All pawnshops are required to apply and obtain a license with the Department annually. Each pawnshop must maintain a net worth of at least $50,000 or file security in the form of a surety bond, letter of credit or certificate of deposit in the amount of $10,000. The Department is authorized to impose penalties for noncompliance of the law, up to $5,000.
A pawn is when a consumer is advanced funds in exchange for personal property that will be stored in the "pawnbroker's" possession until the consumer redeems the merchandise according to the agreed upon terms, or the pawn contract defaults.
Frequently Asked Questions about Pawnshops
What is the maximum interest/service charge a pawnshop can charge per month?
Is a pawn legal if I do not have a written contract?
No, always get your pawn transactions in writing on a pawnbroker transaction form.
What happens if my merchandise is lost or stolen while in the pawnbrokers possession?
The pawnbroker may replace your item with like kind of merchandise of equal value. If you are not satisfied with what is offered, you may file a complaint with the Department.
What if I have a complaint about a pawn transaction?
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services regulates pawnbrokers. If you have reason to believe you were treated unfairly you may file a complaint with our Department. In most cases the Department will require a pawnbroker to post security with us in order to be licensed by the State of Florida.
Does the pawnshop have to grant an extension on a pawn?
No, but according to the Pawnbroking Act you have 60 days from the date of the pawn to pick up your merchandise with payment of principle and finance charge.
Is there a limit on the number of extensions that may be given on a pawn?
No - Section 539.001 11(b) F.S., states there is no limit on the number of extensions that the parties may agree to. Extensions are by mutual agreement between the pledgor and the pawnbroker.
What is the definition of default date?
Section 539.001 2(s) F.S., defines default date as the date the pledgor's right to redeem expires.
Can a default date be extended at any time before the pawn goes into default?
Yes - Section 539.001 11(b) F.S., the pawn may be extended to a subsequent date by mutual agreement between the pledgor and the pawnbroker.
Can law enforcement require a pawnshop to transfer pawn transactions electronically?
If a pawnbroker presently has computer ability and law enforcement supplies the appropriate software, then a pawnshop is required to electronically transfer. If the pawnbroker does not have computer capability, the law enforcement agency may provide the necessary computer equipment.
Can law enforcement take possession of misappropriated merchandise?
If a hold order has been placed on the merchandise a pawnbroker must release the property for use in the investigation but the pawnbroker retains property rights until court orders differently.
My license has expired but my application is in your office to be processed, may I continue to pawn?
No - Section 539.001 3(a) F.S., states a person may not engage in business as a pawnbroker unless the person has a valid license issued by the department.
Can a temporary license be issued on a pawnshop that is being sold to someone else?
Yes - Section 539.001 3(d) F.S., states the Department may issue a temporary pawnbroker's license for the operation of a pawnshop upon receipt of a application to transfer an existing license from one person to another or receipt of a application involving principals and owners that are identical to those on the existing licensee.
- Chapter 539, Florida Statutes (F.S.)
- Chapter 5J-13, Florida Administrative Code
On the FAC site, please select "latest version" to view the rules
Do you have more questions about Pawnshop? Contact us via email.