Providing Identification For Scrap Metal Recycling
July 27th, 2012 by Jacob Smith
When you sell scrap metal to a recycler, in most cases you’ll need to provide identification in the form of a driver’s license or identity card. The reason? If scrap metal has been stolen, it can be tracked. The laws have been implemented in many states in the USA – some more stringent than others – but many people still feel uncomfortable handing over these documents.
“We changed our systems in December 2009 in response to the new laws in Pennsylvania,” begins Jacob Cohen, CEO of Robert K Kurtz Company. “Some customers were nervous about the new system because they worried about tax implications. Others were simply concerned about having that information on record. But we’ve been very diligent at making our systems safe and secure. We have to get this identification by law but we’ve taken additional steps to protect our customers.”
If selling scrap metal, every individual and company has to provide a driver’s license or state identity card. It has to be official federal identification. This information is generally placed on file at scrap metal recyclers. Once you’re in the system, you don’t need to go through the process again.
The aim of identification is to stop the sale of stolen scrap metal.
“We had an incident when a plumber believed his employee was stealing and selling his scrap metal. When he asked us to check the records, we said you’ll have to bring in the Police because we can’t give that information to you directly. It’s for your protection. He brought in the Police, we handed over the records to them, and they were able to confirm the employee had sold the plumber’s scrap metal.” Cohen said his company receives more police inquiries when the value of scrap metal increases.
“We also go one step further and photograph and record any scrap metal that comes through our doors. If anyone challenges the amount of money they received for their scrap, or if Police want to know what kind of copper might have been stolen, we’ve got it on record as verification. It costs us extra money to do this, but it’s an added protection for our customers.”
Identification protects against theft. But it’s also important to work with a reputable scrap metal recycling company that respects your identity and keeps it protected.