South Carolina state law requires that anyone wanting to transport, buy or sell “nonferrous metals” (metals not containing significant quantities of iron or steel, including copper wire, cooper clad steel wire, copper pipe, copper bars, copper sheeting, aluminum, a product that is a mixture of aluminum and copper, catalytic converters, and stainless-steel beer kegs or containers) must have a permit.
- This permit is free of charge and must be issued by your local Sheriff’s Office in the County that you reside.
- The permit is valid statewide and expires on the person’s birthday on the 2nd calendar year after the permit was issued.
- The permit must be in your possession while transporting and/or selling “nonferrous metals.”
Please be aware of the following:
- Section 16-17-680(C) (1) states that anyone who wants to transport or sell nonferrous metals to a secondary metals recycler shall obtain a permit to transport and sell the nonferrous metals.
- Section 16-17-680(C) (2) states that a resident of South Carolina or an entity located in South Carolina, shall obtain a permit from the sheriff of the county in which the person resides or has a secondary residence.
- Section 16-17-680(C) (8) states a permit is valid statewide and expires on the person’s birth date on the second calendar year after the calendar year in which the permit is issued, or, if the permittee is an entity, the permit expires on the date of issuance on the second calendar year after the calendar year in which the permit is issued.
- Seciton16-17-680(D)(1) states it is unlawful to purchase nonferrous metals in any amount for the purpose of recycling the nonferrous metals from a seller unless the purchaser is a secondary metals recycler who has a valid permit to purchase nonferrous metals and the seller has a valid permit to transport and sell nonferrous metals.
- Section 16-17-680(E)(1)(a) states that it is unlawful to sell nonferrous metals in any amount to a secondary metals recycler unless the secondary metals recycler has a valid permit to purchase nonferrous metals issued and the seller has a valid permit to transport and sell nonferrous metals.
- Section 16-11-523(B) states it is unlawful for a person to willfully and maliciously cut, mutilate, deface, or otherwise injure any personal or real property, including any fixtures or improvements, for the purpose of obtaining nonferrous metals in any amount.
When applying for a permit you will be required to acknowledge and understand that you must comply with all local, State, and Federal laws at all times.
While a partial list of relevant laws are listed above, You must understand that it is your responsibility to familiarize yourself and comply with all laws, at all times.
TO OBTAIN A PERMIT
Complete the permit form, download here, (Transport and Sell ONLY) and bring it to the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, along with the following:
- Driver’s License (original), Identification Card (original) or Military Identification Card (original).
- Proof of residence in Berkeley County if Identification is from out of State.
- Original registration card for the vehicle you will be operating when transporting or buying the metals.
- Social Security Number provided in person to the Sheriff’s Office.
Please note that the form must be typed or written legibly. If you cannot download the form, it is available at the Sheriff’s Office and can be filled out at the time of application.
Permits to Purchase Nonferrous Metals
Businesses seeking to obtain a Permit to Purchase Nonferrous Metals may contact the Berkeley County Sheriff’s office by emailing:
You may download the form, Permit to Purchase Nonferrous Metals and email it, as well. The application will be reviewed, and a representative will contact you with additional information.
Please review South Carolina State Law 16‑17‑680 for information on Nonferrous Metal Permits.
Upon application you will be required to acknowledge that you will comply with all applicable local, State, and Federal laws.