Municipal CUSIP - What is it?

Municipal Bond Fraud and Misrepresentation FINRA Arbitration and Litigation Attorney, Russell L. Forkey, Esq.

What is a CUSIP?

CUSIP is an acronym that refers to Committee on Uniform Security Identification Procedures and the nine-digit, alphanumeric CUSIP numbers that are used to identify securities, including municipal bonds. A CUSIP number, similar to a serial number, is assigned to each maturity of a municipal security issue. The first six characters are known as the base, or CUSIP-6, and uniquely identify the bond issuer. The 7th and 8th digit identify the exact bond issue and the 9th digit is an automatically generated "check digit."

Using a CUSIP number is the best way to locate a bond on EMMA, which stands for Electronic Municipal Market Access (http://emma.msrb.org). This post provides helpful tips for obtaining CUSIP numbers.  However, please keep in mind that EMMA does not currently provide trade data for trades occurring prior to January 31, 2005.

How Can I Find a CUSIP?

EMMA has a search function that can be used to locate a CUSIP. Other ways to locate a CUSIP are to find it in an official statement (available on EMMA) or by consulting an external source such as a municipal securities dealer. If an investor has purchased a particular bond, the CUSIP can be found on the confirmation of purchase and in periodic financial statements.

Searching for a CUSIP on EMMA

Searching for a CUSIP-6 or CUSIP-9 on EMMA can be done through EMMA's "Muni Search" function or its "Advanced Muni Search" function.