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 Among other changes, SF 878 repealed the reporting requirements created by 2013 Minnesota HF 1214 and 2014 Minnesota HF 2605 and removed references to the Minneapolis automated property system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.
"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.
Purchases of aluminum cans are exempt. Purchases of scrap vehicles are exempt; rules for scrap vehicles are given under Section 168A.1501.
Except as provided, Dealers must keep a written record at the time of each purchase or acquisition of Scrap Metal with the following:
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:
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 copy of the Seller's receipt that includes the following:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
No cash for Scrap Metal. Payment must be by check or electronic transfer.
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.
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)
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.
This law preempts and supersedes any local ordinance or rule concerning the same subject matter.
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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.