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Back to Scrap Laws Minnesota Metal Scrap Statute
Current as of September 14, 2015

The State Metals Theft Laws summaries are not intended to provide or be relied as a legal advice. This material is provided to serve as a reasonable compilation of the most current state scrap laws and is intended to be a resource or supplement to, and provide ideas for, compliance with all applicable laws. The ISRI State Scrap Laws are subject to change and readers should visit http://www.isri.org/metalstheftdb to make certain they are reading the most recent version of ISRI's summaries of the State Metals Theft Laws

Please Note: Amendments by 2015 Minnesota SF 878 are included and noted in this summary. Among other changes, SF 878 repealed the reporting requirements created by 2013 Minnesota HF 1214 and 2014 Minnesota HF 2605 and removed references to the Minneapolis automated property system interchange file specification format.

Materials Covered and Other Definitions

"Scrap Metal" means wire and cable commonly and customarily used by communication and electric utilities; and copper, aluminum, or any other metal purchased primarily for its reuse or recycling value as raw metal, including metal that is combined with other materials at the time of purchase, but does not include a scrap vehicle as defined in Section 168A.1501, subdivision 1.

"Scrap Metal Dealer" or "Dealer" means a person engaged in the business of buying or selling scrap metal, or both, but does not include a person engaged exclusively in the business of buying or selling new or used motor vehicles or motor vehicle parts, paper or wood products, rags or furniture, or secondhand machinery.

"Proof of Identification" means an identification document issued by any state, federal, or foreign government that includes the person's photograph, full name, birth date, and signature.

Exemptions

Purchases of aluminum cans are exempt. Purchases of scrap vehicles are exempt; rules for scrap vehicles are given under Section 168A.1501.

Recordkeeping until February 15, 2016

Except as provided, Dealers must keep a written record at the time of each purchase or acquisition of Scrap Metal with the following:

  • An accurate description, including the weight if customarily purchased by weight, of the Scrap Metal acquired;
  • The date, time, and place of the receipt of the Scrap Metal;
  • The name and address of the Seller or Deliverer;
  • The number of the check or electronic transfer used to purchase the Scrap Metal;
  • The Seller's or Deliverer's identifying number from a state, federal, or foreign government-issued photo ID that includes their full name, birth date, and signature;
  • The license plate number and description of the delivery vehicle, including any identifying marks on the vehicle (business name, decals, markings, etc.);
  • The Seller's signed statement that the Scrap Metal is not stolen, is free of any liens or encumbrances, and that the Seller has the right to sell it.

Instead of the above transaction record, a Dealer must maintain a bill of sale or other evidence of open or legitimate purchase of the property for the following:

  • Purchases from merchants, manufacturers, or wholesale dealers with an established place of business;
  • Any Goods purchased at an open sale from any bankrupt stock.
Recordkeeping and Seller's Receipt as of February 15, 2016

A Dealer shall create a permanent electronic record in English at the time of each purchase or acquisition of Scrap Metal with the following information:

  • A complete and accurate description, including weight if customarily purchased by weight, of the Scrap Metal;
  • The date, time, and place of the receipt of the Scrap Metal;
  • A unique transaction identifier;
  • A copy or scan of the Seller's proof of identification including the ID number;
  • The amount paid;
  • The number of the check or electronic transfer used to purchase the Scrap Metal;
  • The license plate number and description of the delivery vehicle, including any identifying marks on the vehicle (business name, decals, markings, etc.);
  • The Seller's signed statement that the Scrap Metal is not stolen, is free of any liens or encumbrances, and that the Seller has the right to sell it;

A copy of the Seller's receipt that includes the following:

  • The Dealer's name and address;
  • The date and time the Scrap Metal was received;
  • An accurate description of the Scrap Metal; and
  • The amount paid for the Scrap Metal.

The Seller must be provided with a copy of the receipt required for the records. Instead of a full record, only a copy of the receipt is required for property purchased at open sale from any bankrupt stock, or from any of the following with an established place of business: merchants, manufacturers, salvage pools, insurance companies, rental car companies, financial institutions, charities, dealers licensed under section 168.27, or wholesale dealers.

Photo / Video Cameras

A Dealer shall install and maintain video surveillance cameras, still digital cameras, or similar devices at each business location where the Dealer purchases any Scrap Metal, positioned to record or photograph the readily identifiable face of each Seller or prospective Seller of Scrap Metal who enters the location. The Dealer must also photograph the Seller or prospective Seller's vehicle, including license plate, either by video camera or still digital camera, so an accurate and complete description of it may be obtained from the recordings. Photos and recordings must be clearly and accurately associated with their respective records. Such devices must record and display the accurate date and time and be on at all times when the location is open for business and at any other time when Scrap Metal is purchased.

 

Retention and Information Security

Records must be retained for 3 years, except that recordings and images must only be retained for 60 days. Except as provided in the law, a Dealer may not disclose personal information from transaction records without the customer's consent except in response to a request from a law enforcement agency. A Dealer must implement reasonable safeguards to secure and prevent unauthorized access to or disclosure of the information.

Inspection

Records and Scrap Metal purchased or received must at all reasonable times be open to the inspection of any properly identified law enforcement officer. Law enforcement agencies in the jurisdiction where a dealer is located may conduct regular and routine inspections to ensure compliance, refer violations to the city or county attorney for criminal prosecution, and notify the Registrar of Motor Vehicles. (italicized text effective February 15, 2016)

Video or still digital cameras must be shown upon request to a properly identified law enforcement officer for inspection; recordings and images must be open at all reasonable times to inspection by such.

Notice to Sellers as of February 15, 2016

A Dealer must display a sign of sufficient size, in a conspicuous place in the premises, which informs all patrons that the transactions are reported to law enforcement daily.

Beer Kegs

A Dealer shall not purchase or receive a refillable metal beer keg from anyone except the manufacturer of the keg, the brewer of the beer that was in the keg, or an authorized representative of the manufacturer or brewer.

Payment Restriction

No cash for Scrap Metal. Payment must be by check or electronic transfer.

Hold

A law enforcement official from any agency with probable cause to believe that property in the possession of a Dealer is stolen or is evidence of a crime may notify the Dealer to hold the property for 30 days or until the hold is released or the property is confiscated. The hold must be confirmed in writing by the originating agency within 72 hours.

If an item is identified as stolen or evidence in a criminal case, the official may either place the item on hold or extend a hold; direct its release to a registered owner or the owner's agent; or physically confiscate and remove the item pursuant to a written notification. The person seizing the item shall provide identification upon request and shall provide the Dealer the name and telephone number of the seizing agency and investigator, and the case number related to the seizure. A Dealer may request seized property be returned as provided in Section 626.04

The official shall notify the Dealer when a hold or seize order is no longer necessary. A Dealer may process or dispose of Scrap Metal if a notification to confiscate is not issued during the hold; or if the scrap is a motor vehicle that a law enforcement official does not physically remove within 15 calendar days of a notice to confiscate.

Registration

Every Dealer must register annually with the Commissioner of Public Safety. A Dealer shall pay the Commissioner a $50 annual fee. (SF 878 removed the 02/15/16 expiration date)

Penalties

A Dealer or their agent who intentionally violates the law is guilty of a misdemeanor.

If a Dealer is required to hold Scrap Metal or the metal is seized by law enforcement, the Dealer and any other victim shall be entitled to seek restitution against the person who delivered the metal to the Dealer in any criminal case that may arise from the investigation, including out-of-pocket expenses for storage and lost profit.

Preemption

This law preempts and supersedes any local ordinance or rule concerning the same subject matter.

©2016. The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. All rights reserved.

This summary of State Metals Theft Laws is being viewed on this website under license and is owned and copyrighted by Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. ("ISRI"),1615 L Street, N.W., Suite 600, Washington, DC 20036.