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§ 9-603. Pawnbrokers.

(1) Definitions. In this Section the following definitions apply:

(a) Pawnbroker. Any person who:

(.1) engages in the business of lending money on the deposit or pledge of personal property, other than chooses in action, securities or written evidence of indebtedness; or

(.2) purchases personal property with an expressed or implied agreement or understanding to sell it back at a subsequent time at a stipulated price; or

(.3) lends money upon goods, wares or merchandise pledged, stored or deposited as collateral security.

(b) Pledge. An article deposited with a pawnbroker as security for a loan in the course of his business.

(c) Pledger. The person who obtains a loan from a pawnbroker and delivers a pledge into the possession of a pawnbroker, unless the person discloses that he is or was acting for another in which case "pledger" means the disclosed principal.

(d) Pawn Ticket. The card, book, receipt or other record furnished to the pledger at the time a loan is granted containing the terms of the contract.

(2) Licenses.

(a) No person shall act as a pawnbroker unless he has obtained a license from the Department of Licenses and Inspections for each location from which that person seeks to act as a pawnbroker.

(b) No license to act as pawnbroker shall be issued unless the applicant:

(.1) has been licensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as required by the Act of April 6, 1937, P.L. 200, 63 P.S. § 281, as amended;

(.2) pays an annual license fee of $200 for each location from which the applicant intends to operate.

(3) General Requirements.

(a) No pawnbroker shall transact any business on Sunday.

(b) No pawnbroker shall accept any pledge or effect any redemption before 8:30 A.M. or after 5 P.M., except that pawnbrokers may accept pledges or effect redemptions until 9 P.M. on Friday and until 6 P.M. on Saturday.

(c) No pawnbroker may purchase an article of personal property from, receive a pledge of personal property from, or exchange personal property with a customer without first securing adequate identification from the customer. For purposes of this subsection, "securing adequate identification" means that at the time of the transaction, the pawnbroker shall take a digital photograph of the customer, obtain a clear imprint of the customer's left thumbprint and have the customer present one of the following types of identification:

(i) A valid identification document issued by a state or federal government, containing a photograph;

(ii) A valid motor vehicle operator's license issued by any state and containing a photograph;

(iii) A valid military identification card containing a photograph;

(iv) A valid passport;

(v) A valid alien registration card containing a photograph; or

(vi) A valid senior citizens identification card containing a photograph.

(d) Every pawnbroker shall issue a pawn ticket to every customer delivering a pledge of personal property to the pawnbroker.

(e) Every pawnbroker shall utilize a secure, internet-accessible electronic inventory tracking system, as designated by the Police Department. Each pawnbroker shall maintain on its premises a computer which is capable of securely and confidentially uploading all required tracking information, as specified by the Police Department, via the internet to an entity designated by the Police Department. No later than the conclusion of each business day, every pawnbroker must upload, in the manner specified by the Police Department, the required tracking information for all articles of personal property purchased or pledged during the course of business on that day.

(f) The Department of Licenses and Inspections shall issue regulations designating the form and content of pawn tickets, the internet-accessible electronic inventory tracking system to be used by each pawnbroker and the required tracking information to be recorded for each transaction. The entity chosen by the Police Department to administer the electronic inventory tracking system shall insure that all data remain secure and confidential by providing to each pawnbroker login security protocols which meet current industry standards, and shall employ state of the art technology to protect the data from all forms of unauthorized access and malicious intrusion. The Department of Licenses and Inspections may, by regulation, provide for an annual fee of up to $400 per location to defray the costs of the internet-accessible electronic inventory tracking system.

(4) Holding Period.

(a) Every pawnbroker shall keep, for at least 90 days from the date of receipt, and in a suitable location for safekeeping, any article of personal property it has purchased or received as a pledge; provided that any person who presents adequate identification as set forth in subsection (3)(c)(i) to (vi) to demonstrate that he or she is the person named on the pawn ticket as the seller or owner of the article of personal property may redeem or otherwise retrieve the article of personal property prior to the expiration of the holding period.

(b) During the holding period, any article of personal property purchased or received as a pledge shall be segregated from the pawnbroker's other inventory to insure that it is not placed in an area or section where articles of personal property are offered for sale and may not be altered in any manner. The pawnbroker shall permit any law enforcement officer to inspect any article of personal property so held without the need to present a warrant or subpoena. Where an article of personal property is held off the premises, a pawnbroker shall make the item available for inspection within 24 hours after receiving the written request of a law enforcement officer to inspect the item of personal property. Any law enforcement officer who has reason to believe any article of personal property was not sold or pledged by the lawful owner may direct a pawnbroker to hold that article of personal property for a reasonable length of time that the law enforcement officer considers necessary to identify it.

(c) Nothing in this subsection (4) shall apply to the return or exchange, by a customer to a pawnbroker, of any article of personal property purchased from that pawnbroker.

(5) Penalties, Cease Operations Orders and License Revocations. Depending upon the seriousness of the violation and the prior record of the pawnbroker with respect to violations of this Section, a violation of this Section shall subject the pawnbroker to any or all of the following:

(a) a fine not exceeding the maximum fine for Class III offenses as set forth in Section 1-109.

(b) suspension of licenses granted under this Section for all premises operated by the pawnbroker where violations have occurred and referral to the Secretary of Banking of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to determine whether the license or licenses granted to the pawnbroker will be revoked. During any period of license suspension, each and every location of the pawnbroker's business shall cease operation as a pawnbroker. The Department shall issue a Cease Operations Order for each business location operated by the pawnbroker whose license(s) have been suspended in accordance with the same procedures as set out in Section 6-103 of the Health Code, provided that the Cease Operations Order shall identify the prohibited operations and shall state that the applicable license has been suspended for violation(s) of the Code. Immediately upon suspending the license or licenses of a pawnbroker, the Department shall give written notice of the suspension to the Secretary of Banking of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The duration of a license suspension by the Department shall not exceed the maximum amount of time permitted under Section 30 of the Act of April 6, 1937, P.L. 200, 63 P.S. § 281-30.

(.1) No new pawnbroker license shall be issued for a business location posted with a Cease Operation Order, so long as any person under a license suspension imposed by the Department or license revocation by the Secretary of Banking, or any member of such person's immediate family, or, in the case of a corporation, the corporation or any affiliated business entities, retain a pecuniary interest in the property at that location.

(c) suspension of the commercial activity license of the pawnbroker pursuant to the procedures set forth in Section 19-2602(4)(h), (5) & (6).

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Keywords
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