Scrap Metal Dealers in South Carolina Must Now Obtain Local Business Permit

As of August 16, 2011 any individual selling over 10 pounds of scrap metal in South Carolina will have to obtain a local business permit. The permit can be obtained free of charge from the local sheriff’s office. Recycling companies will be required to make photocopies of vendors’ permits and keep them on record for police inspection.

With the weakening of the dollar, the value of scrap metal has gone up making it an enticing means for thieves to get ‘quick-cash.’ State officials enacted this ordinance in an effort to combat the growing number of burglars stripping metal out of homes. By keeping records of individuals who have applied for permits, officials feel they will be able to regulate the legal and illegal aspects of the market.

In order to mitigate the hassle for individuals who want to recycle scrap metal from their own homes, the ordinance allows residents to call their sheriff’s office for a temporary permit. They can then sell their metal to recycling companies using the permit number issued to them.

"It's not going to be a bother to anyone, except for the bad guy," Richland County Sheriff Lot says, quoted by WSAV.   He thinks the law will cut down on copper thefts. He says, “I wish we could start the law today. I wish we didn’t have the 60-day time period. But it is going to help us tremendously."

To obtain your scrap metal business permit, visit

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