Pawn Shop

Pawn Shop Licenses and Regulations in the Digital Age

There are many nuances to secondhand shop license regulations that change periodically on a state-by-state basis. With frequent new legislations and regulations surrounding secondhand shops, such as pawn shops, it may be difficult for store owners to keep track of their store’s compliance.

Fortunately, there are new secondhand shop technologies that make the process of managing a pawn shop license quicker and more accurate. Even if your shop currently has technology in place, there is still new technology that can help your pawn shop comply with new laws and regulations surrounding secondhand shops.

New and Updated Pawn Shop Laws and Regulations

There are a handful of new and updated laws and regulations that revolve around the compliance of pawnbroker licenses. The majority of pawnbroker license requirements are made at the state level, but some federal laws also apply to pawn shops.

States may require pawn shop owners to create detailed records of merchandise they purchase or obtain as collateral from pawning. State laws may also require shop owners to report their purchases to their local police to identify stolen goods. Additionally, some states require shops take pictures of government-issued IDs for their records.

Federally, there are additional pawn shop regulations that impact the amount of interest and length of loans pawn shops may offer. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also regulates and protects personal information from pawn shop transactions. Additionally, the FTC oversees background check requirements for firearm sales at pawn shops.

Some of the federal laws surrounding a pawnbroker license and general shop requirements pawnbrokers should be familiar with include:

  • The Truth in Lending Act
  • The Bank Secrecy Act
  • The Equal Credit Opportunity Act

California Pawn & Secondhand Dealer System (CAPSS)

The CAPSS is a required reporting system for secondhand shop owners that was updated in 2016. CAPSS requires shop owners to obtain a variety of technology, such as:

  • Computer with internet access
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Electronic signature pad

With this technology under CAPSS, shop owners must electronically submit reports to the California Department of Justice.

Other states may have similar regulations which require pawn shops to request ID from those looking to buy or sell pawned goods.

Why do pawn shops need your ID?

Pawn shops scan and check IDs to college with both state and federal laws related to identity verification. This is due to the potential danger and liability associated with accepting stolen or illegally obtained goods. Most pawn shops have close relationships with local law enforcement agencies in order to assist with investigations that relate to stolen items or weapons. In some cases, purchases are uploaded to a nationwide database that allows law enforcement to browse for items that have involvement with active cases.

Data retention is dependent on state law. All open loans will require a pawn shop to retain records. Once the ticket is closed, either from repayment of the loan, or sale of the item, the loan ticket will be retained on file which will include identity information on the seller, as well as a description of the item. For example, in Florida, records of all loan tickets must be retained for a minimum of one year. In Australia, pawn shop records must be retained for 5 years.

Additionally, pawn shops must verify that anyone selling or pawning items is at least 18 years of age


If your secondhand shop is struggling to stay on top of your state’s technological requirements,’s IDLaws can help. If your shop is looking to scan IDs, the IDLaws software can help your business understand the requirements associated with scanning identification cards.

IDLaws works with law firms around the U.S. to compile and interpret the respective state laws. With every pending and enacted state law for each state, IDLaws makes quarterly updates to ensure this legal information is current. Please reach out to Brett Perry for more information and special pricing for pawn shop decision-makers.

How Technology Can Make Pawn Shop Compliance Easier

Even when not required, technology can help make it easier to maintain pawnbroker license compliance. However, in states like California that include regulations for obtaining new technology, secondhand shop owners may not legally be allowed to manually process their transaction forms.

New parsing technology with ID scanners makes populating information from customers easy by simply swiping the patron’s identification card. ID scanners can also ensure your data is 100% accurate by eliminating human errors, such as typos.

After the swipe of an ID, searchable records of patron data makes it straightforward to prove compliance under state and federal regulations.’s Pawn Shop Compliance Technology

When seeking technology for pawn shop requirements and compliance, can help you wade through pawn shop requirements on the state and federal level. We offer several solutions and products that can protect your pawn shop license to stay compliant with state and federal regulations.’s solutions for pawn shops include:

IDWare Collect offers all of the necessary information parsing technology your business needs, with 100% accuracy, by scanning IDs. Once an ID is scanned, your business can easily populate pawn tickets, police forms, and any other forms they may need to fill out. IDWare Collect + Image can capture an image of a patron’s ID. A copy of the ID can then be kept on file from your business’s own Windows-based computer.

If you want to know more about our pawn shop-specific solutions and exclusive discounts for pawn shop owners and managers, please reach out to our team.