Please Note: Amendments by 2015 Arizona HB 2288, effective July 3, 2015, are included and noted in this summary
"Scrap Metals" includes (but is not limited to) insulated and uninsulated metallic cables.
"Ferrous Metals" means those metals that will attract a magnet.
Prohibited Scrap Metal, as used in this summary, refers to the items listed in Section 44-1642.01
"Scrap Metal Dealers" means each person or business entity engaged in the business of purchasing, trading, bartering, or otherwise receiving secondhand or castoff material of any king which is commonly known as Scrap Metal. Excludes automotive recyclers as defined and licensed in Section 28-4301 and whose primary business is the dismantling, selling,or disposing of parts or accessories of motor vehicles.
"Industrial Account" means an entity that files or is required to file monthly returns for its transaction privilege tax licenses or a governmental entity that sells to a Dealer.
"Department" means the Department of Public Safety
Purchases from Industrial Accounts and other Dealers are exempt from the Reporting and Hold provisions.
Other exemptions are specific to and listed with each provision.The Recordkeeping, Seller's Receipt, Retention, Inspection, Payment Restrictions, and NoPurchase from Minors provisions (Section 44-1624 of the law) do not apply to transactions involving materials consisting of a metal product in its original manufactured form that is composed of no more than 20% by weight of nonferrous metal
Dealers and law enforcement must register on a free theft notification website that allows:
A Dealer must register with the Department every 2 years by submitting the following information along with a fee determined by the Department to cover administration costs.A Dealer does not need to separately register branch offices or wholly-owned subsidiaries.
A Dealer must keep the following documents at each place of business:
A Dealer must keep an English record, legibly printed or written in ink, of each Scrap Metal
transaction with the following information:
A Dealer must provide a receipt to the Seller on site at the time of the transaction, for every transaction, with the following information:
Records must be retained for 2 years: at the business premises for 1 year after making the final entry of any transaction; and at the business premises or any other reasonably available location for an additional year.
A Dealer's business premises, business records relating to Scrap Metal transactions, and business inventory must be open during regular business hours for reasonable inspection by a peace officer. Inspecting peace officers must first identify themselves and the purpose for the inspection to the Dealer, Dealer's manager, or other responsible person and comply with all of the Dealer's reasonable and customary safety requirements for the premises.The Dealer may require the officer to sign an inspection log with the officer's name, serial or badge number, time, date, and purpose of the inspection.
A Dealer's required registration documents (proof of registration, statement showing registration on a Theft Notification Website, affidavit of compliance, and biennial compliance questionnaire) for each place of business must be available for inspection bylaw enforcement. If a Dealer does not have the documents law enforcement must submit a notice of violation to the Dealer, and may not reinspect the premises for such until 15 days after the notice was received.
A Dealer must submit an electronic report to the Department within 24 hours of receiving Scrap Metal, except from an Industrial Account or another Dealer, with the following:
The Department shall design and make available a seller and transaction form that may be used for reporting. A Dealer that submits information to the Department shall not be required to submit the same information to a local law enforcement agency.
7 day hold after a report is filed for any reportable transaction involving:
Exempts transactions with Industrial Accounts or another Dealer, or purchases of:
A Scrap Metal Seller must be at least 16 years old.
A Dealer may only knowingly purchase Prohibited Scrap Metal:
A Dealer may only purchase or receive metallic wire that was burned in whole or in part to remove insulation from:
A Dealer shall not accept aluminum wire with a diameter of at least 3/8ths of an inch or any copper wire that has had the insulation removed and shall not remove insulation from the wire until after the 7 day hold period unless the Seller is an Industrial Account or another Dealer.
No cash payments for purchases involving the following:
Payment for such must be by mailing a check or money order to the address provided in the transaction record, payable to the business name for an industrial account. For transactions involving air conditioning cooling coils with an Industrial Account, a Dealer may also pay the seller on site with a check made payable to the Industrial Account. A Seller may not participate in more than one cash transaction per day for Scrap Metal, or conduct a series of transactions for one vehicle load of Scrap Metal to avoid requirements.
The Department shall submit a report every 2 years to the President of the Arizona Senate and the Speaker of the Arizona House about Scrap Metal Dealers identifying the Dealers registered in Arizona.
The Department shall establish electronic reporting submission standards by rule, allowing
submission in a format that is compatible with the output format of at least 4 record keeping software programs currently in use in the scrap metal industry in Arizona and that can be electronically merged with the Department's database. The Department shall make reported information available to local law enforcement over the internet and provide for training and procedures to allow law enforcement to access the information.
(Added by HB 2288) The Department must post the name and address of each scrap metal dealer and the location of each principal office and branch location as submitted in the scrap metal dealer's registration on the Department's website.
The President of the Arizona Senate and the Speaker of the Arizona House for the first regular session in 2023 may appoint a joint legislative committee on metal theft to review the effectiveness of this law in deterring crime and the cost of compliance to industries affected. The Committee may report on its findings by December 1, 2023.
A Dealer who fails to maintain the required registration documents for each place of business is subject to any or all of the following that apply:
A Seller may not conduct a series of transactions for one vehicle load of Scrap Metal to avoid the requirements of the Recordkeeping or Payment Restrictions provisions.
A Dealer who fails to comply with the law is guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor.
Under Section 13-1802, a person commits theft if, without lawful authority, the person knowingly commits one of the following involving ferrous or nonferrous metal:
Under Section 13-1802, the value of any ferrous or nonferrous metal for sentencing includes the amount of any damage to property caused as a result of the theft. In an action for the theft of ferrous or nonferrous metal, unless satisfactorily explained or acquired in the ordinary
course of business by an automotive recycler as defined in Section 28-4301 or a Dealer:
Under Section 12-712, a defendant may be found not liable in a civil action if the claimant (or the deceased person in an action taken by their heir or estate) was attempting to commit, was committing, or was immediately fleeing from an act in violation of the metal theft provisions of Section 13-1802 (subsection A, paragraphs 7 and 8), and was as a result in any way responsible for the accident or event that caused their harm.
Under Section 13-3728, the purchase or sale of a used catalytic converter is a class 1
misdemeanor unless the purchase or sale:
Counties, cities, and towns may not enact or enforce ordinances, rules, or regulations that conflict, but may enact such that regulate Scrap Metal Dealers and are not in conflict.
The power to register Scrap Metal Dealers is preempted by the state; this does not affect a city's, town's, or county's power to enforce business licensing laws, or a city's, town's, or county's system for licensing a Scrap Metal Dealer if the licensing system includes background checks or identification and fingerprinting of the owners of the Scrap Metal Dealer. A Scrap Metal Dealer's license that is current and in good standing with a city's, town's or county's licensing system before September 13, 2013 is in compliance with that licensing system and the city, town or county may not require the Scrap Metal Dealer to reapply for licensure in order to be in compliance with the city's, town's or county's licensure system unless there is an event or circumstance that requires an amendment or filing pursuant to the city's, town's or county's licensing system's requirements
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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.