The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has recently given a directive to shareholders that their share certificates should be converted into dematerialised form by December 5, 2018. The regulator has amended the listing Obligation and Disclosure Requirements (LODR) regulations. The regulation states that transfers of securities will not be processed unless they are held in demat form with a depository. In simpler terms, investors holding shares in listed companies need to meet the deadline, or else they will not be able to transfer or sell securities. This measure will affect senior citizens because they still hold shares in physical form. In India, there are many investors who keep shares in physical form. Investors believe that having them in a bank account insulates them from any fraud. Unfortunately, they are wrong. There is a big chance that such shares may be duplicated. According to a report by Morgan Stanley, the market capitalisation of Indian equities is at $2.3 trillion in 2017. Around $40 billion is held via physical shares. ALSO READ: How to bring money in conversation with parents The SEBI's step aims to reduce fraudulent dealings and curb unlawful gain. There are several advantages of dematerialisation. The shares can be transferred electronically, reducing transaction costs. Moreover, the costs involved in the share certificate and the transfer deed are minimised. Also, the dematerialised share certificates cannot be stolen. By dematerialising share certificates, investors can avoid the time consumed and the complex process of getting shares transferred in the buyer's name. So, how to convert physical shares into dematerialised certificates? 1) Open a demat account with a depository such as NSDL, National Securities Depository Limited and Central Depository Services (CDSL) by opening a demat account. It can be done with documents like PAN card and other identity proof. ALSO\u00a0 READ:\u00a0 New SC mandate on auto insurance: How will it benefit customers 2) Fill a demat request form and surrender the share certificates. 3) The depository will send an electronic request to the registrar and the transfer agent (RTA) along with the physical shares. 4) The RTA will verify the physical shares and, if found in order, it will write \u201csurrendered for demat\u201d on them. 5) The RTA will approach the company. Once the register of members of the company has been amended, a confirmation will be sent to the depository. 6) The demat account with the depository participant will be credited with the demat shares.