Pawnbroker & Secondhand Article Dealer License

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Chapter 10 Article XVII La Crosse Municipal Code

No person shall operate as a pawnbroker, secondhand article dealer, secondhand jewelry, precious metal or gems dealer or secondhand dealer mall/flea market within the City unless duly licensed to do so by the Common Council.

For more information, refer to Chapter 10 Article XVII of the La Crosse Municipal Code.

Pawnbroker means any person who engages in the business of lending money on the deposit or pledge of any article, jewelry or any item of tangible personal property as security for the loan on the condition that if the loan is not repaid within a specified period of time; the goods used as security may be sold to compensate for nonpayment.

Secondhand Article Dealer means any person, other than an auctioneer or licensed firearms dealer, who engages in the business of purchasing, selling or receiving secondhand articles. *See definition in Sec. 10-826 for exceptions.

Secondhand Article is defined as any item of value excluding:

  • motor vehicles
  • large household and laundry appliances (such as refrigerators, stoves, washers and dryers)
  • cookware, glassware and utensils that do not contain precious metals
  • furniture and household furnishings (such as beds, table and chairs, dressers, desks and bookcases)
  • postage stamps, trading cards and books.

Secondhand Jewelry, Previous Metals and Gems Dealer means any person, other than an auctioneer, who engages in any transaction of purchasing, selling or receiving secondhand jewelry, precious metals or gems. *See definition in Sec. 10-826 for exceptions.

Jewelry is defined as any tangible article of personal property ordinarily wearable on the person consisting in whole or in part of any precious metal or gem.

Precious Metal and Gems is defined to mean sterling silverware, gold or silver coins or bullion, gold, platinum, aluminum, led, brass, copper, pewter, alexandrite, diamonds, emeralds, garnets, opals, rubies, pearls, jade and such other metals, minerals or gems customarily regarded as precious or semiprecious.

Secondhand Dealer Mall/Flea Market means the owner of any premise or land upon which two (2) or more persons operate as secondhand dealers who may obtain a secondhand dealer mall/flea market license for the premise or land if the following conditions are met:

  1. Each secondhand dealer occupies a separate sales location and identifies himself or herself to the public as a separate dealer.
  2. The secondhand dealer mall/flea market is operated under one name and at one address, and is under the control of the secondhand dealer mall/flea market license holder.
  3. Each secondhand dealer delivers to the secondhand dealer mall/flea market license holder, at the close of business on each day that the secondhand dealer conducts business, a record of sales including the location at which each sale was made.
  4. The secondhand dealer mall/flea market license holder and each secondhand dealer operating upon the premises or land shall comply with all other provisions of this Article and all applicable zoning provisions.

License Period

Each license is valid from July 1 until the following June 30 of the second year following the issuance thereof.

License Fee

The non-refundable license fee is due at the time of application (cash, check payable to City Treasurer or credit with convenience fee).

  • Secondhand Article Dealer - $125.00
  • Secondhand Jewelry, Precious Metals and Gems - $125.00
  • Secondhand Dealer Mall/Flea Market - $250.00
  • Pawnbroker - $250.00

Surety Bond

An applicant for a license under this Article must provide a bond in the amount of $2,500 conditioned upon faithful performance and the observance of the ordinances of the City and such state laws relating to pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers and administrative regulations as are applicable. The bond must be provided to the City Clerk at the time of filing said application and must be in full force and effect at all times during the term of the license.

How to Apply

Applications shall be made in writing on the form prescribed by law and filed with the City Clerk's Office who may issue the same after appropriate investigation Police Department and approval by the Common Council. All applications for this license must be in writing to the City Clerk not less than fifteen (15) days prior to the granting of this license.

Additional Information

Recordkeeping and Daily Reporting to Police Department - see Secs. 10-827 & 10-828.
Dealers must submit every reportable transaction to the La Crosse Police Department electronically using LeadsOnline including description of item(s) received; date, time and place received and seller information (ID/signature). Paper copy reporting is no longer acceptable.

Holding Period - see. Sec. 10-829.
The holding period is seven (7) days. *See Sec. 10-829(h) for exceptions.

Digital Photos - see Sec. 10-830.
Any item received that does not have a unique serial/ID number must be photographed and submitted with a description of item(s). One photo will suffice for mass items received in one transaction.

Payment - see Sec. 10-834.
All payments for items received must be made by check; no cash purchases.


For more information, contact the City Clerk's Office at (608) 789-7510.

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