Missouri Metal Scrap Statute

The State Metals Theft Laws summaries are not intended to provide or be relied as a legal advice. This material is provided to serve as a reasonable compilation of the most current state scrap laws and is intended to be a resource or supplement to, and provide ideas for, compliance with all applicable laws. The ISRI State Scrap Laws are subject to change and readers should visit to make certain they are reading the most recent version of ISRI's summaries of the State Metals Theft Laws
Overview of Provisions (use the section titles to travel directly to that section)

Please Note: Amendments by 2013 Missouri SB 157 & SB 102 and Missouri HB 103, effective August 28, 2013, are noted in the summary.

Materials Covered and Other Definitions

Regulated Scrap Metal refers to the following:

  • Copper, brass, or bronze;
  • Aluminum wire, cable, pipe, tubing, bar, ingot, rod, fitting, or fastener;
  • Material containing copper or aluminum that is knowingly used for farming purposes as farming is defined in Section 350.010;
  • (added by SB 157 & SB 102 and HB 103) Catalytic Converter

Keg means any container capable of holding four gallons or more of beer, wine, or intoxicating liquor and which is designed to dispense beer, wine, or intoxicating liquor directly from the container for purposes of consumption. Any nonreturnable container with a capacity of less than six gallons shall not be considered a keg.

Restricted Metal as described in Section 407.302 (1.) refers to metal that can be identified as belonging to a public or private cemetery, political subdivision, telecommunications provider, cable provider, wireless service or other communications provider, or electrical cooperative, water utility, municipal utility, or utility regulated under chapter 386 or 393. Examples given include: bleachers, guardrails, signs, street and traffic lights or signals, and manhole cover or covers, whether broken or unbroken. (bolded text added by SB 157 & SB 102)

Bronze Material refers to any bronze cemetery vase or receptacle, any bronze cemetery memorial, or any bronze statuary, whatever may be the condition.

Scrap Metal Dealer, or Dealer, refers to any purchaser of junk, scrap metal, or any secondhand property that purchases or trades in metals covered by the law.


The Recordkeeping - Regulated Scrap Metal provision exempts transactions for which

  • The total amount paid for all Regulated Scrap Metal purchased or sold does not exceed $50 unless the scrap metal is a catalytic converter (bolded text added by SB 157 & SB 102 and HB 103);
  • The Regulated Scrap Metal is a minor part of a larger item, except for equipment used in the generation and transmission of electrical power or telecommunications.

The Recordkeeping - Regulated Scrap Metal and Payment Restriction provisions do not apply if the Seller, including a farm or farmer, has an existing relationship with the Dealer and is known to the Dealer to be an established business or political subdivision that operates a business with a fixed location that can be reasonably expected to generate Regulated Scrap Metal and can be reasonably identified as such.

Recordkeeping - Regulated Scrap Metal

A Dealer must keep a register with written or electronic records for each purchase or trade where Regulated Scrap Metal is obtained for value, containing the following information:

  • The date, time, and place of the transaction;
  • (added by SB 157 & SB 102) The license plate number of the Seller's vehicle used during the transaction;
  • A full description of the metal including the quantity by weight;
  • (added by SB 157 & SB 102) The purchase price.

A copy of the Seller's photo identification issued by the state or the US government;

  • (added by SB 157 & SB 102) If different from or not included on the identification, the Seller's current address, gender, birth date, and a photograph.
  • (added by SB 157 & SB 102) If the Dealer pays cash for copper or a catalytic converter, a copy of the Seller's driver's license or nondriver's license is required.
Recordkeeping - Bronze Material

A Dealer that purchases Bronze Material shall enter into a register kept for the purpose the following information:

  • The Seller's name, address, and place of business;
  • The Seller's driver's license number;
  • A full description of each purchase including the quantity by weight.

Regulated Scrap Metal Records shall be retained for at least 24 months from when the Scrap Metal was obtained. No retention period is specified for Bronze Material records.


Regulated Scrap Metal Records shall be available for inspection by any law enforcement officer. Bronze Material records may be inspected by any Missouri peace officer at any reasonable time.

Beer Kegs

A Dealer may not knowingly purchase or possess a metal beer keg, whether damaged or undamaged, or any reasonably recognizable part of a keg, on any premises the Dealer uses to buy, sell, store, or in any way alter scrap metal, unless the purchase is from the brewer or its authorized representative.

Restricted Metals

A Dealer may not purchase Restricted Metal from anyone other than the identified owner or a manufacturer of the Restricted Metal unless the Seller has written authorization to sell from the owner or manufacturer.

Payment Restrictions

A Dealer may not make cash payments of $500 or more. Such must be made by either:

  • Issuing a prenumbered check drawn on a regular bank account in the name of the Dealer, payable to the documented Seller; or
  • Using an automated cash or electronic payment distribution system which photographs or videotapes the recipient and identifies the payment with a distinct transaction in the record.

If paying cash for copper or a catalytic converter, a copy of the Seller's driver's license or nondriver's license is required.

(SB 157 & SB 102 changes from check or a method in which a financial institution records the transaction and adds license requirement for copper or catalytic converters)


Anyone violating provisions related to Recordkeeping - Regulated Scrap Metal, Retention, or Inspection provisions is guilty of a class B misdemeanor. (SB 157 & SB 102 changes from a Class A misdemeanor)

A person violating the Beer Keg provision is guilty of a class A misdemeanor punishable only by fine, but may also be prosecuted for any other applicable criminal offense.

A person violating the Restricted Metal provision is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.

(added by SB 157 & SB 102) Except for provisions related to Bronze Material, anyone who knowingly and willfully violates the law is guilty of:

  • 1st offense: a Class B misdemeanor and up to a $500 fine;
  • 2nd offense: a Class A misdemeanor and up to a $1,000 fine;
  • 3rd offense: revocation of any and all business licenses held with Missouri

(added by SB 157 & SB 102) Except for provisions related to Bronze Material, any person who violates the law by selling stolen scrap metal is responsible for consequential damages.

Any person violating provisions related to Bronze Material is guilty of a misdemeanor.

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This summary of State Metals Theft Laws is being viewed on this website under license and is owned and copyrighted by Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. ("ISRI"),1615 L Street, N.W., Suite 600, Washington, DC 20036.