Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 59.1. Trade and Commerce
8/19/2019

Chapter 9. Secondhand Articles.

Article 1. Building Fixtures.

§ 59.1-116.1. Definitions.

As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Authorized scrap metal purchaser" has the same meaning as provided for the term "scrap metal purchaser" in § 59.1-136.1.

"Authorized scrap seller" means any licensed plumber, electrical contractor, HVAC contractor, or building and construction contractor.

"Building material" means any secondhand heating or plumbing fixture or supplies, electric fixtures, or any wiring, gas fixtures or appliances, water faucets, pipes, locks, or any other secondhand fixtures of any kind or description used in the construction of a building.

"Junk dealer" means a person who regularly engages in the business of purchasing, acquiring, or canvassing secondhand building material, including all nonferrous scrap metal, proprietary articles, or both, for the purpose of resale and has conducted transactions involving, or has offered for sale, more than 600 pounds combined weight of secondhand building material or enters into more than 26 combined transactions annually. "Junk dealer" does not include a "scrap metal purchaser" as defined in § 59.1-136.1.

"Person" means any individual, corporation, partnership, association, cooperative, limited liability company, trust, joint venture, or other private commercial entity.

"Regularly engaged" with respect to purchasing or acquiring secondhand building material means having conducted transactions involving, or having offered for sale, more than 600 pounds combined weight of secondhand building material or enters into more than 26 combined transactions annually.

2011, c. 836; 2013, c. 414.

§ 59.1-117. Permit required for trading in secondhand building fixtures.

Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, no person shall offer for sale or acquire any secondhand heating or plumbing fixtures or supplies, electric fixtures or any wiring, gas fixtures or appliances, water faucets, pipes, locks, bathtubs, gutters, downspouts, or other secondhand fixtures of whatever kind or description pertaining to a building or structure, without first obtaining a permit for the sale or acquisition of the same from the chief of police of the city or town or the sheriff of the county in which such property is offered for sale or acquisition.

Code 1950, § 59-145; 1968, c. 439; 2010, c. 805; 2011, c. 836; 2013, c. 414.

§ 59.1-118. Permit issued by chief of police or sheriff; revocation.

The chief of police of a city or the sheriff of a county may issue, to persons regularly engaged in the business of collecting secondhand building materials for resale, a semiannual or annual permit covering all sales and acquisitions made by such persons. The chief of police or sheriff may refuse to issue a permit, and may revoke any permit issued, to any person convicted of a felony or crime of moral turpitude within the three years prior to the request for the permit. The applicant shall file with the chief of police or sheriff, or his designee, an application form that shall include the applicant's full name, address, age, sex, and fingerprints; the name, address, and telephone number of the applicant's employer, if any; and the location of the applicant's place of business. A permit shall be valid for one year from the date of issuance and may be renewed in the same manner as such permit was initially obtained. A fee of not more than $50 may be charged annually for the issuance of the permit.

Code 1950, § 59-146; 1968, c. 439; 2011, c. 836.

§ 59.1-119. Who deemed a dealer.

Every person who is regularly engaged in the purchasing or acquiring of secondhand building material of the kind mentioned in § 59.1-117 for the purpose of resale or installation on the property of another shall be deemed a dealer within the meaning of the provisions of this article.

Code 1950, § 59-147; 1968, c. 439; 2011, c. 836.

§ 59.1-119.1. Dealer required to show permit and identification.

Every dealer making a sale or purchase of a secondhand fixture pursuant to the provisions of this article shall first display the permit required by § 59.1-117 and also display positive photo identification to the purchaser or seller of such fixture.

1992, c. 25.

§ 59.1-120. Recordkeeping requirements.

A. At the time of purchasing, collecting, receiving, or acquiring a secondhand building fixture, the dealer shall be required to provide:

1. The date and time of the secondhand building fixture's acquisition; and

2. The address from which the property was acquired and, if available, a driver's license or other form of government identification to include the name and date of birth of the person from whom the material was collected.

B. Every dealer shall keep at his place of business a permanently bound book or ledger in which shall be legibly written with ink in English at the time of each transaction in the course of the dealer's transaction involving a secondhand building fixture that is collected, received, acquired, or purchased by the dealer. Such account shall set forth:

1. A complete and accurate description of the secondhand building fixture that is the subject of the transaction;

2. All information prescribed in subsection A regarding location and, if available, the name and date of birth of the person with whom the dealer conducts the transaction;

3. The license number of the automobile or other vehicle in which the secondhand building fixture was delivered or received; and

4. The number of the permit issued pursuant to § 59.1-118 by the chief of police of the city or town, or the sheriff of the county, in which the transaction involving a secondhand building fixture occurred.

C. Records required by subsection B shall be maintained by the dealer at its normal place of business or at another readily accessible and secure location for a period of 24 months.

Code 1950, § 59-148; 1968, c. 439; 2010, c. 805; 2011, c. 836.

§ 59.1-121. Reports to be made to chief of police or sheriff.

Every junk dealer selling or acquiring secondhand building materials of the kind mentioned in § 59.1-117, including persons regularly engaged in the business of collecting or acquiring secondhand building materials for the purpose of resale to a scrap metal purchaser, shall deliver:

1. If the purchase, acquisition, or receipt of the secondhand building fixture occurred in a city or town, to the chief of police of the city or town in which such goods were bought, collected, or received, every day except Sunday before noon, on blank forms to be prescribed and furnished by the chief of police of such city or town:

a. A legible and accurate description of every secondhand building fixture purchased, acquired, or received by him during the next preceding business day;

b. The date and time of the secondhand building fixture's acquisition;

c. If the person is a dealer, the number of his permit issued pursuant to § 59.1-118;

d. The license number of any automobile or other vehicle in which the secondhand building fixture was collected or received;

e. If available, the name and date of birth of the person with whom the dealer conducted the transaction; and

f. If the person is a dealer, a reference to the volume and number of the page where the original entry required by subsection B of § 59.1-120 is made; or

2. If the purchase, acquisition, or receipt of the secondhand building fixture occurred in a county, the same information required by subdivision 1 shall be furnished to the sheriff of the county in which such goods were bought, collected, or received not later than midday of the Saturday following the purchase or receipt of such goods, but the sheriff shall not be required to prepare or furnish blank forms for such reports for use in the county, and the dealer may submit any report which fairly conforms to the requirements of subdivision 1.

Code 1950, § 59-149; 1968, c. 439; 1972, c. 598; 2010, c. 805; 2011, c. 836; 2013, c. 414.

§ 59.1-122. Books and places of business open to inspection.

The books required by this article to be kept, and the places of business of all persons engaged in the acquiring, selling, receiving, or purchasing of the articles mentioned in § 59.1-117, shall at all reasonable times be open to the inspection of any police officer, sheriff, or deputy of the county, city, or town in which such place of business is located.

Code 1950, § 59-150; 1968, c. 439; 2011, c. 836.

§ 59.1-123. Exemptions from article.

The provisions of this article shall not apply to:

1. The sale of secondhand material mentioned in § 59.1-117 taken from premises occupied by the owner, when sold by such owner on the premises, or the sale of such articles when purchased from a public utility corporation at its place of business or a governmental agency;

2. Scrap metal purchasers as provided in Article 4 (§ 59.1-136.1 et seq.);

3. Authorized scrap sellers;

4. Public utilities;

5. Public transportation companies;

6. Peddlers permitted under § 59.1-118;

7. Industrial and manufacturing companies;

8. Marine, automobile, and aircraft salvage and wrecking companies;

9. Governmental entities; or

10. The donation of secondhand material mentioned in § 59.1-117 by the material's owner or the owner's contractor or subcontractor to a nonprofit corporation as defined in § 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code or the sale of such donated material by such a nonprofit corporation.

Code 1950, § 59-151; 1968, c. 439; 2007, c. 917; 2011, c. 836; 2013, c. 414; 2015, c. 626.

§ 59.1-124. Penalty for violation.

Any person who violates this article shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. A person convicted of a second or subsequent offense under this article is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 59-152; 1968, c. 439; 1972, c. 598; 1988, c. 765; 2010, c. 805.

Article 2. Equipment of Railroads and Other Companies.

§ 59.1-125. When unlawful to buy.

It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to barter, purchase, exchange, or buy from any person whomsoever, except plumbers, the owner of buildings from which the material is taken, railroad, coal mining, industrial, manufacturing and public utility companies, or the authorized agents of such companies, lawful owners and junk dealers, licensed in this Commonwealth, any secondhand steel, copper, copper wire, aluminum, aluminum wire, brass, brass bearings or fittings, electric light or gas fixtures, locks or other builders hardware, plumbing fixtures, bell or bell fixtures, lead or brass water pipes or any part of such fixtures or pipes, or any wire, cable, lead, solder, copper, iron or brass used by or belonging to a railroad, telephone, telegraph, coal mining, industrial, manufacturing or public utility company; provided that this section shall not apply to any person, firm or corporation which shall barter, purchase, exchange, buy or accept any secondhand grooved or figure-eight copper trolley wire, bare or insulated heavy stranded copper or aluminum feeder wire, high voltage copper or aluminum transmission wire, or bare or insulated mining machine copper cables, but § 59.1-128 shall be applicable thereto.

Code 1950, § 59-153; 1958, c. 614; 1968, c. 439; 2011, c. 836.

§ 59.1-126. Receipt or bill of sale to be taken by buyer; sales procedures.

Any person buying, at public or private sale, any such secondhand articles as are mentioned in § 59.1-125, except those excepted in said section, shall:

1. Take from the seller a properly dated written receipt or bill of sale signed by such seller which shall therein state specifically the seller's address, business, social security number, vehicle license number, and place of residence. If a seller of such articles be not personally known to the buyer or if the seller be unable to write his name, such seller shall produce an adult witness personally known to the buyer to identify the seller and also to sign such receipt or bill of sale as witness, the latter also stating therein his full name, occupation and place of residence. Such receipt or bill of sale shall specifically set forth, by accurate description giving the character, kind, quality, weight, length or size, and other detailed description sufficient to accurately identify the same, each of such articles so purchased and shall be retained by the buyer at his place of business for a period of six months after such purchase; and

2. Make any payment for such articles purchased of $1,000 or more in the form of a check.

Code 1950, § 59-154; 1958, c. 614; 1968, c. 439; 2011, c. 80.

§ 59.1-127. Violation of § 59.1-125 or § 59.1-126 a misdemeanor; revocation of dealer's license.

Any person violating any of the provisions of § 59.1-125 or § 59.1-126 shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 59-155; 1958, c. 614; 1968, c. 439; 1972, c. 598; 1988, c. 765.

§ 59.1-128. When unlawful to buy, exchange, etc., secondhand copper or aluminum wire.

It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to barter, purchase, exchange, buy or accept from any person whomsoever, except the manufacturer thereof or his authorized agent, railroad, coal mining, industrial, manufacturing and public utility companies, or the authorized agents of such companies, governmental agencies, and licensed junk dealers, licensed scrap metal dealers, licensed electrical contractors and licensed merchants, any secondhand grooved or figure-eight copper trolley wire, bare or insulated heavy stranded copper or aluminum feeder wire, high voltage copper or aluminum transmission wire, or bare or insulated mining machine copper cables.

Code 1950, § 59-155.1; 1958, c. 614; 1968, c. 439.

§ 59.1-129. Requirements when articles mentioned in § 59.1-128 are bought, exchanged, etc.

A. Any person, firm or corporation which shall barter, purchase, exchange, buy or accept any of the articles mentioned in § 59.1-128, shall comply with the provisions of § 59.1-126 and shall, in addition, tag each lot of said articles with the name of the seller and the date of receipt and shall retain each such lot in his possession so tagged for 30 days in such manner that its separate identity shall be preserved; provided that the requirements of this section for tagging said articles and retaining them in possession shall not be applicable if the receipt or bill of sale required by § 59.1-126 shall contain an authorization naming the agent who delivers the articles and signed by an officer, or by the proprietor, of the manufacturer, or coal mining, industrial, manufacturing, public utility company, governmental agency, licensed junk dealer, licensed scrap metal dealer, licensed electrical contractor or licensed merchant, giving such authorization.

B. Notwithstanding anything in subsection A to the contrary, the provisions of this article shall not apply to scrap metal processors as provided in Article 4 (§ 59.1-136.1 et seq.).

Code 1950, § 59-155.2; 1958, c. 614; 1968, c. 439; 2007, c. 917.

§ 59.1-130. Punishment for violation of § 59.1-128 or § 59.1-129.

Any person violating any of the provisions of § 59.1-128 or § 59.1-129 shall be confined in the penitentiary not less than one year nor more than two years, or in the discretion of the court or the jury trying the case, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $1,000, or confined in jail for any term not exceeding twelve months, or both. Possession of secondhand articles in violation of the provisions of the above sections shall be prima facie evidence of guilt.

Code 1950, § 59-155.3; 1958, c. 614; 1968, c. 439; 1972, c. 598; 1988, c. 765.

Article 3. Watches.

§ 59.1-131. When watch deemed secondhand.

A watch shall be deemed to be secondhand if

(1) As a whole or the case thereof or the movement shall have been previously sold to or acquired by any person who bought or acquired the same for his use or the use of another, but not for resale; or

(2) Its case serial numbers or movement numbers or other distinguishing numbers or identification marks shall be erased, defaced, removed, altered or covered.

Code 1950, § 59-156; 1968, c. 439.

§ 59.1-132. Tag to be affixed to watch.

Any person, firm, partnership, association or corporation engaged in the business of buying or selling watches, or any agent or servant thereof, who may sell or exchange, or offer for sale or exchange, expose for sale or exchange, possess with the intent to sell or exchange, or display with the intent to sell or exchange any secondhand watch, shall affix and keep affixed to the same a tag with the words "secondhand" clearly and legibly written or printed thereon, and the tag shall be so placed that the words "secondhand" shall be in plain sight at all times.

Code 1950, § 59-157; 1968, c. 439.

§ 59.1-133. Invoice to be furnished to purchaser.

Any person, firm, partnership, association or corporation engaged in the business of buying or selling watches, or any agent or servant thereof, who may sell a secondhand watch or in any other way pass title thereto shall deliver to the vendee a written invoice bearing the words "secondhand watch" in bold letters, larger than any of the other written matter upon such invoice. Such invoice shall further set forth the name and address of the vendor, the name and address of the vendee, the date of the sale, the name of the watch or its maker, and the serial numbers (if any), and any other distinguishing numbers or identification marks upon its case and movements. If the serial numbers or other distinguishing numbers or identification marks shall have been erased, defaced, removed, altered or covered, such invoice shall so state. The vendor shall keep on file a duplicate of such invoice for at least five years from the date of the sale thereof, which shall be open to inspection during all business hours by the law-enforcement officers of the county or city in which the vendor is engaged in business.

Code 1950, § 59-158; 1968, c. 439.

§ 59.1-134. Advertisement or display.

Any person, firm, partnership, association or corporation, or any agent or servant thereof, who advertises or displays in any manner a secondhand watch for sale or exchange shall state clearly in such advertisement or display that the watch is a secondhand watch.

Code 1950, § 59-159; 1968, c. 439.

§ 59.1-135. Penalty for violation.

Any person, firm, partnership, association or corporation, or any agent or servant thereof, who shall violate any of the provisions of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not to exceed the sum of $500 or by imprisonment not to exceed ninety days, or both.

Code 1950, § 59-160; 1968, c. 439.

§ 59.1-136. Pawnbrokers' auction sales exempted.

The provisions of this article shall not apply to pawnbrokers' auction sales of unredeemed pledges when public notice of the fact that watches are rebuilt or are secondhand is given prior to the sale.

Code 1950, § 59-161; 1968, c. 439.

Article 4. Scrap Metal Purchasers.

§ 59.1-136.1. Definitions.

For the purpose of this article:

"Authorized scrap seller" means licensed plumbers, electricians, HVAC contractors, building and construction contractors, demolition contractors, construction and demolition debris contractors, public utilities, transportation companies, industrial and manufacturing companies, marine, automobile, and aircraft salvage and wrecking companies, and government entities.

"Broker" means any person or his authorized agent who negotiates, purchases, sells, or offers for sale any scrap metal either directly or through an authorized agent without obtaining title to or ownership of the scrap metal.

"Ferrous scrap" means any scrap metal consisting primarily of iron, steel, or both, but excluding any scrap metal consisting primarily of stainless steel. Ferrous scrap includes large manufactured articles such as automobile bodies that may contain other substances to be removed and sorted during normal operations of scrap metal processors.

"Metal article" means any manufactured item, consisting of metal, that is usable for its originally intended purpose without processing, repairs, or alteration and that is not otherwise excluded by the definitions in this section. Examples include, without limitation, railings, copper or aluminum wire, copper pipe and tubing, plumbing fixtures, copper and aluminum gutters, copper and aluminum downspouts, and cast-iron radiators.

"Nonferrous scrap" means any scrap metal consisting primarily of (i) stainless steel or (ii) any metal other than iron or steel. Nonferrous scrap does not include aluminum beverage cans; postconsumer household items such as pots, pans, barbecue grills, and lawn chairs; used flashing removed during building renovation or demolition; or small quantities of nonferrous metals contained in large manufactured articles, such as automobile bodies and appliances.

"Proprietary article" means (i) any metal article stamped, engraved, stenciled, or otherwise marked so as to identify it as being or having been the property of a governmental entity or public utility or transportation, shipbuilding, ship repair, mining, or manufacturing company; (ii) any hard drawn copper electrical conductor, cable, or wire that is three-eighths of one inch or greater in diameter, stranded or solid; (iii) any aluminum conductor, cable, or wire three quarters of one inch or greater in diameter, stranded or solid; (iv) stainless steel beer kegs; (v) any catalytic converter from a motor vehicle exhaust system that has been detached from a motor vehicle; (vi) any telecommunications cable that is one-half of one inch or greater in diameter and that contains 50 or more individual strands of solid, insulated, color-coded copper wire, including such telecommunication cable that has been unsheathed or burned; (vii) any manhole cover; (viii) any bronze or copper cemetery plaque, urn, or marker; (ix) aluminum bleacher seats or guardrails; or (x) any mining cable that is one-half inch or greater in diameter and is composed of one or more stranded copper conductors and stamped, engraved, stenciled, or otherwise marked with "Mine Safety and Health Administration" or "MSHA."

"Scrap metal" means any manufactured item or article consisting of or containing metal; any metal removed from or obtained by cutting, demolishing, or disassembling any building, structure, manufactured item, or article; and any other metal that is no longer used for its original purpose and that can be processed for reuse in mills, foundries, and other manufacturing facilities.

"Scrap metal processor" means a business entity in good standing authorized to conduct business in the Commonwealth that regularly utilizes machinery and equipment at one or more established locations in the normal course of business for processing and manufacturing scrap metal into prepared grades for sale as raw material to mills, foundries, and other manufacturing facilities.

"Scrap metal purchaser" means any person or business, other than an authorized scrap seller or a broker buying or selling processed scrap metal, who purchases scrap metal either directly or through an authorized agent in excess of $20,000 during any 12-month period.

2007, c. 917; 2009, c. 657; 2010, c. 805; 2012, c. 449; 2013, c. 414.

§ 59.1-136.2. Purchases of ferrous scrap.

Except as provided in § 59.1-136.4, scrap metal processors may purchase ferrous scrap directly from any person.

2007, c. 917.

§ 59.1-136.3. Purchases of nonferrous scrap, metal articles, and proprietary articles.

A. Except as provided in § 59.1-136.4, scrap metal purchasers may purchase nonferrous scrap, metal articles, and proprietary articles from any person who is not an authorized scrap seller or the authorized agent and employee of an authorized scrap seller only in accordance with the following requirements and procedures:

1. At the time of sale, the seller of any nonferrous scrap, metal article, or proprietary article shall provide a driver's license or other government-issued current photographic identification including the seller's full name, current address, date of birth, and social security or other recognized identification number; and

2. The scrap metal purchaser shall record the seller's identification information, as well as the time and date of the transaction, the license number of the seller's vehicle, and a description of the items received from the seller, in a permanent ledger maintained at the scrap metal purchaser's place of business. The ledger shall be made available upon request to any law-enforcement official, conservator of the peace, or special conservator of the peace appointed pursuant to § 19.2-13, in the performance of his duties who presents his credentials at the scrap metal purchaser's normal business location during regular business hours. Records required by this subdivision shall be maintained by the scrap metal dealer at its normal place of business or at another readily accessible and secure location for at least five years.

B. Upon compliance with the other requirements of this section and § 59.1-136.4, a scrap metal purchaser may purchase proprietary articles from a person who is not an authorized scrap seller or the authorized agent and employee of an authorized scrap seller if the scrap metal purchaser complies with one of the following:

1. The scrap metal purchaser receives from the person seeking to sell the proprietary articles documentation, such as a bill of sale, receipt, letter of authorization, or similar evidence, establishing that the person lawfully possesses the proprietary articles to be sold; or

2. The scrap metal purchaser shall document a diligent inquiry into whether the person selling or delivering the same has a legal right to do so, and, after purchasing a proprietary article from a person without obtaining the documentation described in subdivision 1, shall submit a report to the local sheriff's department or the chief of police of the locality, by the close of the following business day, describing the proprietary article and including a copy of the seller's identifying information, and hold the proprietary article for not less than 15 days following purchase.

C. The scrap metal purchaser shall take a photographic or video image of all proprietary articles purchased from anyone other than an authorized scrap seller. Such image shall be of sufficient quality so as to reasonably identify the subject of the image and shall be maintained by the scrap metal purchaser no less than 30 days from the date the image is taken. Any image taken and maintained in accordance with this subdivision shall be made available upon the request of any law-enforcement officer conducting official law-enforcement business.

D. The scrap metal purchaser may purchase nonferrous scrap, metal articles, and proprietary articles directly from an authorized scrap seller and from the authorized agent or employee of an authorized scrap seller.

2007, c. 917; 2013, c. 414.

§ 59.1-136.4. Purchases of materials from minors.

Scrap metal processors shall not purchase ferrous scrap, nonferrous scrap, metal articles, proprietary articles, or other scrap metal from any person under the age of 18 years.

2007, c. 917.

§ 59.1-136.5. Reports of purchases by scrap metal purchasers.

If requested by the chief law-enforcement officer of the locality in which the scrap metal purchaser conducts business, every scrap metal purchaser conducting business in the locality shall furnish to the chief law-enforcement officer of the locality in which the scrap metal purchaser conducts business a report of all of the scrap metal purchaser's purchases of nonferrous scrap, metal articles, and proprietary articles, excluding aluminum cans and interior household items. Each report shall (i) be submitted on the next business day following the date of a purchase; (ii) include the seller's name, date of birth, identification number, address, height, and weight and the license number of any motor vehicle in which the goods or things were delivered; and (iii) be submitted in an electronic format if required by the locality in which the scrap metal purchaser conducts business. The form of the report shall be prescribed by the Virginia State Police.

2007, c. 917; 2013, c. 414.

§ 59.1-136.6. Penalties.

A. Any scrap metal purchaser who negligently violates any provisions of this article may be assessed a civil penalty not to exceed $7,500 for each violation. Any attorney for the county, city, or town in which an alleged violation of this article occurred may bring a civil action to recover such a civil penalty. The civil penalty shall be paid into the local treasury.

B. Any scrap metal purchaser who knowingly violates any provisions of this article is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

2007, c. 917; 2013, c. 414.

§ 59.1-136.7. Exemption.

Nothing in this article shall apply to the purchase, sale or disposal of any material that is used in the provision of health care by any professional who is licensed, certified or registered to practice by a board within the Department of Health Professions under Title 54.1.

2007, c. 917.

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