Recycled Metals

Recycled Metals


Recycled Metals is onboarding its new web-based, secure Electronic Data Transfer (EDT) service for recycled metal dealers to comply with the uploading requirements of purchasing regulated material. This new service provides dealers with free and easy reporting of all transactions required under the Sale of Recycled Metals Act.

Register HERE.

The Sale of Recycled Metals Act §57-30-1 through 57-30-14 NMSA 1978 includes changes that have been in effect since July 1, 2012, requiring:

Secondhand Metal Dealers to be registered with the Regulation and Licensing Department; prescribing duties for Secondhand Metal Dealers; providing for the suspension or revocation or registration; reducing the waiting period for resale of regulated material; allowing holds in certain circumstances; reducing the time for preservation of records; expanding the scope of regulated material; requiring uploads to an electronic database; requiring additional documentation of certain transactions; amending and enacting sections of the Sale of Recycled Metals Act.

If you have specific questions, or need information that has not been provided on the website, please contact:

State of New Mexico
Regulation & Licensing Department
Recycled Metals Program
5500 San Antonio Dr. NE
Albuquerque, NM  87109
Tel: (505) 490-2973
Fax: (505) 765-5670

For the forms and information, please click specific link below:

Secondhand Metal Dealer's Registration Application

To apply or update your existing application, please fill out this form electronically, review the document for accuracy, then save the completed application to your computer and print a copy for submission. For new applications and renewals, attach a check or money order in the amount of $25.00, payable to the “Recycled Metals Program.” Send or deliver this application to: Recycled Metals Program Regulation and Licensing Department 5500 San Antonio Dr. NE Albuquerque, NM 87109. For information updates, complete the form as above but exclude the fee.

Secondhand Metal Dealer's Purchase Record

This form addresses the information required by the Department and may be used by the Recycled Metals Dealer or they may use a form generated by their record keeping system that contains all the same information and requires a seller signature. This record is to be kept at the dealer’s place of business for at least one year from the date of purchase and shall be immediately available upon request from a peace officer.

Restricted Materials Documentation Form

The Restricted Material form is for use when any restricted material, except for catalytic converters, is purchased, including but not limited to street signs, utility company items, and stripped copper wire. See section 57-30-2.4. You need to fill out this document in addition to the purchase record. 

For all catalytic converters, use the Catalytic Converter Additional Documentation Form instead of the Restricted Material form below. It is also in addition to the purchase record. 

These records are to be kept at the dealer’s place of business for at least one year and shall be immediately available upon request from a peace officer.


Catalytic Converter Additional Documentation

For all catalytic converters, use the Catalytic Converter Additional Documentation Form instead of the Restricted Material form. It is also in addition to the purchase record. 

These records are to be kept at the dealer’s place of business for at least one year and shall be immediately available upon request from a peace officer.

Registered Dealer Listing

Please view the Recycled Metals Dealer Listing here.

Recycled Metals: FAQs

Q: Who is allowed to purchase or sell regulated recycled metals in New Mexico?
  • The Sale of Recycled Metals Act allows only registered Secondhand Metal Dealers who are in compliance with federal and state legal requirements to purchase or sell regulated recycled metals in New Mexico.
  • A Secondhand Metal Dealer must have a valid registration issued by the Regulation and Licensing Department in order to buy or sell regulated scrap metals in New Mexico. First, you must obtain a Storm Water Permit from the New Mexico Environment Department. (See next FAQ).
Q: How do I obtain a Storm Water Permit?
Q: Who qualifies as a Secondhand Metal Dealer in New Mexico?
  • A Secondhand Metal Dealer is a scrap metal processor in the business of operating or maintaining a scrap metal yard in which scrap metal or cast-off regulated material is purchased for shipment, sale, or transfer.
  • As a Secondhand Metal Dealer—whether you are registered or not—you are subject to the jurisdiction of the Sale of Recycled Metals Act (“the Act”), which you can find on the NMRLD website, or the free, online public access to official state laws, and look under “Sale of Recycled Metals,” Article 30.
  • Applications for registration as a Secondhand Metal Dealer are accepted from an owner or owners of the business.

If you are unregistered and operating, you are subject to prosecution under the Uniform Licensing Act, § 3.2.   

Q: Where can I find the Application, and what is required?
  • First, you must have a Storm Water Permit as required by law. Applications will not be approved without a valid Storm Water Permit tracking number from the New Mexico Environment Department.
  • Once you have your storm water permit and tracking number, download and print (yes, print) all pages of the Secondhand Metal Dealer’s Registration Application found on the page above.
  • Fill out completely. Hand-write your initials in the boxes on page 2. Print your name, and sign.
    • You are signing under penalty of perjury. 
    • You are agreeing to comply with the law and to ensure that your workers also comply with the law.
    • Links are also in the boxes where you are initialing that take you to the actual law.
  • Mail in with a check made out to “Recycled Metals Program, RLD” in the amount of $25, unless you are a veteran or military service member. With your valid Storm Water Permit tracking number, your application will be processed very quickly.
    • If you are a veteran or a military service member, your first application is free.
Q: Where do I find all these laws?
  • The Sale of Recycled Metals Act and its regulations may be found on the NMRLD website or at New Mexico Public Access Law. At the Public Access Law site, the free, online public access to official state laws, look for “Sale of Recycled Metals Act” or statutes 57-30-1 through 57-30-14.
Q: What about the “regulations”?
  • Regulations are a collection of more specific rules that supplement the statutory law. They have the force of law. The recycled metal regulations are almost identical to the statutes, with a few important differences. For example (but not a complete list), the regulations provide for renewal of your registration, stating that you are required to renew within 30 days of the expiration of your current registration.
  • You may find the regulations at the RLD website, or at the State Records and Archives site.
Q: What materials are considered REGULATED MATERIALS in New Mexico?
  • Aluminum – a product made from aluminum, an aluminum alloy, or an aluminum byproduct. Includes an aluminum beer keg but does not include aluminum food or beverage cans.
  • Bronze – a cemetery vase, receptacle, or memorial made from bronze; bronze statuary; or material identifiable as bronze.
  • Copper or Brass – insulated or non-insulated copper wire, hardware, or cable of the type used by a public utility, commercial mobile radio service carrier, or common carrier consisting of at least 25% copper; or a copper or brass item of a type commonly used in construction or by a public utility, commercial mobile radio service, or common carrier.
  • Lead – a lead-acid battery; or material made of or containing lead.
  • Steel – a product made from an alloy of iron, chromium, nickel, or manganese. Includes stainless beer kegs.
  • Restricted TransactionsA special category involving regulated materials.
    • The law requires you to have the seller sign a SEPARATE DOCUMENT, referred to as “additional documentation,” that they are the true owner of the item, or have authority to sell it, AND there are additional requirements above that for catalytic converters. See following FAQs.
Q: What metals are included in RESTRICTED transactions in New Mexico? (NMSA 57-30-2.4(A)(1) to (A)(10))
  • 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;
  • Utility access cover;
  • Water meter cover;
  • Road or bridge guard rail;
  • Highway or street sign;
  • Traffic directional or control sign or signal;
  • Metal beer keg that is clearly marked as being the property of the beer manufacturer; or
  • Catalytic converter that is not part of an entire motor vehicle.
Q: What am I required to do when purchasing or receiving regulated material, and are there specific rules that apply to the purchase of catalytic converters?





  • Identify: Ask for ID, in most cases a driver’s license. You may also accept military ID or a passport, but these do not contain addresses. The law requires you to obtain an address, so you will need the seller to also present a current utility bill or other evidence of current address. No other form of identification is acceptable.
    • You must also collect identification information on the vehicle used to transport the regulated material, including make, model, and license plate number.
    • You must also visually verify both the driver’s license and the vehicle identification information.
      • Do not rely on driver’s license information stored in your system.
      • Do not take the seller’s word for any required vehicle information.
  • Record:
    • You must collect and maintain a full written record of the purchase.
    • Fill out completely the purchase record as provided by the department. Do not use a form that is not approved by the department. Get this form by clicking on “Secondhand Metal Dealer’s Purchase Record” directly above these FAQs.
    • Software such as ScrapDragon is fine. To ensure compliance, it is suggested that you go over your software with the compliance officer.
    • You may write in the required personal identification information on the form (or capture it in your software), or you may choose to scan (or copy) the driver’s license onto the paper purchase record in the space provided.
    • Obtain the license plate number of the seller’s vehicle, and other required descriptive information regarding the vehicle, and make sure to visually verify all personal and vehicle ID information. 
    • NOTE – To avoid violations of Section 4(B) of the Act:
      • You may not rely on the seller’s verbal information as to ID and vehicle. You must verify. Look at the license plate; look at the age and ID picture on the driver’s license (or other ID).
      • You may not enter the ID information into your database and then fail to verify it for each and every purchase made from a seller.
    • Record the type of material and quantity. Restricted material requires additional documentation of ownership. (See above.)
    • The seller must sign the purchase record acknowledging that they are authorized to sell the material. However, the law requires the dealer to provide the place and date of the transaction to be included near the top of the form. In other words, you may not rely on the seller for this information; you or your employee must provide the place and date of the purchase on the form in a separate location near the top of the form.
    • You must keep these records on site for 1 year and make them available upon request to the compliance officer or a peace officer.
    • Additional documentation for restricted items including catalytic converters
      • Restricted Material: Police report, fire report, contract, or letter, as appropriate. See, New Mexico Administrative Code (NMAC).
      • Catalytic Converter: In addition to the proof of ownership for restricted material above, you must obtain: a photocopy or image of the personal identification/driver’s license; date and time of the transaction; telephone number of the seller, in addition to address; license plate number and VIN of the transport vehicle; and original, copy, or image of the title or registration of the vehicle from which the catalytic converter was removed, or notarized document proving ownership. See NMAC. Your locality may have additional requirements.
  • Report: Upload to the department using Leads Online. To sign up, contact the compliance officer.
    • Do this by the end of the second business day after the purchase. For example, if you buy on a Monday, upload by Wednesday.
  • Hold: You must observe a 24-hour waiting period before disposing of, processing, or removing regulated material.
      Q: What is a “Scrap Theft Alert”?
      • It is an alert system in which victims of a regulated metal theft, or law enforcement agencies, submit information of the date, location, type of metal stolen, and suspect information.
      • A secondhand metal dealer is required to register and monitor Scrap Theft Alert, and to ensure that employees do the same. If stolen metal is on Scrap Theft Alert, then you are on notice that it is stolen. (See next FAQ)
        • Go to to sign up.
        Q: Can I get in trouble for buying metals that may be stolen?
        • Yes. You must take care to prevent stolen material from being purchased. If you know that regulated material is stolen or it can be shown that you should have known (for example, because the material is posted on Scrap Theft Alert), you could both fined under the Sale of Recycled Metals Act  up to $1,000 per item, and you could be prosecuted criminally. It’s not worth it.
        • Additionally, if you become aware the material was stolen or unlawfully obtained, you shall not remove the material from your premises and shall report it to a local law enforcement agency or the department within 24 hours. Failure to do so may result in administrative fines or registration revocation.
        Q: How can I protect myself from being administratively or criminally charged with accepting fraudulent identification and/or receiving stolen materials?
        • Check the seller’s identification card and verify that it is real. Don’t accept an ID you suspect is fraudulent, or a temporary ID.  Check the driver’s license and vehicle plate, make, and model every time a purchase is made. 
        • Don’t purchase any material that you suspect may be stolen.
        • Check Scrap Theft Alert regularly.
        Q: What about sellers? Do they have obligations regarding transactions?
        • All secondhand metal dealers are required to post a warning sign in a prominent place, in 2-inch lettering, as follows:


        Q: How do I make sure I will stay out of trouble?
        • Make sure you maintain your registration. We do not remind you to renew. 
        • Stay informed regarding your legal obligations as a secondhand metal dealer. The Recycled Metals Program has a brochure to help you know and understand your obligations under the law. Ask the compliance officer for a copy.
        • Follow all purchase, recording, and uploading legal requirements.
        • Do not accept fraudulent documents.
        • Report suspected stolen material to law enforcement or to the department within 24 hours.
        • Cooperate with law enforcement and the department’s compliance officer.
        Q: Will the Regulation and Licensing Department conduct business inspections?
        • Your local law enforcement agency and/or a compliance officer from the Regulation and Licensing Department may conduct a compliance check regularly to ensure the business is following the laws.
        Q: What are the penalties for violating the Sale of Recycled Metals Act?

        If you have additional questions or need clarification on the ones listed here, please email Compliance Officer Ken Freamon at

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