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Back to Scrap Laws New Hampshire 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
Overview of Provisions (use the section titles to travel directly to that section)

Please Note: Amendments by 2015 New Hampshire HB 510 are included in this summary.

Materials Covered

New Hampshire's law covers the following as specified commodities: "old junk, old or scrap metals, old or second-hand bottles, cotton or woolen mill waste, unfinished cloth, cotton or woolen mill yarns in an unfinished state, not of family manufacture, or second-hand articles, excepting furniture and books."


Local governments may license dealers, shopkeepers, accumulators, and bailees dealing in specified commodities and may determine and designate business locations and locations where such items may be accumulated, stored, or handled. Licenses shall be effective until April 1st of the next year. License fees shall be fixed by the local licensing board and must be the same for all similar licenses in the same city or town. Licensees and their employees must carry a photocopy of the license on their person.

Local licensing boards may revoke a license after a hearing, and may establish rules, regulations, and restrictions to be incorporated in the license. Local licenses shall contain a condition that Licensees may not purchase or barter specified commodities from a Seller under 16 years old without the written consent of the Seller's parent or guardian. An unlicensed person may not purchase specified commodities unless acting as a helper to, and accompanied by, a licensee.

Display of License on Vehicles

A licensee transporting specified commodities in any wagon or vehicle shall place upon the outside "and upon each side of the same" the license number in plain, legible, 3 inch figures.


Licensees must keep records with the following (record retention period is not specified):

  • An account and description of the specified commodities purchased;
  • The Date and Time of the purchase;
  • The Seller's name and residence, verified by their government-issued photo ID.

Any officer with jurisdiction may enter a licensee's business premises to ascertain how the licensee conducts business and examine all specified commodities purchased, obtained, kept, or stored in or upon the premises, and all books and inventories relating thereto. The licensee and their employees or agents must exhibit all such to the officer on demand.

Metal Kegs for Malt Beverages

Licensees may not purchase a metal keg for malt beverages or pieces of such keg unless the Seller is the brewer whose name or marking appears on the keg. Licensees may not purchase kegs where the brewer's name or marking has been removed or obliterated.

No Purchase from Minors

Licensees may not purchase or barter specified commodities from a Seller under 16 years old without the written consent of the Seller's parent or guardian.


A person operating without a license is guilty of a violation for each day such offense continues. The superior court may enjoin a person from operating a business in old or secondhand commodities and/or for carrying on said business at any place other than designated in their license. A licensee or their agent or employee who refuses to admit an officer authorized to enter their premises or fails to exhibit requested materials on demand, or any person who willfully hinders, obstructs, or prevents the officer from entering and inspecting the premises is guilty of a misdemeanor.

A violation for which no other punishment is provided is a misdemeanor.


Commission to Study the Regulation of Pawnbrokers, Secondhand Dealers, and Junk or Scrap Metal Dealers (added by HB 510)

The Commission will examine reporting by junk or scrap metal dealers, focusing on the occurrence of metal theft and arrest records under the current system, what tools exist currently to curb metal theft, and effective models in other states and their funding, and report on their findings and the advisability of creating a statewide database by November 1, 2016 to the governor and legislative leaders. The Commission will include 2 representatives of the scrap metal industry and 1 member of the Auto and Truck Recyclers of New Hampshire in addition to state legislators, law enforcement, and other stakeholders.

©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.