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Back to Scrap Laws Maine Metal Scrap Statute
Current as of June 5, 2013

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: Amendments by 2013 Maine HP 559 and Maine HP 560 are included and noted in this summary, and will become effective 90 days after the end of the 2013 legislative session. This summary covers Ch. 183 Subch. 1-A: Scrap Metal Processors; Ch. 183 also has rules for Junkyards and Automobile Graveyards (Subch. 1) and Junk Dealers (Subch. 4).

Materials Covered and Other Definitions

"Scrap Metal" means metal that can be recycled, including, but not limited to, bits and pieces of metal parts that may be combined together with bolts or soldering and can be recycled when worn or superfluous.

"Nonferrous Metal" means a metal that does not contain significant quantities of iron or steel. "Nonferrous Metal" includes the following metals and their alloys: copper; brass; aluminum; bronze; lead; zinc; nickel; and platinum.

"Beverage Container" means a can, bottle, jar or other container made of aluminum or metal that is sealed by a manufacturer and contained, at the time of sale, a beverage, as defined by Title 32, section 1862, but does not include a beer keg.

Restricted Scrap Metal, as used in this summary, refers to the items listed in 30-A Section 3775:

  • Scrap Metal marked with the initials of an electrical, telephone, cable or other public utility or a beer manufacturer;
  • Utility access covers;
  • Street light poles and fixtures;
  • Road and bridge guard rails;
  • Highway or street signs;
  • Water meter covers;
  • Metal beer kegs or keg pieces, including those made of stainless steel that are clearly marked as being the property of the beer manufacturer. Beer kegs or pieces may not be sold or purchased if the brewer's markings are obliterated or made illegible;
  • Traffic directional and control signs;
  • Traffic light signals;
  • Any scrap metal marked with the name of a governmental entity;
  • Property owned by a telephone, cable, electric, water or other utility or by a railroad and marked or otherwise identified as such;
  • Unused and undamaged building construction or utility materials consisting of copper pipe, tubing or wiring or aluminum wire;
  • Historical markers;
  • Grave markers and vases; and
  • Catalytic converters.

"Scrap Metal Processor" means a person that purchases Scrap Metal for resale or recycling.

"Seller" means any person that receives in a transaction monetary consideration from a Scrap Metal Processor in exchange for Nonferrous Metal, iron or steel, including stainless steel. "Seller" does not include a person that, as part of a commercial enterprise or business, sells pursuant to a written contract or bill of sale Scrap Metal generated in a manufacturing or production process to a Scrap Metal Processor.


A Processor is not required to maintain individual records for a series of Scrap Metal purchases made pursuant to a written contract or bill of sale. Scrap Metal provisions exempt transactions involving only beverage containers.

The Restricted Scrap Metal provision does not apply to transactions between Processors.


Processors must maintain an accurate and legible written or electronic record of each Scrap Metal purchase transaction with the following:

  • The date of purchase;
  • A general description of the predominant types, made in accordance with custom;
  • A general description of the material's configuration and whether it is insulated;
  • The weight, quantity, or volume, recorded in accordance with custom;
  • The consideration paid;
  • If payment is made by check, the Payee, check number, and name of the financial institution on which the check was drawn (bold text added by HP 559);
  • The Seller's signed statement of ownership or authorization to sell. The Processor must provide a form conspicuously bearing a warning that making a false statement is a Class D crime under Title 17-A, section 453;
  • The make, model, license plate number and state of issue of the delivery vehicle.

Proof of the Seller's identification consisting of the following. Such proof of identification is subject to special Retention requirements, and may be maintained in a relational database for repeat Sellers and referenced in future transactions

  • The Seller's name, address, gender, and identifying number from the Seller's government-issued photo identification;
  • A copy of the Seller's government-issued photo identification;
  • A photograph of the Seller if their identification's photo is faded, out of date, or otherwise indiscernible;
Restricted Scrap Metal - Additional Recordkeeping

A Seller may not sell and a Processor may not purchase Restricted Scrap Metal unless the Seller provides a signed statement for the transaction record at the time of sale that the property, to the best of the Seller's knowledge, is not stolen, and the Seller is the owner or otherwise authorized to sell. Does not apply to transactions between Processors.

Purchase from Minors - Additional Recordkeeping

A Processor may not purchase Scrap Metal from a minor unless the minor is accompanied by their parent or guardian, and the parent or guardian provides a written statement to the Processor that the transaction is taking place with their full knowledge and consent. Such a statement must be retained and made available for inspection for 3 years.


Records must be retained for 1 year. Proof of the Seller's identification must be kept in a secure, nonpublic location and may not be published, reproduced, distributed, or disclosed except as permitted by law.

A parent or guardian's written statement of consent to a purchase from a minor must be retained for at least 3 years.



Records must be made available to any state or local law enforcement office.

Payment Restrictions

No cash payments to Sellers. Processors shall pay by check, credit card, or debit card. (Bold text added by HP 559)


A law enforcement officer with reasonable suspicion that Scrap Metal is stolen or related to criminal activity may issue a written order to a Processor specifying up to a 7 day hold period. Prior to the hold's expiration an officer may issue an additional written hold notice of up to 7 days.


A person who violates this Chapter commits a civil violation subject to:

  • 1st offense: $1,000 fine;
  • 2nd offense: $3,000 fine;
  • 3rd or subsequent: $4,500 fine and prohibited from acting as a Processor for 6 months.
Report on State Licensing - January 30, 2014 (added by HP 560)

The Secretary of State shall study the need for state regulation of scrap metal dealers and review the advantages and disadvantages of a state license, permit, or registration process. The Secretary of State shall invite participation by stakeholders in the scrap metal industry, law enforcement, and other interested parties in order to identify the most effective system for statewide regulation and the enforcement of laws relating to scrap metal dealers and scrap metal thefts.

The Secretary of State shall submit the report and any recommended legislation to the Joint Standing Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development by January 30, 2014. The Committee is authorized to submit a bill in 2014 related to the report.

©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.