Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing

Acceptable Forms of Identification; Recordkeeping; E-Filing of Transaction Reports- Compliance Advisory - Maryland Licensing of Secondhand Precious Metal Objects Dealers & Pawnbrokers


March 8, 2012

Verifying and Recording Identity of Sellers of Secondhand Precious Metal Objects and Pawn Transactions.

Licensed dealers are required to obtain and report to law enforcement agencies certain identification information from individuals from whom they acquire secondhand precious metals objects or gems. See Bus. Reg. Art., Ann. Code of Md., §§12-302-12-304. However, licensed dealers frequently obtain inadequate or incomplete information or fail to satisfactorily report such information to law enforcement agencies. The law specifies acceptable forms of identification documents and the specific identification information that dealers are required to record and report to law enforcement agencies.

Acceptable Forms of Identification

Driver's License

The preferred form of identification is a driver's license issued by the State of Maryland or any other state, Washington, DC, commonwealth or territory of the United States, or any other country. If the individual presents a driver's license, it is the only form of identification a dealer needs to compare to establish that the person in the photograph is the person standing in front of them. A driver's license usually includes a photograph, date of birth, sex, height, weight, race and address of the individual. Another important item of information contained on the license is the driver's license number (Soundex No.) of the individual. Bus. Reg. Art., Ann. Code of Md., §12-302(a)(4)(i).

Other Acceptable Forms of Identification

When an individual has not been issued a driver's license, the dealer must obtain two forms of identification that will positively identify the individual with whom the transaction is being made. One of the forms must be a photo identification document that is issued by any of the following: city, county, state agency in the United States including Washington, DC., a commonwealth or territory of the United States, a U.S federal government or a government agency of a foreign country. The second form of identification can be a social security card, a bank card or any other document that contains the same name of the individual as is indicated on the first form of identification. The dealer must identify the type of the 2nd form of identification form and capture the information contained on both ID forms. Bus. Reg. Art., Ann. Code of Md., §12-302(a)(4)(ii)(1) and (2).

Face-to-Face Transactions are Required

All transactions must be conducted face-to-face between the dealer (or the dealer's authorized employee, pursuant to Bus. Reg. Art., Ann. Code of Md., §12-203) and the individual with whom the dealer engages in the sale, pawn or other transaction from which the dealer acquires the item. Dealers must compare the appearance of the individual standing before them and the photograph on the identification document that is presented and note any differences in the appearance of the individual and the photograph on photo identification document.

Record a Physical Description on DLLR Form; Report on RPDDS.

Dealers are also required to record the physical description of the individual that is observed, including the sex, race, any distinguishing features, and approximate age, height, weight, eye color, and hair color of the individual on the DLLR daily transaction form. Bus. Reg. Art., Ann. Code of Md., §12-302(a)(4)(ii)(2). A dealer is also required to include on the daily transaction form "any other information required by the Secretary," pursuant to Bus. Reg. Art., Ann. Code of Md., §12-302(a). Dealers must also transfer the information from the form to the dealer's daily reports to the Regional Pawn Data Sharing System (RPDSS). Bus. Reg. Art., Ann. Code of Md., §12-304.

Dealer/Seller Signatures Required on Transaction Report Form.

All transactions must be concluded with the signature of the individual from whom the dealer acquires the object(s) through the transaction, certifying the individual's ownership of the items; and the signature of the dealer or the dealer's authorized employee. Bus. Reg. Art., Ann. Code of Md., §12-302(a)(6); see also Bus. Reg. Art., Ann. Code of Md., §12-402. Dealers who conduct transactions in real time in conjunction with RPDSS should make sure there are signature blocks for the seller and the dealer on the receipt or transaction ticket. If both signature blocks do not appear, the dealer should immediately contact the RAPID-HelpDesk@mdsp.org.

Items Acquired by Dealers are Presumed to be Precious Metal Objects

By law an object is presumed to be a precious metal object if the object reasonably appears to be a precious metal object and it was received by a dealer in the course of business or is found in the place of business or storage facility of a dealer. Bus. Reg. Art., Ann. Code of Md., §12-301(f). Items acquired during the normal course of business cannot be described as "costume jewelry", "junk", or "scrap". See Bus. Reg. Art., Ann. Code of Md., §12-102(a)(4)(citing compliance with holding and reporting requirements for purchase junk and scrap metal).

Items Must Be and Remain Tagged For As Long As They Remain In Dealer's Possession.

Dealers and pawnbrokers must keep items tagged for as long as the items remain at the dealer's business location or authorized alternative storage location. Bus. Reg. Art., Ann. Code of Md., §12-301(e). Jewelers do not have to file reports to law enforcement agencies if they accumulate pieces of precious metals in the course of performing repairs, re-mountings, fabrications, or custom orders. Bus. Reg. Art., Ann. Code of Md., §12-102(b).

Confirm Transmission of Daily RPDDS Reports

Dealers who have point of sale software and perform and upload daily transactions to the RPDDS database should print out the screen that appears immediately prior to clicking on the "submit" button and the screen that appears thereafter. Review the document for any error messages. If an error message is received following submission of the upload, the dealer must immediately contact the RAPID Help Desk and the local administrator to determine the correct the error. Keep a copy of the report for your records each time you perform an upload.

File Upload Utility

Image of the file upload utility

Dealers in Prince Georges County Must Hold a Secondhand Precious Metal Object or Gem For 30 Days

A second hand precious metal object or gem acquired by licensed dealers located in Prince Georges County must hold those items for 30 days from the date the items are reported to the County's police department. Bus. Reg. Art., Ann. Code of Md., §12-305(a)(1)(ii); see also Bus. Reg. Art., Ann. Code of Md., §12-101(i)(2)(precious and semiprecious stone included in definition of "precious metal object"). The precious metal objects must be stored at the dealer's business location or at an alternative storage facility located in Prince George's County that is approved by the Department. The requirement does not apply to Prince Georges County pawnbrokers in pawn transactions that involve precious metal objects when an individual presents an original pawn ticket to redeem the pawned precious metal object. This requirement was enacted by the 2011 Maryland General Assembly and applies only to dealers located in Prince Georges County.



Any person who trades commercially with the public in items composed of gold, silver, platinum, palladium or iridium is required to hold a license issued by the Department. The law requires anyone who facilitates for a fee the sale of a secondhand precious metal object for an unlicensed person to be licensed. Included, but not limited to jeweler pawnbrokers, antique dealers, auctioneers, estate buyers, consignment store owners, buy/sell or a person involved in activity that involve previously owned precious metal objects.