New Mexico Metal Scrap Statute

New Mexico
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 2016 New Mexico SB 76 adding lead material to the list of Regulated Metals are included in this summary

Materials Covered and Other Definitions

"Regulated Material" includes Aluminum Material, Bronze Material, Copper or Brass Material, Steel Material, Lead Material, and Restricted Regulated Material. (lead material added by SB 76)

"Aluminum Material" meaning a product made from aluminum, an aluminum alloy or an aluminum byproduct. "Aluminum material" includes an aluminum beer keg but does not include other types of aluminum cans used to contain a food or beverage.

"Bronze Material", meaning a cemetery vase, receptacle, or memorial made from bronze; bronze statuary; or material readily identifiable as bronze.

"Copper or Brass Material", meaning:

  • Insulated or noninsulated copper wire, hardware or cable of the type used by a public utility, commercial mobile radio service carrier or common carrier that consists of at least twenty-five percent copper; or
  • A copper or brass item of a type commonly used in construction or by a public utility, commercial mobile radio service carrier or common carrier;

(added by SB 76) "Lead Material" means a lead acid battery or material readily identifiable as being made of or containing lead.

"Steel Material", meaning a product made from an alloy of iron, chromium, nickel or manganese, including stainless steel beer kegs;

Restricted Regulated Material, as listed in Section 57-30-2.4, for this summary means:

  • Infrastructure grade regulated material that has been burned to remove insulation, unless the Seller can produce written proof that the regulated material was lawfully burned;
  • Regulated material where the manufacturer's make, model, serial or personal identification number or other identifying marks engraved or etched upon the material have been conspicuously removed or altered;
  • Regulated material marked with the name, initials or otherwise identified as the property of an electrical company, a telephone company, a cable company, a water company or other utility company, a railroad or a governmental entity;
  • A utility access cover;
  • A water meter cover;
  • A road or bridge guard rail;
  • A highway or street sign;
  • A traffic directional or control sign or signal;
  • A metal beer keg that is clearly marked as being the property of the beer manufacturer; or
  • A catalytic converter that is not part of an entire motor vehicle.

"Secondhand Metal Dealer" means a scrap metal processor in the business of operating or maintaining a scrap metal yard in a physical location in which scrap metal or cast-off regulated material is purchased for shipment, sale or transfer.

"Peace Officer" means any full-time salaried and commissioned or certified law enforcement officer of a police or sheriff's department that is part of or administered by the state or a political subdivision of the state.

"Personal Identification Document" means a driver's license; a military identification card; or a passport issued by the U.S. or by another country and recognized by the U.S.


Purchases of Regulated Material from a manufacturing, industrial or other commercial vendor that sells Regulated Material in the ordinary course of business are exempt


A Dealer shall keep an accurate and legible written record, in a form approved by the Regulation and Licensing Department, of each purchase of:

  • Copper or Brass Material;
  • Bronze Material;
  • (added by SB 76) Lead Material;
  • Aluminum Material in excess of 10 lbs.; or
  • Steel Material in excess of one ton, except that a written record shall be kept of each purchase of a stainless steel beer keg.

The transaction record shall be in English and include:

  • The place and date of each purchase;
  • The name and address of each Seller;
  • The identifying number from each Seller's personal ID;
  • The year, make, model, and license plate number of the motor vehicle used to transport the Regulated Material;
  • A description of the type and quantity of Regulated Material made in accordance with the custom of the trade;
  • The Seller's signed written statement, provided by the Dealer, that the Seller is the legal owner of or is lawfully entitled to sell the Regulated Material;
  • A digital photo of the Seller with a date and time stamp;
  • A digital photo of the Regulated Material with a date and time stamp.
Restricted Regulated Material

For Restricted Regulated Material, a Dealer must obtain and record written documentation indicating the Seller is the rightful owner or has permission from the rightful owner or that the material was otherwise lawfully obtained. The Regulation and Licensing Department shall create rules that more specifically describe the documentation required.


A Dealer must retain records for 1 year after they are made.


A Dealer shall produce records to a Peace Officer upon request during the Dealer's normal business hours. An inspecting Peace Officer shall inform a Dealer that they are a Peace Officer.


A Dealer that becomes aware they are in possession of Regulated Material that was stolen or unlawfully obtained must report to a local law enforcement agency within 24 hours.

A Dealer must report the Regulated Material transaction record by the second business day following a transaction to the database maintained by the Regulation and Licensing Department. Effective January 1, 2014, a Dealer must upload the required report directly to the database. The database is exclusively accessible to law enforcement agencies; records received by the Department shall be made available by the end of the second business day following the receipt.


There is an automatic 24 hour hold on all Regulated Material acquisitions.

A Dealer that becomes aware they are in possession of Regulated Material that was stolen or unlawfully obtained must hold the material on their premises.

A Peace Officer that determines a Dealer may be in possession of property that was stolen or is evidence in a criminal investigation may place a hold on the property for up to 5 days or until the hold is lifted or the property is seized, whichever is earliest.

Notice to Sellers

A Dealer must maintain in a prominent place in their business, in open view to Sellers, a notice in 2 inch lettering that states their usual business hours as well as the following:


The notice may be on a sign that contains another notice required by law.


A Dealer must be registered with the Regulation and Licensing Department to buy or sell Regulated Material. Registrations and renewals are subject to a $25 application fee and are valid for three years from the date of issuance unless suspended or revoked. An application must include:

  • The Applicant's full name and business address;
  • A list of all locations where the Applicant engages or will engage in the business of buying or selling Regulated Material; and
  • Any other information the Department may require by rule.

A Dealer must also comply with all federal requirements for scrap metal dealers, including maintaining storm water permits.

Scrap Theft Alert Registration

A Dealer shall register for the metal theft alert system maintained by ISRI or its successor organization, and keep all employees involved in the purchasing or receiving of Regulated Material apprised of alerts received on theft of Regulated Material in the geographic area.

Regulation and Licensing Department

The Regulation and Licensing Department is responsible for registration of Dealers and maintaining a database for report information. The Superintendent of the Department is expressly authorized to make regulations regarding Regulated Materials records, the database, and documentation for Restricted Regulated Material. Information for Dealers is available at


A person may not, with the intent to deceive, display a false or invalid personal ID in connection with an attempted sale of Regulated Material; make a false statement or representation to a Dealer in connection with the Recordkeeping or Restricted Regulated Material provisions, or deliberately remove or alter any of a manufacturer's identifying marks engraved or etched upon Regulated Material.

A person violating the provisions may be assessed a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per violation. A Dealer's registration may be suspended or revoked if they intentionally violate a provision. Prior to the imposition of a penalty or suspension or revocation of registration, the person will be given notice and the opportunity to be heard pursuant to Section 61-1


A local government entity may not impose reporting requirements on Dealers regarding the purchase or acquisition of Regulated Material.

©2016. The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. All rights reserved.

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.