Focus on New Laws: Scrap Metal Requirements

Changes include the elimination of an exception to licensing, the transfer of enforcement capabilities, and more.
(Published Sep 30, 2013)

A 2013 law (Chapter 126) made several changes to requirements for scrap metal. These include the elimination of an exception to licensing, the transfer of enforcement capabilities, title receipt and storage requirements, and operating procedures for scrap dealers. The changes have various effective dates, ranging from Aug. 1, 2013, to Jan. 1, 2015.

The new law requires anyone engaged in the business of buying, selling, or soliciting vehicles for scrap, processing, or melting to acquire a scrap metal processor license. This new requirement is the result of the elimination of a prior exception to the licensing requirement for “hulk” vehicles under Minnesota Statutes, section 168.27, subdivision 1a ( c ). This new licensing requirement took effect on Aug. 1, 2013.

Under the new law, cities now have the authority to prosecute any person who violates the laws relating to scrap metal contained in Minnesota Statutes, sections 168.27, 168A.1501, and 325E.21. This new prosecution authority is found in Minnesota Statutes, section 168.27, subdivision 23, and became effective on Aug. 1, 2013.

The new law also amends Minnesota Statutes, section 168A.15, subdivision 3, and requires dealers to maintain the certificates of title for all vehicles purchased for scrap, dismantling, or destruction for a period of three years after the purchase of the vehicle. Additionally, a dealer who destroys or dismantles a vehicle must report the destruction or dismantling within 10 days. This amends the prior reporting requirement, which was 30 days, in Minnesota Statutes, section 168A.153, and took effect on Aug. 1, 2013.

The new law also requires scrap vehicle operators to create a legible written record in English for each vehicle that is purchased. The record, which may be electronic, must include the vehicle’s VIN number, license plate number, and make/model/color. It must also include the date, time, place of the vehicle’s transfer, and the amount paid.

The law also requires a photocopy or scan of the seller’s proof of identification, certain information about the vehicle that delivered the scrap vehicle, and a signed statement by the seller that the car is not stolen, is free of any liens, and that the seller has the right to sell it. These requirements, and some others, can be found in Minnesota Statutes, section 168A.1501, and became effective on Aug. 1, 2013.

Additionally, scrap vehicle operators are required to use an automated property database that collects the information required by Minnesota Statutes, section 168A.1501, updates daily, and conforms to a specified format, which is called the “interchange file specification format.” This database is accessible by law enforcement agencies. This requirement does not become effective until Jan. 1, 2015.

Another requirement is the installation and operation of cameras that capture a frontal view of the seller’s face and the vehicle’s license plate. The camera must be kept operational at all times when open for business or when a sale is transacted and must also include the date and time. The images must be maintained for 60 days and available for inspection by law enforcement. This requirement becomes effective on Jan. 1, 2014.

For more information about the new requirements, see page 9 of the League’s 2013 Law Summaries (pdf).

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