Evidence of identity – second-hand dealer and pawnbroker obligations

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Legal requirement to seek identification

A second-hand dealer or endorsed pawnbroker must ask for proof of identity from every person attempting to sell or pawn goods, and must refuse to accept the goods if the person is unable to produce it, unless an exemption applies to the second-hand dealer or the goods. For more information, view Exemptions from registration.

Note: from 1 June 2016, a new exemption applies. If a second-hand dealer purchases items of second-hand furniture and pays less than $100 per item, the dealer will not have to comply with the requirement to sight the seller’s identification.

Acceptable forms of identification

Acceptable forms of identification are set out in the Second-hand Dealers and Pawnbrokers Act 1989 and the Second-Hand Dealers and Pawnbrokers (General, Exemption and Record-Keeping) Regulations 2018 (regulation 12).

Identification containing a photograph

If the identification has a photograph, only one form of identification is required. This can be:

  • a passport 
  • a driver's licence 
  • a document issued by a statutory authority that contains a person's photograph, such as a learner driver's permit 
  • an identification card issued by a tertiary education institution 
  • a licence issued under the Firearms Act 1996.

Identification without a photograph

If the identification used does not include a photograph, two forms of identification are required, from the following list: 

  • a full birth certificate or extract 
  • a certificate of Australian citizenship 
  • a marriage certificate 
  • one only of the following health or pensioner cards issued by or on behalf of the Commonwealth Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, or the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing: 
    • health care card 
    • pensioner concession card 
    • Commonwealth seniors health card
  • one only of any other card issued by the above Commonwealth Departments and which certifies entitlement to Commonwealth health concessions 
  • an identification card issued by a tertiary education institution.

For example, a person cannot use a health care card and a pensioner concession card, but a pensioner concession card with a marriage certificate is acceptable.

Incorporated bodies must provide a certificate of incorporation as proof of identity.

Recording identification

You must also record details of the identification provided. For more information about record-keeping requirements, see Keeping records – second-hand dealer and pawnbroker obligations.

Suspected stolen items

You must notify Victoria Police if you suspect that you have received stolen goods. Significant penalties may apply for non-compliance.