What Are the Requirements to Sell Scrap Metal in Austin, TX?

The State of Texas Department of Public Safety oversees regulation of metal recycling facilities in the Lone Star State. They set requirements for those wishing to sell scrap metal to metal recycling centers. At Gardner Metals, we honor the rules and regulations of the State of Texas and City of Austin. For a list of all regulated metals and the State of Texas Scrap Metal Law, click here.



Most of these laws exist to protect Texas residents from property theft. Otherwise, it would be all too easy for criminals to steal property and resell it for money to unknowing scrap metal workers. The state and city legislatures want scrap metal sellers to be traceable if it turns out an item is actually stolen—and we support that effort. Goods that appear to be stolen will be turned over to the police, along with copies of the ID and other documentation the seller provided.

Luckily, most customers are just innocent sellers looking to earn a little money for spare junk. So just to make sure you’re prepared for your scrap metal recycling center visit, here’s what you’ll need in order to sell.

General Requirements

All sellers must meet the minimum general requirements in order to sell any item to our facilities.

  • A Valid ID. You’ll need an ID in order to sell scrap metal. Austin’s regulations dictate that sellers present a valid U.S. state driver’s license, U.S. state ID or U.S. military ID.
  • A Valid License Plate. You will be required to present the make, model, color, and license plate number and state of the motor vehicle used to haul the materials to the center.
  • Proof of Ownership. You will be required to submit documents proving your ownership of the materials you intend to sell. Of course, if it’s just spare junk you may not have that handy, so in its place, you will be asked to sign a document attesting that you are the legal owner of the materials you intend to sell.
  • An Address. You will also be asked to give your mailing address and permanent address when you attempt to sell your metals.

In some cases, we may make a copy of your ID, or take a picture of your license plate or of your face.

Special Requirements

If you plan to sell certain items, like used heating equipment, you may need other documentation as well. Here’s a summary of those requirements.

  • Items Containing Condensing or Evaporator Coils. If you’re looking to sell used heating and air conditioning equipment, you’ll need to present an air conditioning and refrigeration contractor license, an air conditioning and refrigeration technician registration, a receipt, a bill of sale or other documentation showing that you purchased the coils the you’re attempting to sell.
  • Items Containing Insulated Communications Wire. If you’re hoping to sell insulated wire that has been burned to remove the insulation, you must submit documentation that the item was salvaged from a fire before you’ll be able to sell it.

Once we determine that you’ve met the requirements, we’ll begin to evaluate your products and create an estimate for your payment. That’s all there is to it!

Ready to start selling to Gardner Metals? Contact us today for your free quote, and say sayonara to your unwanted junk!