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Back to Scrap Laws Oklahoma Metal Scrap Statute
Current as of May 26, 2016

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 2016 Oklahoma HB 2624, effective November 1, 2016, are included and noted in this summary.

Materials Covered and Other Definitions

"Scrap Metal" means any Copper Material or Aluminum Material or any item listed in 2 O.S. Section 11-93.B. (referred to in this summary as Special Regulated Items), offered for sale or resale or purchased by any person, firm or corporation.

"Copper Material" means the metal copper or copper alloy or anything made of either copper or copper alloy;

"Aluminum Material" means the metal aluminum or aluminum alloy or anything made of either aluminum or aluminum alloy, except aluminum beverage cans;

Special Regulated Items listed in 2 O.S. Section 11-93.B. are as follows:

  • Manhole covers, street signs, traffic signs, traffic signals including their fixtures and hardware, or any other identifiable public property;
  • Electric light poles, including their fixtures and hardware, electric transmission or distribution cable and wires, and any other hardware associated with electric utility or telecommunication systems;
  • Highway guard rails;
  • Funeral markers, plaques or funeral vases;
  • Historical markers or public artifacts;
  • Railroad equipment;
  • Any metal item marked with any form of the name, initials or logo of a governmental entity, utility, cemetery or railroad;
  • Condensing or evaporating coil from a heating or air conditioning unit;
  • Aluminum or stainless steel containers or bottles designed to contain fuel;
  • Metal beer kegs clearly marked as being the property of the beer manufacturer;
  • Metal bleachers or other seating facilities used in recreational areas or sporting arenas;
  • Automotive catalytic converters;
  • Plumbing or electrical fixtures;
  • Tools;
  • Machinery or supplies commonly used in the drilling, completing, operating or repairing of oil or gas wells; and
  • Stainless steel fittings and fixtures commonly used in the operation of car wash facilities.

Vehicles are not defined (and are not included in the definition of Scrap Metal) but are subject to special recordkeeping requirements.

"Scrap Metal Dealer" means any person, firm or corporation being an owner, keeper or proprietor of a retail or wholesale business which buys, sells, salvages, processes or otherwise handles scrap metal materials regulated by the provisions of this act;

"Exempted Seller" means any person, firm, corporation or municipal corporation which constructs, operates or maintains electric distribution and transmission or communications facilities; or any person, firm or corporation that produces or otherwise acquires any Scrap Metal in the normal course of business as a:

  • Mechanical, electrical or plumbing contractor licensed to do business in this state,
  • Scrap Metal Dealer (Standard Industrial Classification Codes 5051 or 5093), licensed pursuant to the provisions of this act,
  • Holder of a farm-use tax permit,
  • Manufacturer,
  • Distributor, or
  • Retailer.

"Department" means the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry and its employees, officers and divisions.


Exempts sales and purchases of aluminum beverage cans for recycling purposes.

Transactions between Dealers and licensed automotive dismantlers and parts recyclers are exempt from the recordkeeping required for transactions involving vehicles.

Exempted Sellers are exempt from the Hold provision, Additional Recordkeeping - Hold Exemption provision, restrictions on the sale or purchase of Burned Copper Material, and the Payment Restriction provision.


Every Dealer shall keep a separate book, record, or other electronic system to record and maintain the following from any Seller of any amount of Scrap Metal. Political subdivisions may adopt, and Dealers shall abide by, local ordinances regarding the format of records required, either written or electronic. A retention period is not specified.

  • A legible photocopy of the Seller's government-issued photo ID that contains the Seller's name, address, date of birth, weight, and height;
  • License tag number and description of Seller's vehicle if used to transport material;
  • Date and Place of the transaction;
  • Transaction number as provided by the Dealer;
  • Description of the items sold and weight of the items as required;
  • Whether the scrap metal is in wire, cable, bar, rod, sheet, or tube form;
  • The Seller's (or, for a minor, the parent or guardian's) written declaration of ownership containing the Seller's signature, to appear on the bill of sale or transaction ticket in the following form: “I hereby affirm under penalty of prosecution that I am the rightful owner of the hereon described merchandise; or I am an authorized representative of the rightful owner and affirm that I have been given authority by the rightful owner to sell the hereon described merchandise. ______________________________ Signature”
  • If Scrap Metal has any insulation on it, the names and addresses of the entities from whom the Seller purchased or obtained the materials;
  • If apparent, the manufacturer name and serial number of each Scrap Metal item;
  • If the Seller is a minor, the written consent to the purchase of a parent or guardian.

A Dealer purchasing a vehicle from a Seller who is not a licensed automotive dismantler or parts recycler must record the information required for Scrap Metal as well as:

  • The make, model, license tag number and vehicle identification number;
  • The title of the vehicle or a certificate of ownership form, as approved by the Oklahoma Tax Commission and available at the Tax Commission or through a motor license agent (HB 2624 replaces the option of a verified bill of sale from the owner of the vehicle or other proof of ownership with the certificate of ownership form).
Special Regulated Items

Dealers may not purchase Special Regulated Items (see summary definition or 2 O.S. Section 11- 93.B. of the Act) without obtaining proof that:

  • The Seller owns or is authorized to sell the property, by evidence of a receipt of purchase or a bill of sale for the property; or
  • Obtaining proof the Seller is an Exempted Seller.
Additional Recordkeeping - Hold Exemption

For purchases of 35 pounds or more of materials that do not contain a manufacturer's serial number, a Dealer may avoid the 10 day automatic hold requirement if they additionally record the following information as digital images, in JPEG format, with a minimum resolution of 640x480 pixels:

  • Digital image of the items purchased;
  • Digital image of the Seller;
  • A copy of the bill of sale;
  • A copy of the Seller's photo ID.
Burned Copper Material

Except for sales by or purchases from Exempted Sellers, it shall be unlawful for any person to sell or purchase Copper Material or copper wire from which the actual or apparent insulation or other coating has been burned, melted or exposed to heat or fire resulting in melting some or all of the insulation or coating.

Sales to Minors

A Dealer may not purchase any item from a minor without first obtaining the written consent of the minor's parent or guardian, to be kept with the transaction record.


Records required by the act and Scrap Metal subject to the Hold provision shall be made available at any time to any person authorized by law for such inspection.


If requested by a law enforcement agency, a Dealer shall report in writing the required record for all purchases of Scrap Metal within 48 hours.


Unless the Seller is an Exempted Seller, 10 day automatic hold from the date of purchase for purchases of 35 pounds or more of Scrap Metal containing a manufacturer's serial number or other unique label or mark. Purchases of 35 pounds or more that do not contain a manufacturer's serial number shall be held in the same manner unless the Dealer collects the information required by the Additional Recordkeeping - Hold Exemption provision.

Payment Restriction

$1,000 cash transaction threshold for Special Regulated Items unless the Seller is an Exempted Seller. Payment for transactions that exceed the threshold shall be by check, payable only to the Seller who provided identification for the transaction record.


A Dealer must obtain a sales tax permit as provided by 68 O.S. Section 1364 from the Oklahoma Tax Commission for each Scrap Metal Yard they own or operate. The Commission shall maintain a list, available for public inspection, of Dealers to whom permits have been issued, and may promulgate rules necessary to implement the provisions.


Beginning November 1, 2013, Dealers must receive a separate Scrap Metal Dealer license for each business location from the Department. The Department may conduct an investigation to determine the fitness of the applicant, including requiring a national criminal history background check. An applicant must provide, in addition to the $100 application fee, a $100 investigation fee, and the cost of a national background check, the following information:

  • If an individual, their full name and place of residence;
  • If a firm, corporation, or other legal entity, the full name, place of residence, and position of the individual filing on behalf of the entity;
  • The business address;
  • Legal proof of ownership, lease agreement, or contract for the business location;
  • Proof of a dedicated telephone line for the location;
  • Proof of a general liability insurance policy for the location;
  • Proof of a current discharge permit;
  • Whether the person has been previously convicted or pled guilty or nolo contendere to any felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or dishonesty; and
  • Any other information the Department requires to determine if the Dealer is prohibited from being issued a license.
  • A full set of fingerprints
  • A photograph

A Scrap Metal Dealer license is valid for 1 year. Licenses may be renewed within 60 days of the expiration date after another national criminal history background check and payment of a $100 renewal fee.

State Board of Agriculture

The State Board of Agriculture may exercise all incidental powers and create and distribute rules, procedures, and forms needed to implement, administer, and enforce the Oklahoma Scrap Metal Dealers Act.


Unless otherwise provided, a violation is a:

  • 1st offense: misdemeanor punishable by up to $2,500 fine per offense;
  • 2nd offense: misdemeanor punishable by up to $5,000 fine per offense or up to 6 months imprisonment in the county jail;
  • 3rd or subsequent: felony punishable by up to $10,000 fine per offense &/or up to 2 years imprisonment by the Department of Corrections.

Acting as a Dealer without a Scrap Metal Dealer License or required sales tax permit is a misdemeanor punishable by up to $500 fine per day of operation in violation.

Knowingly providing false information for records is a felony punishable by up to a $5,000 fine and/or up to 2 years imprisonment by the Department of Corrections.

A person convicted of purchasing or selling burnt copper material or copper wire in violation of the provision shall be deemed guilty of a:

  • 1st offense: misdemeanor punishable by up to $2,500 fine;
  • 2nd or subsequent: felony punishable by up to $5,000 fine &/or up to 2 years imprisonment by the Department of Corrections.

Each Dealer convicted of a violation shall be reported to the Oklahoma Tax Commission. The Commission may cancel or suspend a Dealer's sales tax permit for up to 30 days for any violation or refuse the issuance, extension, or reinstatement of a permit. The Commission must revoke the sales tax permit or refuse the issuance, extension, or reinstatement of any person convicted of 3 separate violations. Upon cancellation of a permit, the Dealer or any firm, corporation, or other legal entity under their direct control shall not be eligible for a permit for 1 year afterwards. Before suspending, cancelling, or refusing a permit, the Commission must grant a holder or applicant 10 days' notice of a hearing before the Commission granting the person an opportunity to show cause why the action should not be taken. The Commission may suspend a permit or prohibit the applicant from doing business pending a final hearing. If an appeal is taken, the Dealer must post a $5,000 bond to continue operating pending the outcome of the appeal.

The Department may suspend, cancel, revoke, or refuse reissuance of a Dealer's license after the Dealer has an opportunity for a public hearing for the following:

  • Engages in fraud or deceit in obtaining or renewing a license;
  • Acts as a Dealer in Oklahoma without a license;
  • Aids or abets another person in acting as a Dealer without a license; or
  • Violates any provision of the Oklahoma Scrap Metal Dealers Act.

After notice and opportunity for a hearing, if the Department finds a person in violation of the Act or a rule or order pursuant to the Act, the Department may assess an administrative penalty of $100 to $10,000 for each violation. Each action or each day a violation continues may constitute a separate and distinct violation. The Department may also apply to district court and obtain a temporary or permanent injunction against anyone who violates the Act and has the authority to obtain or impose civil monetary penalties on violators. Nothing shall preclude the Department from seeking penalties in district court in the maximum amount allowed by law. Penalties in an administrative proceeding shall not prevent subsequent assessment by a court of maximum civil or criminal penalties. Persons assessed an administrative or civil penalty may also be required to pay attorney fees and costs associated with collecting the penalties.

If any person refuses, denies, or interferes with any right of access, the Department has the right to obtain an administrative or other warrant from a district court to enforce the right of access and inspection.

If the Department finds a person operating as a Dealer without a license, the Department may tag any weight or measure utilized by the Dealer as "Not For Commercial Use".

©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.