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Scrap Metal Program

Ohio’s Scrap Metal Program provides scrap dealers with standardized rules that minimize competitive advantage, and help reduce the outlets for metal theft transactions.

Ohio's Scrap Metal Law

  • Every scrap metal and bulk merchandise container dealer must be registered with the Ohio Dept. of Public Safety, which will maintain an online registry. Failure to register is a Felony of the 5th degree, O.R.C. 4737.04(B) (1).
  • No person shall receive, purchase, or sell a special purchase article or a bulk merchandise container except as in accordance with O.R.C 4737.012 and 4737.04 to 4737.045. First offense violations are a Felony of the 5th degree, O.R.C. 4737.04 (B) (3).
  • No person shall knowingly obtain or exert control over a special purchase article or bulk merchandise container without the owner’s consent, beyond the scope of the express or implied consent of the owner, or by deception, threat or intimidation. First offense violations are a Felony of the 5th degree, O.R.C. 4737.04 (B) (2).
  • Scrap metal/bulk merchandise container dealers are required to report transactions through an electronic transaction reporting system maintained by the Ohio Dept. of Public Safety, O.R.C. 4737.045(E).

Law Enforcement Resources

Ohio’s Scrap Metal Program supports local law enforcement efforts to help thwart metal theft and can help investigators solve metal theft cases. Ohio Homeland Security maintains a “Do Not Buy From” list for use by law enforcement through the Contact and Information Management System (CIMS). We also can provide analytic support.

Scrap Metal Definitions

  • “Scrap metal dealer” means the owner or operator of a business that purchases or receives scrap metal for the purpose of sorting, grading, and shipping metals to third parties for direct or indirect melting into new products.
  • “Bulk merchandise container dealer” means one who engages in the business of purchasing, reselling, exchanging, recycling, shredding, or receiving bulk merchandise containers.
  • “Bulk merchandise container” means a plastic or wooden carrier or holder used by a manufacturer or distributor to transport merchandise to wholesale and retail outlets.

Examples of “special purchase articles”

Beer kegs; cable or wire used in providing utility service; metal markers and sculptures obtained from a cemetery or historical and commemorative markers; guard rails, road signs, light fixtures or signals, and manhole covers; grocery carts; commercial metal carts trays or containers used to transport or merchandise food products; railroad material, including spikes, rails, and ties; any metal that has been smelted, burned, or melted. For complete list of special purchase articles, refer to O.R.C. 4737.04.

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