“Applications for permits for nonferrous metals approved by SLED”

The application process for obtaining metal permits has changed in the State of South Carolina. See FAQ below along with the new forms for application. Save some time by printing and filling out these forms before coming to the Sheriff’s Office.

Hopefully the generated questions below will answer any you may have. You will need to bring your driver’s license and valid vehicle registration when obtaining your permit.

The download for the application is located at the bottom of this page.

Q.  I am a citizen who has removed my own catalytic converter (CC), what do I need to do to transport and/or sell my CC to a recycler?

      A.   Found in subsection (I)(2)(b):

Obtain a permit from the Sheriff of the county in which the person resides or has a secondary residence,


                        Provide a permitted secondary metals recycler (SMR) the following information: 

  1. Name of person or company that removed the CC,
  2. name of the person for whom the work was completed,
  3. make and model of the vehicle the CC was removed from,
  4. VIN for the vehicle the CC was removed from,
  5. Part number or other identifying number of the CC
  6. Certificate of title or registration for the vehicle the CC was removed from.          

Q.  I am an SMR from out of state and I want to purchase CCs from different businesses, do I need a SMR permit from the Sheriff’s Office in each county I purchase CCs?

      A.   Found in Subsection (I)(3)(a):

Nothing in this item prevents an out-of-state SMR who maintains a fixed site and who complies with all other provisions of this chapter from obtaining, purchasing, or otherwise acquiring a used, detached CC or any other nonferrous part of a used CC.

So, it must comply with (B)(3):

A secondary metals recycler intends to purchase nonferrous metals at a location other than a fixed site, the secondary metals recycler shall obtain a permit from the sheriff of each county in which the secondary metals recycler intends to purchase nonferrous metals.

Q.  I am a SMR that purchases CCs from automotive repair businesses.  Do I need to retain records on the origin of each CC that I purchase or does the automotive repair business (etc.) retain those records?

      A.   YES

Found in Subsection (I)(3)(a)(ii):

Explanation.  The subsection states:

The CC was purchased from an auto repair service and the seller provides a valid business license is received and maintained,

OR (Can you be applied if business is in jurisdiction that business licenses are not issued)

Found in Subsection (I)(3)(a)(iii):

The seller provides a record or receipt showing the following:

  1. The repair order number, when applicable,
  2. The date the repair was done or the date the CC was removed, including who removed it,
  3. The VIN for the vehicle from which the CC was removed.


                        Found in Subsection (J)(2)

A SMR shall maintain a record of transactions involving exempted entities listed in (J)(1), which includes automotive repair services.

Q.  Whose responsibility is it to ensure applicants for SMRs are SMRs before issuing the initial permit?

A.   The Sheriff’s Office where the SMR maintains a fixed site or each Sheriff’s Office that issues a permit to an SMR that maintains a fixed site elsewhere but purchases CCs in the Sheriff’s jurisdiction.

      Found in (B)(5):

A sheriff may investigate a secondary metals recycler’s background prior to issuing a permit for purposes of determining if the secondary metals recycler qualifies to be issued a permit.

Q.  If I am a SMR holder, who is authorized to buy or sell CCs, should the business have a list of employees who are authorized to sell the cats from one SMR to another.

      A.   NO, there is no provision or requirement in the original law or the amendment.

Q.  Should there be a separate permit for each fixed site?

      A.   YES If in a different County. If a SMR has multiple fixed locations in the same County one permit in the County covers the multiple locations.

      Found in Subsection (B)(2):

If a secondary metals recycler intends to purchase nonferrous metals at a fixed site or fixed sites, the secondary metals recycler shall obtain a permit from the sheriff of the county in which each of the secondary metals recycler’s fixed sites are located.

Q.  How does law enforcement verify the permits since there is no statewide database.

      A.   Currently, it is the obligation of each Sheriff’s Office, and LE would have to contact the issuing Sheriff.

      Found in Subsection (B)(7)

A Sheriff shall keep a record of all permits issued containing, at a minimum, the date of issuance, and the name and address of the secondary metals recycler.