice President, Corporate Trust Services, U.S. Bank, St. Paul, Minnesota

RONALD KESSLER, Corporate Vice President, Director of Operations, A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc., St. Louis, Missouri

FRANK MALARKEY, Director, Credit Suisse First Boston, New York, New York

SHERRY MORELAND, Vice President, Corporate Trust Group, First Union Bank, Charlotte, North Carolina

JAMES R. ORVIS, Senior Vice President, Director of Operations, The Advest Group, Hartford, Connecticut

MANUEL RIVERA, Senior Vice President, Operations, Chapdelaine & Company, New York, New York

JAMES J. RONAYNE, Managing Director, Depository Trust Clearing Corporation, New York, New York

RACHEL L. SCOTT, Senior Vice President, Bank of America Securities, Charlotte, North Carolina

JOSEPH SINISCALCHI, Executive Vice President, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Inc., New York, New York

JOHN W. ZAMBRANO, Vice President, Chase Manhattan Bank, New York, New York





JAMES D. TAYLOR, Vice President

SCOTT J. PREISS, Director of Operations

HARRY J. LOPEZ, Director of Support Services

MARIA LATORRACA, Product Director



Subscribers may request additions to the file by submitting documentation to the CUSIP Service Bureau, Standard & Poor's, 55 Water Street, 47 floor, New York, New York 10041.

Those issuers and issues eligible for inclusion in the CUSIP Master File are described under WHAT SECURITIES ARE COVERED BY THE CUSIP NUMBERING SYSTEM. The CUSIP Agency has sole jurisdiction on whether the qualifications for inclusion have been met.

For information on any of these services, contact the CUSIP Customer Service Department at the above address or phone 212-438-6500.

Information has been obtained by the CUSIP Service Bureau of Standard & Poor's from issuers of securities and other sources believed to be reliable. However, because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by the issuers, our sources, Standard & Poor's or others, neither Standard & Poor's nor The American Bankers Association guarantees the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of any information, and Standard & Poor's and The American Bankers Association are not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from use of such information. The assignment of a CUSIP/CINS number to a particular security by Standard & Poor's is not intended by Standard & Poor's to be, and should not be construed as, an endorsement of such security, a recommendation to purchase, sell or hold such security or an opinion as to the legal validity of such security.

Recommended further reading:
Cashing negotiable instruments
The Money Market
Behind the Money Market:  Clearing and Settling Money Market Instruments
Security Identifiers (Screens)
Books on Financial Instruments