TITLE 24

Professions and Occupations

CHAPTER 23. PAWNBROKERS, SECONDHAND DEALERS AND SCRAP METAL PROCESSORS

Subchapter I. General Provisions


As used in this chapter:

(1) "Antique dealer" means a person, company, corporation, or member or members of a partnership or firm who sells exclusively goods that are at least 50 years old.

(2) "Consumer" means any person or buyer who purchases a retail product, as defined in paragraph (5) of this section, other than for further purposes of resale or processing.

(3) "Exempted Internet acquisitions" means any property acquired by a business licensed under this chapter from an exclusive Internet sale.

(4) "Pawnbroker" means any person, company, corporation, or member or members of a partnership or firm who:

a. Engages in the business of lending money on the deposit or pledge of personal property or other valuable things, other than causes in action, securities, or written evidences of indebtedness; or

b. Purchases personal property with an expressed or implied agreement or understanding to sell it back at a subsequent time at a stipulated price; or

c. Lends money upon goods, wares or merchandise pledged, stored or deposited as collateral security.

(5) "Retail" means the sale or purchase for final consumption in contrast to a sale for further sale or processing, or a sale to the final consumer, rather than a sale to a retailer or one who intends to resell.

(6) "Scrap metal processor" means any person, company, corporation, or member or members of a partnership or firm engaged in the business of selling or receiving any worn out or discarded metal, old iron, used plumbing fixtures, other metals, automobiles, automobile parts, chain, copper, lead, brass, or other parts of machinery.

(7) "Secondhand dealer" means any person, company, corporation, or member or members of a partnership or firm whose storefront business includes any volume of selling or receiving previously owned, used, rented or leased tangible personal property excluding motor vehicles. The term "secondhand dealer" shall not include auction houses, flea markets, antique dealers or motor vehicle dealers. This chapter, as it relates to secondhand dealers, does not apply to:

a. The sale of secondhand goods at events commonly known as "garage sales," "yard sales," or "estate sales";

b. The sale or receipt of secondhand books, magazines, post cards, postage stamps;

c. The sale or receipt of used merchandise donated to recognized nonprofit, religious, or charitable organizations or any school-sponsored association for which no compensation is paid;

d. The sale or receipt of secondhand furniture;

e. The sale or receipt of secondhand clothing and shoes;

f. The sale of goods exclusively via the Internet that meet the definition of "exempted Internet acquisition" set forth in this section;

g. Federal firearms licensed dealers;

h. The retail sale or purchase of goods, notwithstanding any and all articles under § 2302(b) of this title, and/or produce or other food products to a consumer, by a person, company, corporation, member or members of a partnership or firm from a location that the person, company, corporation, member or members or a partnership or firm, owns or leases; or

i. The taking in trade by a business of an item of a like kind to items which such business sells as new goods as the principal or substantial part of its business.

24 Del. Laws, c. 162, § 1; Code 1915, § 1196; Code 1935, § 1382; 46 Del. Laws, c. 136, § 1; 24 Del. C. 1953, § 2301; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 284, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 185, § 2; 78 Del. Laws, c. 184, §§ 1- 6; 79 Del. Laws, c. 299, § 1.;

(a) Every pawnbroker and secondhand dealer shall create a record and provide information regarding merchandise acquired via an electronic format to be determined by the Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security.

(1) Such record shall include, at a minimum, the following information:

a. The date and time of purchase;

b. The make, model, any listed serial number, identifying markings, color, size, or any other identifiable characteristics of the purchased item(s);

c. If payment is based on weight for precious metal, the weight of the type of the metal shall be listed as well as any precious stone(s) which is a part of the item;

d. The amount or other consideration paid for the merchandise;

e. The name and address of the individual from whom the merchandise is acquired;

f. The signature of the individual from whom the merchandise is acquired;

g. For each individual from whom the pawn broker or secondhand dealer acquires scrap metal:

1. The date of birth and driver's license; or,

2. Identification information about the individual from a valid state-issued photo identification card that provides a physical description of the individual, including the sex, race, distinguishing features, and approximate age, height and weight of the individual.

(2) Pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers shall collect a photograph of the seller and all information pertaining to the seller, required on the electronic form, for every transaction regardless of value.

(b)(1) Every scrap metal processor shall create a record and provide information regarding scrap metal acquired via an electronic format to be determined by the Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security with respect to the following articles purchased or otherwise acquired:

a. Copper;

b. Silver;

c. Gold;

d. Brass;

e. Platinum;

f. Bronze;

g. Automobiles or automobile parts displaying a vehicle identification number (VIN); or

h. Lead-acid batteries.

(2) Such record shall include, at a minimum, the following information:

a. The date and time of purchase;

b. The type and grade of scrap metal;

c. If payment is based on weight, the weight of each type and grade of scrap metal;

d. The amount or other consideration for the scrap metal;

e. The registration plate number, make and model of the vehicle used in the delivery of scrap metal;

f. The name and address of the individual from whom the scrap metal is acquired;

g. The signature of:

1. The individual from whom the scrap metal is acquired; and,

2. The scrap metal processor; and

h. For each individual from whom the scrap metal processor acquires scrap metal:

1. The date of birth and driver's license; or,

2. Identification information about the individual from a valid state-issued photo identification card that provides a physical description of the individual, including the sex, race, distinguishing features, and approximate age, height and weight of the individual.

(3) Scrap metal processors will collect a photograph of the seller and all information pertaining to the seller, required on the electronic form, for every transaction regardless of value.

(c) The forms required by subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall be completed immediately after any articles or goods have been purchased or acquired and shall be submitted electronically by the close of business the next business day, in a format to be determined by the Secretary of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, to the law-enforcement agency having primary jurisdiction over the area in which the business is located. Forms submitted under this section shall be kept confidential and are not public records.

(d) Pawnbrokers, secondhand dealers and scrap metal processors shall record the name of the person making the record entry and shall make that information available to police.

(e) The information provided on the forms under this section shall be stored and maintained by the pawnbroker, secondhand dealer or scrap metal processor for a period of 1 year and shall be provided to police immediately upon request.

(f) The Secretary of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security may promulgate rules and regulations that allow for the completion and filing of electronic forms and information.

(g)(1) Articles purchased or otherwise acquired by a scrap metal processor shall be recorded via an electronic image, in either still or video format, and a copy of said image(s) is to be supplied at the specific request of a law-enforcement agency, within 24 hours of said request.

(2) The images referenced in paragraph (g)(1) of this section above will be kept on file by the scrap metal processor for a minimum of 30 days after the image was recorded.

24 Del. Laws, c. 162, § 5; Code 1915, § 1200; 28 Del. Laws, c. 81, § 1; Code 1935, § 1386; 47 Del. Laws, c. 263, § 1; 24 Del. C. 1953, § 2313; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 284, § 1; 76 Del. Laws, c. 349, §§ 1, 2; 77 Del. Laws, c. 185, § 3; 77 Del. Laws, c. 338, § 1; 78 Del. Laws, c. 173, § 1; 78 Del. Laws, c. 184, § 7; 79 Del. Laws, c. 156, §§ 1, 2; 79 Del. Laws, c. 299, § 1.;

(a) Any pawnbroker shall furnish to each applicant or customer a ticket on which is printed a number corresponding with the number used to identify the article placed in pawn, and also the amount given in cash, together with all charges and the total amount to be paid when the article is to be redeemed.

(b) Any pawnbroker shall, at the time the loan is made on goods or articles, deliver to the person pawning or pledging such goods or articles, a memorandum or note, signed by such person and containing an account and description of the goods or articles pawned or pledged. No charge shall be made or received by any pawnbroker for any such ticket entry, memorandum or note.

24 Del. Laws, c. 162, §§ 5, 6; Code 1915, §§ 1200, 1201; 28 Del. Laws, c. 81, § 1; Code 1935, §§ 1386, 1387; 47 Del. Laws, c. 263, § 1; 24 Del. C. 1953, § 2307; 75 Del. Laws, c. 284, § 1.;

(a) Every pawnbroker and secondhand dealer subject to this chapter must keep for a period of 18 days, including weekends and holidays, subject to inspection by any police officer of Delaware, all goods, wares and merchandise purchased or received from any person before selling, shipping or otherwise disposing of the same. This does not prohibit any person from securing valuable goods, wares and merchandise in a vault, safe or safety deposit box or other similarly secured storage area on the normal business premises so long as such secured items are readily available for inspection by a police officer. Scrap metal processors must hold platinum, gold and silver articles for 18 days.

(b) Every scrap metal processor subject to this chapter must keep for a period of 72 hours from the date and time the item was electronically reported, not including holidays or weekends, all copper or brass articles purchased or received from any person before selling, shipping or otherwise disposing of same, except that there shall be no holding period for articles meeting all of the following criteria:

(1) That are purchased or received from a commercially licensed entity;

(2) That are of the type commonly purchased or received from commercial entities; and

(3) For which payment is made directly to the commercial entity and not to the individual delivering the articles.

(c) Every scrap metal processor which takes in a scrapped or dismantled vehicle without a title must have the vehicle cleared by a Delaware State Police auto theft technician before the vehicle is scrapped, dismantled, or altered in any way.

(d) Such holding periods are not applicable when the person from whom the goods were acquired or pledged desires to redeem, repurchase, or recover the goods, provided the dealer or pawnbroker can produce the record of the original transaction with verification that the customer is the person from whom the goods were originally acquired.

(e) A pawnbroker, secondhand dealer, or scrap metal processor shall not destroy, disfigure or obliterate identification marks or cause the identity of an article to otherwise be destroyed so long as the article continues to be in that person's possession.

(f) Law-enforcement officers may require that an item be held for an additional 30 days beyond the requirements of subsection (a) of this section if they know or have reason to believe that the property is missing or stolen.

24 Del. Laws, c. 162, § 11; Code 1915, § 1206; Code 1935, § 1392; 47 Del. Laws, c. 264, § 1; 24 Del. C. 1953, § 2311; 75 Del. Laws, c. 284, § 1; 76 Del. Laws, c. 209, § 1; 76 Del. Laws, c. 349, §§ 3, 4; 78 Del. Laws, c. 184, §§ 8, 9; 79 Del. Laws, c. 156, § 3.;

(a) Every pawnbroker, secondhand dealer and scrap metal processor subject to this chapter shall maintain at a place of business designated on the license records of all information required by this chapter, together with a photocopy of government-issued photo identification, for a period of at least 1 year from the date the transaction was recorded.

(b) The records required to be maintained in subsection (a) of this section shall, during regular business hours, be subject to inspection by a law-enforcement officer of Delaware, or by the Attorney General or any Deputy Attorney General.

(c) Such inspection shall consist of an examination on the premises of the inventory and required records to determine whether the records and inventory are being maintained on the premises as required by this chapter.

24 Del. Laws, c. 162, § 7; Code 1915, § 1202; Code 1935, § 1388; 24 Del. C. 1953, § 2314; 71 Del Laws, c. 176, § 31; 75 Del. Laws, c. 284, § 1.;

Any pawnbroker, secondhand dealer or scrap metal processor may seize any goods offered to such person for sale or as a pledge or pawn, which such person has reason to believe have been stolen. Such person shall immediately notify the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the premises where the sale or offer or pledge took place or where the goods are currently located. Any person acting in compliance with this section shall be immune from civil or criminal penalties if that person acts in good faith.

24 Del. Laws, c. 162, § 14; Code 1915, § 1209; Code 1935, § 1395; 24 Del. C. 1953, § 2316; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 284, § 1.;

(a) No pawnbroker, secondhand dealer or scrap metal processor subject to this chapter shall knowingly purchase or acquire any article, ware or merchandise:

(1) From any person or persons under the age of 18 unless that person or person is:

a. Recycling aluminum cans; or

b. Accompanied by a parent, grandparent or guardian;

(2) From any person under the influence of any intoxicating liquor or drug when such condition is visible or apparent; or

(3) Which has an altered, obliterated or otherwise tampered with serial number or identifying marking.

(b) No pawnbroker subject to this chapter shall take or receive as a pledge or pawn any artificial limb or wheelchair.

(c) A scrap metal processor may not purchase a catalytic converter from an individual unless the individual, at the time of purchase, provides identification as:

(1) A licensed automotive dismantler and recycler or scrap metal processor; or

(2) An agent or employee of a licensed commercial enterprise.

(d) A scrap metal processor may not purchase the following items from an individual unless the individual, at the time of purchase, provides appropriate authorization from a relevant business or unit of federal, state, or local government specifically authorizing the individual to conduct the transaction.

(1) Metal bleachers;

(2) Hard-drawn copper;

(3) Metal beer kegs;

(4) Cemetery urns;

(5) Grave markers;

(6) Materials related to railroad infrastructure; and

(7) Any other used articles owned by a public utility including:

a. Guardrails;

b. Manhole covers;

c. Metal light poles;

d. Tree grates;

e. Water meters; and

f. Street signs.

24 Del. Laws, c. 162, §§ 9, 10; 24 Del. Laws, c. 163, § 1; Code 1915, §§ 1204, 1205; Code 1935, §§ 1390, 1391; 47 Del. Laws, c. 169, § 1; 24 Del. C. 1953, §§ 2309, 2310, 2312; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 284, § 1; 79 Del. Laws, c. 156, § 4.;

Whoever violates this chapter, except where another penalty is provided, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, if convicted, may be fined not more than $10,000.

24 Del. Laws, c. 162, § 16; Code 1915, § 1211; Code 1935, § 1397; 46 Del. Laws, c. 135, § 1; 24 Del. C. 1953, § 2318; 75 Del. Laws, c. 284, § 1; 76 Del. Laws, c. 209, § 2; 77 Del. Laws, c. 185, § 4.;

Nothing in this chapter shall preclude political subdivisions of the State and municipalities from enacting laws more restrictive than the provisions of this chapter, but such laws shall be in addition to, not in lieu of, the regulations set forth in this chapter.

75 Del. Laws, c. 284, § 1.;