The fee will be collected by the Sheriff’s office, with $100 being retained by the county and the other $100 to be transmitted to the Secretary of State to be used to maintain a statewide database.
This registration fee comes after a state law has been changed to require that businesses of secondary metal recycling to register in order to operate in the county of their business.
The Senate and House passed House Bill 872, Metal Theft Bill, on March 29, and Governor Nathan Deal signed it into law on April 16. The law went into effect July 1.
The purpose of the law is to combat to rising number in metal theft.
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), which was created by the insurance industry to address insurance-related crime, there was an 81 percent increase in metal theft claims from their 2006-2008 report to their 2009-2011 report.
Georgia ranks third in the nation behind Ohio and Texas for most metal theft claims, according to NICB.
Anyone not in compliance of the new law will have to face strict new penalties.
According to the Metal Theft Bill, the penalty for the first offense is a misdemeanor, the second offense is a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature and the third offence and each future offence will be a felony with possibility for imprisonment between 1-10 years.
The penalties apply to anyone who is buying or selling. There will be a forfeiture of seizure of materials, vehicles and tools used in the commission of the metal theft.
According to the Metal Theft Bill, there is now a ban on the purchase of burned copper, unless by a permitted incinerator, or if a police report is provided of an accidental fire.
The sale of copper-aluminum air conditioning coils will be limited to certain licensed contractors, or with a receipt that a HVAC unit has been replaced. Window air conditioners are exempt.
There are restrictions on who is able to sell cemetery brass, bronze and other burial objects.
Digital or video image will be required of the bulk load being sold, and the face of the seller. Digital image of the seller or deliverer has to be taken if the person is different from the seller.
Detailed description of the regulated metal will be documented on the transaction receipt.
In the absence of a vehicle’s tag number on the vehicle of delivering the vehicle identification number will be documented on the transaction receipt. It is unlawful to make a false statement in executing the affidavit required when selling a motor vehicle.
Regulated metal purchases cannot be made between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.
It is unlawful to give false vehicle identification information.
Each secondary metal recycler shall obtain permit from the Sheriff’s office to maintain a place of business. The permit information will be entered into a statewide electronic database accessible by law enforcement and established through coordination with the Secretary of State.
The permit is good for 12 months, and it is unlawful to buy regulated metal property without required permit, and to sell regulated metal property to a non-permitted recycler.
The GBI will establish a database, when funding is allotted in the budget, of all secondary recycler records.
The secondary recycler records will include clear, undistorted photograph or video images of property, copy of check, voucher or documentation of electronic funds transfer, signed and sworn affidavit from the seller, copy of any required licenses, scanned or photocopied seller permit. These files will be placed in a GBI database.