register date question

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    I understand for dividends the rule is shares start trading ex-div 4 days before the record date.

    Question: When you buy a share, how many days before you become a shareholder on the company's register. I thought it was a 3 day gap, is that correct?

    If so, how do the share registry's manage this 3 day versus 4 day difference? Makes me think everything must run on the 4 day rule (in which case my above understanding is wrong).

    Thanks in advance to any answers.

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