To cash in a paper stock certificate, mail the stock to the correct transfer agent to be placed into the direct registration system, and request the form of payment you wish to receive, states USA Today. Once the shares are sold, the transfer agent sends you the funds.
Call the company's investor relations department or browse the company website to find the appropriate transfer agent for the stock, and call the agent to confirm this and ask what documentation you need to send, notes USA Today. Mail the paper stock certificate to the agent via insured, tracked mail with instructions to put the stock in DRS book entry form so that the shares can be sold. Call or email the agent to confirm the sale and have the money sent to you via check or other payment form. Many transfer agents provide this cash-in service for free.
For a stock of a defunct company that is not cancelled and still has legal value, complete the process with a transfer agent, requesting the agent cash in the funds and transfer them to your brokerage account, says Zacks. For a defunct stock with no legal value, complete an Internet search to find its value as a collectible item.