(A)(1) All pawnbrokers conducting business in this State are under the authority of and regulated by the Department of Consumer Affairs, the administrator of which has the authority to promulgate regulations as he considers necessary to carry out the conditions and intent of this chapter.

(2) No person may carry on the business of a pawnbroker in any location, whether or not the person has an office, facility, agent, or other physical presence in this State, without first having obtained a certificate of authority for each location from the Department of Consumer Affairs.

Terms Used In South Carolina Code 40-39-20

  • Administrator: means the individual to whom the director has delegated authority to administer the programs of a specific board or of a professional or occupational group for which the department has regulatory authority or has delegated authority to administer the programs of a specific board;

    (2) "Authorization to practice" or "Practice authorization" means the approval to practice the specified profession, engage in the specified occupation, or use a title protected under this article, which has been granted by the applicable board. See South Carolina Code 40-1-20

(B) Upon receipt of the application for the certificate of authority, the Department of Consumer Affairs shall notify the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction where the applicant intends to do business. The law enforcement agency may make its recommendation on the issuance of the certificate of authority.

(C)(1) Before issuance of a certificate of authority, a criminal history background check must be conducted for all owners, partners, members, officers, directors, employees and other persons occupying a similar status or otherwise directly or indirectly controlling the pawnshop. The applicant pawnbroker is responsible for either:

(a) conducting, documenting, and attesting that a national criminal records check has been completed for each person; or

(b) submitting consent from each person to a national criminal records check and a set of fingerprints in a form acceptable to the administrator. Using the information supplied by the administrator to SLED, the applicant must undergo a national criminal records check, supported by fingerprints, by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The results of these criminal records checks must be reported to the administrator. The administrator shall keep all information pursuant to this section privileged, in accordance with applicable state and federal guidelines.

(2) A pawnbroker shall comply with the requirements of item (1) before hiring an employee.

(3) The applicant pawnbroker shall pay actual costs associated with the criminal history background checks required in this section.

(D)(1) Upon the filing of an application for a certificate of authority, if the administrator concludes that the financial responsibility and experience of the applicant and its employees, members, partners, officers, and directors, if applicable, command the confidence of the community and warrants belief that the business may be operated honestly, fairly, and efficiently according to the purposes of this chapter and in accordance with all applicable state and federal laws, it shall issue a certificate of authority. If the administrator does not reach this conclusion, he shall refuse to issue the certificate of authority to the applicant and shall notify the applicant of the denial.

(2) A rebuttable presumption of the financial responsibility and experience necessary to meet the standard in item (1) is created when the person seeking the certificate of authority complies with the provisions contained in Section 40-39-50(A).

(E) A person convicted of a felony may not be issued a certificate of authority to carry on the business of a pawnbroker or in any manner engage in the business of a pawnbroker, except that any person who is in the business of a pawnbroker on July 1, 1988, and who has been convicted of a felony before this date may be issued a certificate of authority and upon receiving it may continue in the business of a pawnbroker but if this person is convicted of a felony on or after July 1, 1988, he may not thereafter be issued a certificate of authority or carry on the business of a pawnbroker after the date of this subsequent felony conviction.