Pawn Shop Minimum Age Requirements & Documents You Need To Pawn & Sell

Pawn Shop Minimum Age Requirements & Documents You Need To Pawn & Sell

Pawn shops must verify your identity and check documents before you can pawn your property.

Last updated December 8, 2022

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Source: Pexesl / Joshua Miranda

Every pawn shop is regulated by local, state, and federal laws that determine how the pawn shop must conduct business. Pawn shops that do not follow these laws are at risk of losing their operating licenses and facing hefty fines.

Pawn shops must comply with extra layers of legal requirements because they handle money and loans. In some regions, pawn shops are required to report transactions to local law enforcement agencies.

Laws governing your local pawn often specify the following items:

  • Minimum age requirement
  • Information that must be collected for the pawn ticket
  • Minimum/maximum interest rate charged
  • Minimum/maximum loan duration
  • Types and amounts of service fees
  • Law enforcement reporting

The National Pawnbrokers Association maintains a full list of all state laws and resources if you want to review the actual legislation.

Minimum Age To Pawn Items

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The minimum age to pawn or sell items to pawn shops is 18 years old for most US states and Canadian provinces. Both British Columbia and Nova Scotia have a higher age requirement of 19 years old. Pawning or selling your property at a pawn shop is a financial transaction, and the laws regulating minimum age requirements are set by the state. The document that you receive when you pawn or sell something is equivalent to a financial contract that outlines your agreement with the pawn shop.

Things You Need To Pawn & Sell Items

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Pawn shops have a minimum set of requirements for you to pawn or sell an item. Some of these items are required by law, and others are set by the store owner to minimize fraud. We recommend contacting the pawn shop ahead of time to confirm the requirements to pawn or sell something at their location. Pawn Shop Map features a helpful tool for you to locate pawn shops near you.

Keep in mind that not all pawnshops may accept your item. Pawn shops often specialize in specific categories. You should contact the pawn shop to discuss your item and ask if it is something that would want to take. You can send them photos and ask for an initial quote before you bring the item to the store. You should contact multiple pawn shops in your region and obtain many quotes ahead of time - this will help you determine the shops to visit.

You are required to bring the following items when you pawn or sell something:

  • Government-issued ID: You will need to bring in valid government-issued identification with your picture such as a state driver’s license, state identification card, military identification, or passport. The identification should include your name and birthdate, and it should not be expired. Some pawn shops require two forms of identification, so you should contact the pawn shop ahead of time to check.
  • Item you want to pawn or sell: You need to bring in the item you want to pawn or sell. The pawnbroker will want to inspect the item to verify its condition and authenticity.
  • Purchase history and/or documentation: Pawn shops ask for proof of ownership such as a purchase receipt, title, transfer deed, or insurance paperwork. In the event you do not have documentation showing proof of ownership, expect the pawnbroker to ask you several questions about the item and how you obtained it. Pawn shops do not want stolen items, and they are required to report suspicious persons and items to local law enforcement.
  • Appraisals & Certificates of Authenticity: For certain items like diamonds, jewelry, watches, rare coins, luxury handbags, and baseball cards, you should bring in all documentation that proves authenticity and appraisal value. While these documents are not required to get a pawn loan, they will greatly help your chances and they will increase the value you receive. Pawn shops are not obligated to make an offer for all items - some may refuse to make an offer without proper documentation verifying authenticity. Pawn shops do not want fake items because it is illegal for them to buy and sell counterfeit goods.

Why Many Pawn Shops Take Your Picture

Pawn shops often will require one or two pictures of you to complete the transaction. Sometimes pawn shops are required by local laws to collect photographs of people pawning and selling items. Other times, the pawn shop wants to augment its documentation related to the transaction.

Helpful Resources

Pawning and selling items at pawn shops can be a great experience when you do your research ahead of time and prepare. Below we have included several resources to help you get the best experience when you visit your local pawn shop.

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