Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 54.1. Professions and Occupations
10/28/2020

Chapter 40. Pawnbrokers.

§ 54.1-4000. Definition of pawnbroker.

"Pawnbroker" means any natural person who lends or advances money or other things for profit on the pledge and possession of tangible personal property, or other valuable things, other than securities or written or printed evidences of indebtedness or title, or who deals in the purchasing of personal property or other valuable things on condition of selling the same back to the seller at a stipulated price.

Code 1950, § 54-840; 1988, c. 765; 1998, c. 848; 2019, c. 238.

§ 54.1-4001. License required; license authorized by court; building designated in license; penalty.

A. No natural person shall engage in the business of a pawnbroker without having a valid license issued by the county, city, or town in which the pawnbroker conducts such business.

B. The circuit court of any county or city may authorize any county, city, or town to issue to any natural person, who has not been convicted of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude in the last ten years, a license to engage in the business of a pawnbroker in that county, city, or town. No such license shall be issued by any county, city, or town except with such authority. Prior to the issuance of the license, the applicant shall furnish his date of birth, a sworn statement or affirmation disclosing any criminal convictions or any pending criminal charges, whether within or without the Commonwealth, and such other information to the licensing authority as may be required by the governing body. The license shall designate the building in which the licensee shall carry on such business.

C. No natural person shall engage in the business of a pawnbroker in any location other than the one designated in his license, except with consent of the court which authorized the license.

D. Any natural person who violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Each day's violation shall constitute a separate offense.

Code 1950, §§ 54-841, 54-842; 1982, c. 633; 1986, c. 316; 1988, c. 765; 1998, c. 848; 2019, c. 238.

§ 54.1-4002. Local limitations as to number of pawnshops.

A. In addition to all limitations and restrictions and notwithstanding any other relevant provisions of this chapter, the governing body of any county, city or town may reasonably limit by resolution or ordinance the number of pawnshops that may be operated at any one time within its territorial limits.

B. The circuit court of any county or city which has, by resolution or ordinance, limited the number of pawnshops therein shall not authorize any license to any pawnbroker after the commissioner of the revenue or other tax assessing officer of the county, city or town over which it has jurisdiction for the issuance of such licenses has filed with the court a statement that the number of licensed pawnshops within the county, city or town has reached the maximum number of pawnshops authorized to be operated therein, unless the number has been reduced below the maximum prescribed. In the event that a properly licensed pawnbroker sells his business, the circuit court of the county or city shall authorize the county, city or town in which such business operates to issue to the purchaser a new license for the same location if the purchaser has not been convicted of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude in the last ten years. Prior to the issuance of the license, the purchaser shall furnish his date of birth and such other information to the licensing authority as may be required by the local governing body.

Code 1950, § 54-843; 1982, c. 633; 1988, c. 765; 1998, c. 848.

§ 54.1-4003. Bond required; private action on bond.

A. No natural person shall be licensed as a pawnbroker or engage in the business of a pawnbroker without having in existence a bond with surety in the minimum amount of $50,000 to secure the payment of any judgment recovered under the provisions of subsection B.

B. Any person who recovers a judgment against a licensed pawnbroker for the pawnbroker's misconduct may maintain an action in his own name upon the bond of the pawnbroker if the execution issued upon such judgment is wholly or partially unsatisfied.

Code 1950, § 54-845; 1988, c. 765; 1998, c. 848; 2019, c. 238.

§ 54.1-4004. Memorandum to be given pledgor; fee; lost ticket charge.

Every pawnbroker shall at the time of each loan deliver to the person pawning or pledging anything, a memorandum or note, signed by him, containing the information required by § 54.1-4009. A lost-ticket fee of five dollars may be charged, provided that the pawner is notified of the fee on the ticket.

Code 1950, § 54-846; 1968, c. 438; 1983, c. 238; 1988, c. 765; 1998, c. 848.

§ 54.1-4005. Sale of goods pawned.

No pawnbroker shall sell any pawn or pledge item until (i) it has been in his possession for the minimum term set forth in the memorandum, but not less than 30 days, plus a grace period of 15 days and (ii) a statement of ownership is obtained from the pawner. If a motor vehicle is pawned, the owner of the motor vehicle shall comply with the requirements of § 46.2-637. In the event of default by the pawner, the pawnbroker shall comply with the requirements of § 46.2-633. Otherwise, the pawnbroker shall comply with the requirements of § 46.2-636 et seq. All sales of items pursuant to this section may be made by the pawnbroker in the ordinary course of his business.

Code 1950, § 54-847; 1986, c. 316; 1988, c. 765; 1998, c. 848; 1999, c. 327; 2012, c. 586.

§ 54.1-4006. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1998, c. 848.

§ 54.1-4008. Interest chargeable.

A. No pawnbroker shall ask, demand or receive a greater rate of interest than ten percent per month on a loan of $25 or less, or seven percent per month on a loan of more than $25 and less than $100, or five percent per month on a loan of $100 or more, secured by a pledge of tangible personal property. No loan shall be divided for the purpose of increasing the percentage to be paid the pawnbroker. Loans may be renewed based on the original loan amount. Loans may not be issued that compound the interest or storage fees from previous loans on the same item.

B. An annual percentage rate computed and disclosed under the provisions of the federal Truth-in-Lending Act shall not be deemed a violation of this section.

Code 1950, § 54-850; 1983, c. 238; 1988, c. 765; 1998, c. 848; 1999, c. 327.

§ 54.1-4009. Records to be kept; credentials of person pawning goods; fee; penalty.

A. Every pawnbroker shall keep at his place of business an accurate and legible record of each loan or transaction in the course of his business, including transactions in which secondhand goods, wares, or merchandise is purchased for resale. The account shall be recorded at the time of the loan or transaction and shall include:

1. A description, serial number, and a statement of ownership of the goods, article, or thing pawned or pledged or received on account of money loaned thereon or purchased for resale;

2. The time, date, and place of the transaction;

3. The amount of money loaned thereon at the time of pledging the same or paid as the purchase price;

4. The rate of interest to be paid on such loan;

5. The fees charged by the pawnbroker, itemizing each fee charged;

6. The full name, residence address, telephone number, and driver's license number or other form of identification of the person pawning or pledging or selling the goods, article, or thing, together with a particular description, including the height, weight, date of birth, race, gender, hair and eye color, and any other identifying marks, of such person;

7. Verification of the identification by the exhibition of an unexpired government-issued identification card bearing the current legal address and a photograph of the person pawning, pledging, or selling the goods, article, or thing, such as a driver's license or military identification card. If the government-issued identification card does not bear the current legal address, the person shall present other documentation verifying his current legal address. The record shall contain the type of identification exhibited, the issuing agency, and the number thereon;

8. A digital image of the form of identification used by the person involved in the transaction, unless the form of identification used is a United States military issued identification or other form of identification included under 18 U.S.C. § 701, in which case the person involved in the transaction shall be required to present an alternate government-issued identification card bearing a photograph of such person or the pawnbroker shall be required to take a photograph of the person involved in the transaction;

9. As to loans, the terms and conditions of the loan, including the period for which any such loan may be made; and

10. All other facts and circumstances respecting such loan or purchase.

B. A pawnbroker may maintain at his place of business an electronic record of each transaction involving goods, articles, or things pawned or pledged or purchased. If maintained electronically, a pawnbroker shall retain the electronic records for at least one year after the date of the transaction and make such electronic records available to any duly authorized law-enforcement officer upon request.

C. For each loan or transaction, a pawnbroker may charge:

1. A service fee for making the daily electronic reports to the appropriate law-enforcement officers required by § 54.1-4010, creating and maintaining the electronic records required under this section, and investigating the legal title to property being pawned or pledged or purchased. Such fee shall not exceed five percent of the amount loaned on such item or paid by the pawnbroker for such item or $3, whichever is less; and

2. A late fee, not to exceed 10 percent of the amount loaned, for each item that is not claimed by the pledged date, provided that the pawner is notified of the fee on the pawn ticket.

Any natural person violating any of the provisions of this section is guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.

D. No goods, article, or thing shall be pawned or pledged or received on account of money loaned or purchased for resale if the original serial number affixed to the goods, article, or thing has been removed, defaced, or altered.

E. The Superintendent of State Police shall promulgate regulations specifying the nature of the particular description for the purposes of subdivision A 6.

The Superintendent of State Police shall promulgate regulations specifying the nature of identifying credentials of the person pawning, pledging, or selling the goods, article, or thing. Such credentials shall be examined by the pawnbroker, and an appropriate record retained thereof.

Code 1950, § 54-851; 1976, c. 66; 1986, c. 316; 1988, c. 765; 1990, c. 783; 1998, c. 848; 2001, c. 401; 2003, c. 448; 2013, c. 262; 2018, cc. 212, 217; 2019, cc. 238, 457.

§ 54.1-4010. Daily reports.

A. Every pawnbroker shall prepare a daily report of all goods, articles, or things pawned or pledged with him or sold to him that day and shall file such report by noon of the following day with the chief of police or other law-enforcement officer of the county, city, or town where his business is conducted designated by the local attorney for the Commonwealth to receive it. The report shall include the pledgor's or seller's name, residence, and driver's license number or other form of identification; a photograph or digital image of the form of identification used by the pledgor or seller; and a description of the goods, articles, or other things pledged or sold and, unless maintained in electronic format, shall be in writing and clearly legible to any person inspecting it. A pawnbroker may compile and maintain the daily report in an electronic format and, if so maintained, shall file the required daily reports electronically with the appropriate law-enforcement officer through use of a disk, electronic transmission, or any other electronic means of reporting approved by the law-enforcement officer. Any local governing body, may by ordinance, require a pawnbroker to maintain and file a daily report electronically through the use of a disk, electronic transmission, or any other electronic means of reporting approved by the law-enforcement officer.

B. The Department of State Police shall adopt regulations for the uniform reporting of information required by this section.

C. Any natural person violating any of the provisions of this section is guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 54-853; 1988, c. 765; 1998, c. 848; 2001, c. 401; 2002, c. 201; 2003, c. 448; 2010, cc. 540, 657; 2013, c. 262; 2019, c. 238.

§ 54.1-4011. Officers may examine records or property; warrantless search and seizure authorized.

Every pawnbroker and every employee of the pawnbroker shall admit to the pawnbroker's place of business during regular business hours, any duly authorized law-enforcement officer of the jurisdiction where the business is being conducted, or any law-enforcement official of the state or federal government. The pawnbroker or employee shall permit the officer to (i) examine all records required by this chapter and any article listed in a record which is believed by the officer to be missing or stolen and (ii) search for and take into possession any article known to him to be missing, or known or believed by him to have been stolen. However, the officer shall not take possession of any article without providing to the pawnbroker a receipt.

Code 1950, §§ 54-852, 54-854; 1988, c. 765; 1990, c. 683; 1998, c. 848.

§ 54.1-4012. Property pawned or purchased not to be disfigured or changed.

No property received on deposit or pledged or purchased by any pawnbroker shall be disfigured or its identity destroyed or affected in any manner (i) so long as it continues in pawn or in the possession of the pawnbroker while in pawn or (ii) in an effort to obtain a serial number or other information for identification purposes.

Code 1950, § 54-855; 1988, c. 765; 1998, c. 848; 1999, c. 327; 2003, c. 448.

§ 54.1-4013. Care of tangible personal property; evaluation fee.

A. Pawnbrokers shall store, care for and protect all of the tangible personal property in the pawnbroker's possession and protect the property from damage or misuse. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to mean that pawnbrokers are insurers of pawned property in their possession.

B. A pawnbroker may charge a monthly storage fee for any items requiring storage, which fee shall not exceed five percent of the amount loaned on such item.

Code 1950, § 54-856; 1988, c. 765; 1998, c. 848.

§ 54.1-4014. Penalties; violation of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act.

A. Except as otherwise provided in § 54.1-4001, any licensed pawnbroker who violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor. In addition, the court may revoke or suspend the pawnbroker's license for second and subsequent offenses.

B. Additionally, any violation of the provisions of the chapter shall constitute a prohibited practice in accordance with § 59.1-200 and shall be subject to any and all of the enforcement provisions of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act (§ 59.1-196 et seq.).

Code 1950, §§ 54-857, 54-858; 1988, c. 765; 1998, c. 848.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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