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Back to Scrap Laws Idaho Metal Scrap Statute
Current as of May 20, 2014

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
Overview of Provisions (use the section titles to travel directly to that section)

Please Note: Amended language from 2014 Idaho HB 518 (effective July 1, 2014) is reflected and noted in this summary. 2014 Idaho SB 1258 (effective July 1, 2014) makes nonsubstantive amendments to the Tag and Hold provision and is not noted in this summary.


Materials Covered and Other Definitions

"Nonferrous Metal Property" means metal property for which the value is derived from the content of copper, brass, aluminum, bronze, lead, zinc, nickel, gold, silver, platinum and their alloys. The term includes stainless steel beer kegs, but does not include aluminum beverage containers, used beverage containers or similar beverage containers.

Stainless Steel Metal Property is referenced in the Recordkeeping provision but is not defined in the law.

Burned Metallic Wire, as used in this summary, refers to metallic wire that was burned in whole or in part to remove insulation, as regulated by Section 54-2703 of the law.

"Commercial Metal Property" (as amended by HB 518) means property sold by a Commercial Enterprise consisting of:

  • Access covers;
  • Street light poles and fixtures;
  • Road and bridge guardrails;
  • Highway or street signs;
  • Water meter covers;
  • Traffic directional and control signs;
  • Traffic light signals;
  • Any metal property marked with the name of a municipality, governmental entity, or a Commercial Enterprise, included but not limited to a telephone, cable, electric, water, natural gas, or other utility, or railroad materials;
  • Copper or aluminum wiring with associated clamps and connectors;
  • Aluminum or stainless steel fence panels;
  • Aluminum decking, bleachers, or risers;
  • Historical markers;
  • Statue plaques;
  • Grave markers and funeral vases; or
  • Agricultural irrigation equipment not limited to wheels, sprinkler heads, and pipes; or stainless steel designed to be used in agricultural or commercial businesses.

"Commercial Enterprise" means a corporation, partnership, limited liability company, association, state agency, political subdivision of the state, public corporation, or any other legal or commercial entity.

"Scrap Metal Business" means a Scrap Metal Supplier, Scrap Metal Recycling Center, or Scrap Metal Processor that is a Commercial Enterprise that purchases, receives, and processes Nonferrous Metal Property, Stainless Steel, or Commercial Metal Property. (italicized text added by HB 518)

"Scrap Metal Processor" means a person with a current business license that conducts business from a permanent location, that is engaged in the business of purchasing or receiving metal property for the purpose of altering the metal in preparation for its use as feedstock in the manufacture of new products, and that maintains a hydraulic bailer, shearing device, crusher or shredding device for recycling. (HB 518 adds crusher)

"Scrap Metal Recycling Center" means a person with a current business license that is engaged in the business of purchasing or receiving Nonferrous Metal Property for the purpose of aggregation and sale to another Scrap Metal Business and that maintains a fixed place of business within the state.

"Scrap Metal Supplier" means a person that is engaged in the business of purchasing or receiving Nonferrous Metal Property for the purpose of aggregation and sale to a Scrap Metal Recycling Center or Scrap Metal Processor and that does not maintain a fixed business location in the state.

"Commercial Account" means a relationship between a Scrap Metal Business and a Commercial Enterprise that is ongoing and properly documented under this chapter.

"Transaction" means a pledge, or the purchase of, or the trade of any item of Nonferrous Metal by a Scrap Metal Business from a member of the general public. "Transaction" does not include donations or the purchase or receipt of Nonferrous Metal from a Commercial Enterprise, another Scrap Metal Business, or a duly authorized employee or agent of such.


The law exempts Transactions conducted by the following (italicized text added by HB 518):

  • Motor vehicle dealers that do not meet the definition of a Scrap Metal Business;
  • Persons in the business of operating an automotive repair facility that do not meet the definition of a Scrap Metal Business;
  • Persons in the business of buying or selling empty food and beverage containers, including metal food and beverage containers, except beer kegs;
  • Transactions of a value of less than $20;
  • Entities or individuals who do not receive compensation for the metal property; and
  • Authorized insurers as defined in Section 41-110(1).
Recordkeeping - Nonferrous and Stainless

A Scrap Metal Business shall record the following information in English, on a standardized or electronic form, for any Transaction (see definition) involving Nonferrous Metal Property or stainless steel metal property:

  • The Seller's Signature;
  • The Date and location of the transaction;
  • The value of the transaction;
  • The name of the employee representing the Scrap Metal Business in the transaction;
  • The Seller's name and street address;
  • A copy of the Seller's current U.S. or Idaho government-issued photo ID;
  • The license plate number of the Seller's vehicle;
  • A declaration signed by the Seller, with the date and time noted by the Seller, and witnessed and signed by an employee of the Scrap Metal Business, stating: "I, the undersigned, affirm under penalty of law that the property that is subject to this transaction is not to the best of my knowledge stolen property."
  • (as amended by HB 518) For the first 3 Transactions with the same Seller within 1 year, a digital, photographic, or "videographic" image of the transaction to include the person, property, and delivery vehicle involved in the transaction.
Recordkeeping - Commercial Accounts

For a Commercial Account a Scrap Metal Business must maintain a permanent record with a Commercial Enterprise, including another Scrap Metal Business, with the following:

  • The full name of the Commercial Enterprise or Commercial Account;
  • The business address and telephone number of such;
  • The full name of the primary contact or whoever is authorized to deliver Nonferrous Metal and stainless steel and Commercial Metal Property; and
  • The full name of the primary contact who is authorized to permit a Scrap Metal Business to take possession of Nonferrous Metal and stainless steel and Commercial Metal Property at the business location of the Commercial Enterprise.

The Commercial Account record must also document every purchase or receipt of Nonferrous Metal, stainless steel, or Commercial Metal Property with the following:

  • The time and date of the purchase or receipt;
  • The value of the property;
  • A description of the predominant types of property.
Payment Restrictions - Commercial Accounts

Payment to a Commercial Account for Nonferrous Metal, stainless steel, or Commercial Metal Property must be by cash, credit cards, electronic funds transfer, or check payable to the Commercial Enterprise. (italicized text added by HB 518)


Burned Metallic Wire

No purchase or receipt of metallic wire burned in whole or in part to remove insulation unless the Seller produces written proof that the wire was lawfully burned or lawfully recovered from a burned structure.


Beer Kegs

No purchase or receipt of beer kegs from anyone except a distributor or manufacturer of beer kegs or licensed brewery.


Commercial Property

No purchase or receipt of Commercial Metal Property unless the Seller:

  • Has a Commercial Account with the Scrap Metal Business;
  • Produces written documentation proving ownership of the property; or
  • Produces written documentation that the Seller is authorized to sell on behalf of a Commercial Enterprise.
Retention (added by HB 518)

Records must be retained for 5 years.

Inspection (added by HB 518)

In lieu of reporting, a Scrap Metal Business and law enforcement may arrange a time for law enforcement to review records.


Upon request by a state or local law enforcement officer, a Scrap Metal Business shall report records involving a specific individual, vehicle, or covered item of property, provided that such record still exists at the time of inquiry. The request shall specify a time of not less than 5 business days for the report. The report may be transmitted by fax, modem or similar, or delivered by computer disk subject to the requirements and approval of the chief of police or county's chief law enforcement officer. (italicized text added by HB 518)


Tag and Hold

Following verbal or written notification from a commissioned state or local law enforcement officer that an item of Nonferrous Metal, stainless steel, or Commercial Metal Property has been reported stolen, a Scrap Metal Business shall tag and hold the property for up to a 5 business day period as directed by the applicable law enforcement agency. (HB 518 reduces holding period from 10 days to 5)



It is a misdemeanor, or, for any person other than a Scrap Metal Business, a felony for a second violation within 5 years, for (italicized text added by HB 518):

  • A person to deliberately remove, alter, or obliterate any identifying marks engraved or etched on Nonferrous or Commercial Metal to deceive a Scrap Metal Business;
  • A person to knowingly make, cause, or allow to be made any false entry or misstatement in a record required;
  • A person to sign the required declaration knowing the Nonferrous Metal is stolen;
  • A Scrap Metal Business to knowingly possess Commercial Metal Property that was not lawfully purchased or received as required;
  • A Scrap Metal Business to engage in a series of transactions valued at less than $20 with the same Seller at the same location within a 24 hour period to avoid requirements;
  • Any person to intentionally violate the Commercial Property provision.

It is a felony to knowingly and intentionally take Nonferrous Metals:

  • From an electrical substation without authorization of the utility; or
  • From a utility or communications services provider and thereby cause damage to the facilities of such or interfere with their ability to provide service.

A public or private owner of metal property is not civilly liable to:

  • A person injured during the theft or attempted theft of metal property, or
  • A person for injuries caused by a dangerous condition created as a result of the theft or attempted theft of the owner's metal property when the owner did not know, and could not have reasonably known, of the dangerous condition.

©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.