The buying and selling of used or secondhand goods has been going on since the earliest days of history. In Florida, pawn shops and other secondhand goods dealers must comply with numerous state laws. These laws detail everything from what kinds of information must be recorded in any transaction, to the registration requirements imposed on pawn shops and secondhand stores.


All pawn shops, also known as secondhand dealers, must register with the state of Florida before buying or trading secondhand goods. The pawn shop must register with the Florida Department of Revenue and pay any registration fee required. All applications for registration must be accompanied by the applicant's fingerprints and photograph, which must be provided by any dealer who is to work in the store. All fingerprint and photograph applications must be certified by an authorized law enforcement agent in the state. This information will be used by the Department of Law Enforcement to conduct a criminal background check on the dealer, the results of which will be reported to the Department of Revenue within 30 days of the application.


Pawn shops must comply with Florida regulations requiring records to be kept about every sale at the pawn shop. A "secondhand dealer transaction form" must be completed at the time of the transaction, and must contain specific information. The transaction form must describe the item bought or sold, and must include all relevant or applicable specifics as the brand name, model number, size, color, precious metal type, gemstone description, and any unique or identifying marks that appear on the item. A description of the seller also must be provided, including the name, address, physical description and right thumbprint of the seller. These records must be kept by the pawn shop for at least one year.

Record Inspections

Pawn shops records, including sales and inventory documents, can be inspected by any Florida law enforcement officer having jurisdiction over the shop. Pawn shop owners must keep all relevant records on the premises and make them available for inspection during working hours. Any law enforcement officer conducting an inspection can search the pawn shop premises to determine if the proper documents are kept and if registered inventory is maintained on the premises.