Most businesses that sell secondhand goods (for example: household furniture and jewelry) must register as secondhand dealers and comply with record keeping and holding period requirements.
Businesses that operate in Florida and contract with persons or entities to buy precious metals or jewelry through a website, the United States mail, or telemarketing must register as mail-in secondhand precious metals dealers and comply with record keeping and holding period requirements.
Salvage, scrap metal, and recycling center businesses must register as secondary metals recyclers and comply with record keeping and holding period requirements.
Local law enforcement and three state agencies oversee Florida's secondhand dealers, mail-in secondhand precious metals dealers, and secondary metals recyclers.
Department of Revenue has a statewide registration system for secondhand dealers, mail-in secondhand precious metals dealers, and secondary metals recyclers and sends registration information to local law enforcement on request (Chapter 538, Florida Statutes (F.S.), and Rule Chapter 12A-17, Florida Administrative Code).
Secondhand dealers, mail-in secondhand precious metals dealers, and secondary metals recyclers must complete two separate registration applications to conduct business in Florida:
First-time applicants, including each business owner, officer, member, partner, director, and stockholder with a controlling interest in the company, seeking a secondhand dealer, mail-in secondhand precious metals dealer, or secondary metals recycler registration must undergo a criminal history record check. Applicants who have a current Certificate of Registration (Form DR-11S) may submit registration applications (Form DR-1S) for additional locations without undergoing a new criminal history record check.
Local law enforcement enforces secondhand dealer, mail-in secondhand precious metals dealer, and secondary metals recycler compliance with registration, record keeping, holding period, and inspection requirements. Citizens or business owners should call your local police or sheriff's department with questions about these requirements (Chapter 538, F.S.).
Local law enforcement may call the Department of Revenue at 800-352-3671 or e-mail us to get the names and addresses of registered secondhand dealers, mail-in secondhand precious metals dealers, and secondary metals recyclers in your jurisdiction.
Revenue has a recommended process for revoking a secondhand dealer or secondary metals recycler registration.
Note: Chapter 538, Part III, F.S., specifies what information must be collected and retained by mail-in secondhand precious metals dealers on each transaction.
Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) oversees record keeping, proof of ownership, reporting, and enforcement of state laws related to the dismantling or destruction of motor vehicles, recreational vehicles, and mobile homes by salvage motor vehicle dealers and secondary metals recyclers (Chapter 319, F.S.). A business that dismantles and converts a salvaged or wrecked motor vehicle, or a portion of the vehicle, into scrap metal must also register with the Department of Revenue as a secondary metals recycler. Also see DHSMV Derelict Vehicle Certificate Memo (9/08) or call 850-617-3001.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) approves transaction forms that secondhand dealers and secondary metals recyclers must complete and keep for specified time periods (Chapter 538, F.S.). Business owners should contact their local police or sheriff’s department to get the correct transaction forms for their area.
Law Enforcement Resources: Organizations that help local law enforcement know about the best methods to recover stolen property and track stolen goods statewide include:
Pawnbrokers: The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services regulates pawnbrokers according to Chapter 539, F.S. You can find information on the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service's website or call 800-HELP-FLA (435-7352).