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Office of Consumer Protection

Licensing & Registration

Secondhand Personal Property

The County's Secondhand Personal Property law requires a dealer in secondhand personal property to obtain a license from the Office of Consumer Protection, report all transactions to the Police and hold all property received for a certain period of time after reporting the transaction.  This law provides the Police with a means of checking stolen property reports against the list of secondhand personal property received or sold by dealers and, as such, helps identify suspects who commit crimes in the County.
Who must be licensed?
Any person in the business of buying, receiving, or marketing secondhand personal property or acting as an auctioneer in Montgomery County must obtain a Secondhand Personal Property license.  This law was amended effective April 7, 2009, to clarify that the law applies to individuals making or assisting in sales over the internet.
Who is exempt from licensing?
Any person that buys personal property at a public sale is exempt from licensing.
Personal property includes:
Radios and other audio equipment; televisions and other video equipment; photographic, optical and computer equipment; typewriters, calculators and other electronic or electrical home or office appliances, machines or equipment; firearms; bicycles; jewelry; furs, leather goods; watches; paintings; fine or historic china, crystal, glass or porcelain; objets d'art; power tools; carpets and rugs; musical instruments; and any item serialized, marked for identification purposes, or engraved.

The Office of Consumer Protection licenses secondhand personal property dealers.  You can obtain our on-line fillable application here: 

Please note that a license application on behalf of a partnership must be applied for by and issued to   all of the partners who are authorized to act for the partnership.  Please complete a partnership addendum  for   each partner authorized to act for a partnership.  You can obtain the Partnership Addendum here:

[To download the files you MUST have Adobe Acrobat Reader (version 7) installed on your system.  If necessary you may download the free   Adobe Acrobat Reader here.]
Mail the completed application and check or money order (cash is not accepted) payable to "Montgomery County, Maryland" in the amount of $50.00 to Office of Consumer Protection, Licensing & Registration Unit, 100 Maryland Avenue, Suite 330, Rockville, MD 20850.
Licenses are valid for one year and expire on July 30th. Any person who fails to obtain the license is subject to a $500.00 Civil Citation and an Order for Abatement.  Failure to comply with the Order is subject to contempt proceedings.

The following laws govern Secondhand Personal Property Dealers in Montgomery County:

To view the files you MUST have Adobe Acrobat Reader (version 7) installed on your system.  If necessary you may download the free  Adobe Acrobat Reader here.

Below is a summary of the main dealer requirements.  OCP has created this summary for informational purposes only.  License applicants should review the laws to ensure compliance with all regulations
Reporting Requirements  (See § 44A-3. for full reporting requirements.)

  • A dealer must keep all records and receipts for a minimum of   one (1) year from the date of the latest recorded transaction.
  • A dealer must keep an electronic record, in English, of each purchase or receipt by or on behalf of the dealer at the time of the transaction.  
  • A dealer must give the Police:
    • electronic notice of each transaction within 24 hours after the transaction; and
    • a   copy of the written record of each transaction within 7 days after the transaction. 
Retention of Secondhand Personal Property  (See §44A-4. for complete retention requirements.)
  • A dealer must retain all secondhand personal property purchased or received for 21 days after the record of the transaction is submitted to the Police.
  • All secondhand personal property purchased or received by a dealer must be stored at the dealer's business location until 21 days after the record of the transaction is submitted to the Police, or as required by the Police.
  • The storage requirements do not apply to a consignee who:
    • operates from a fixed place of business;
    • complies with tagging requirements ; and
    • withholds payment for consignments for at least 30 days after each item is received.
Transactions involving minors prohibited.
  • A dealer must not buy or receive any secondhand personal property from a person under 18 years of age. 
Inspection by Police; Release of Stolen Property  (See § 44A-7. for complete inspection requirements.)
  • A dealer must allow the Police to examine the required records, examine any personal property purchased, received, or stored at the business location; and require retention for an additional 30 days after the storage retention period, of any property which the police know or believe to be missing or stolen.
  • A dealer must release to the Police an item of secondhand personal property, other than a security or printed evidence of indebtedness, located at the dealer's place of business if the Police have reasonable cause to believe that the item was stolen; the owner of the item or victim of the theft has positively identified the item; the owner of the item or the owner's agent or designee has provided an affidavit of ownership; or the property is involved in an on-going criminal or administrative proceeding. 
Payments by check.
  • A dealer must pay for each item of secondhand personal property by check, except as permitted.
Reporting changes to information.
  • If, during any license year, there is a change in the information that a person gave in obtaining or renewing a license, the person must report the change to the Office of Consumer Protection within 30 days after the change occurs and certify that the information given is correct under the penalties of perjury.
Contact Information Description
Montgomery County Police Department
Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation
301 W. Preston Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
T: 410 767-1184
T: 800 735-2258
Visit the Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation to:
  • Register your business and establish legal entity
  • Register a trade name
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
11510 Georgia Avenue
Wheaton, MD 20902
T: 202 283-8097
Obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number
Comptroller of Maryland
Revenue Administration Center
Annapolis, MD 21411

Maryland Combined Registration Application
File a combined registration form to establish your tax accounts with the Comptroller of Maryland.
Business License Information System
Licensing and permit information for businesses in Maryland
Montgomery County Circuit Court
Montgomery Court License Department
50 Maryland Avenue, Room 111
T: 240-777-9460
Montgomery County Circuit Court
Provides information on business licenses in Montgomery County Maryland.
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