Washington DC Pawnbroker Bond: A Comprehensive Guide
January 30, 2023
This guide provides information for insurance agents to help their customers obtain a Washington DC Pawnbroker bond.
At a Glance:
- Average Cost: $100 per year
- Bond Amount: $5,000
- Who Needs it: All pawnbrokers operating in Washington DC
- Purpose: To protect the public from financial harm if the pawnbroker violates the terms of their license
- Who Regulates Pawnbrokers in Washington DC: The Washington DC Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection
Washington DC Code 47–2884.02 requires all pawnbrokers operating in the district to obtain a license from the Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection before conducting business. The Council of the District of Columbia enacted the licensing requirement to ensure that pawnbrokers engage in ethical business practices. To provide financial security for the enforcement of the licensing law, pawnbrokers must purchase and maintain a $5,000 surety bond to be eligible for licensure.
What is the Purpose of the Washington DC Pawnbroker Bond?
Washington DC requires pawnbrokers to purchase a surety bond as part of the application process to obtain a pawnbroker license. The bond ensures that the public will be protected from financial harm if the broker fails to comply with the regulations set forth in the Washington DC Code 47–2884.04. Specifically, the bond protects the public in the event the broker engages in any acts of fraud or breaches consumer contracts. In short, the bond is a type of insurance that protects the public if the pawnbroker violates the terms of their license.
How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain a Washington DC Pawnbroker Surety Bond?
BondExchange makes obtaining a Washington DC Pawnbroker bond easy. Simply log in to your account and use our keyword search to find the “Pawnbroker” bond in our database. Don’t have a login? Enroll now and let us help you satisfy your customers’ needs. Our friendly underwriting staff is available by phone at (800) 438-1162, email, or chat from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM EST to assist you.
At BondExchange, our 40 years of experience, leading technology, and access to markets ensures that we have the knowledge and resources to provide your clients with fast and friendly service whether obtaining quotes or issuing bonds.
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Is a Credit Check Required for the Washington DC Pawnbroker Bond?
No, a credit check is not required for the Washington DC Pawnbroker bond. Because the bond is considered relatively low risk, the same low rate is offered to all pawnbrokers in the district regardless of their credit history.
How Much Does the Washington DC Pawnbroker Bond Cost?
The Washington DC Pawnbroker bond costs just $100 per year.
Who is Required to Purchase the Washington DC Pawnbroker Bond?
Washington DC requires pawnbrokers to purchase a surety bond as a prerequisite to obtaining a pawnbroker license. To paraphrase Washington DC Code 47-2884.01, a pawnbroker is a person who issues loans at interest to individuals that leave their property, as collateral, for the broker to sell on condition that the customer may repurchase the property within a fixed period of time.
How Do Pawnbrokers Apply for a License in Washington DC?
Pawnbrokers in Washington DC must navigate several steps to secure a pawnbroker license. Below are the general guidelines, but applicants should refer to the Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection’s website for details on the process.
License Period – All Washington DC Pawnbroker Licenses are valid for a two-year period and must be renewed before the expiration date.
Step 1 – Meet the Requirements
To qualify for a license, pawnbrokers operating in Washington DC must meet all of the following criteria:
- Have a valid Federal Employee Identification Number (FEIN) or Social Security Number (SSN)
- Have a registered tax number with the Office of Tax and Revenue
- Have either a Certificate of Occupancy or Home Occupation Permit
- Do not owe more than $100 to the DC Government
Step 2 – Purchase a Surety Bond
Pawnbrokers operating in Washington DC are required to purchase and maintain a $5,000 surety bond.
Step 3 – Submit an Application
All Washington DC Pawnbroker License applications should be submitted to the Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection online here.
Applicants must complete the form in its entirety and submit the following items:
- $1,677.50 licensing fee
- Surety bond
- Certificate of Occupancy
- Police Criminal History Report
- State of Approval from Metropolitan Police Department
- Tax Registration
How do Washington DC Pawnbrokers Renew Their License?
Pawnbrokers can renew their licenses online via the My DC Business Center. Pawnbrokers must renew their licenses within six months of the expiration date, and renewals submitted after the expiration date are subject to late fees. All Washington DC Pawnbroker Licenses are valid for a two-year period and must be renewed before the expiration date.
What are the Insurance Requirements for Washington DC Pawnbrokers?
Washington DC does not require pawnbrokers to purchase any form of liability insurance. Pawnbrokers must purchase and maintain a $5,000 surety bond.
How Do Washington DC Pawnbrokers File Their Bonds?
Pawnbrokers should submit their completed bond forms, including the power of attorney, to the Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection online via the My DC Business Center.
The surety bond requires signatures, including witness signatures, from both the surety company that issues the bond and from the broker. The surety company should include the following information on the bond form:
- Legal name and business address of the entity/individual(s) buying the bond
- Surety company’s name, address, and state of incorporation
- Date the bond is signed and goes into effect
What Can Washington DC Pawnbrokers Do to Avoid Claims Against Their Bonds?
To avoid claims against their bonds, pawnbrokers in Washington DC must ensure that they:
- Do not engage in any acts of fraud
- Do not breach contracts made with consumers
What Other Insurance Products Can Agents Offer Pawnbrokers in Washington DC?
Washington DC does not require pawnbrokers to purchase liability insurance as a prerequisite to obtaining a pawnbroker license. However, most reputable businesses will purchase this insurance anyway. Bonds are our only business at BondExchange, so we do not issue any other types of insurance, but our agents often utilize brokers for this specific line of business. A list of brokers in this space can be found here.
How Can Insurance Agents Prospect for Washington DC Pawnbroker Customers?
Washington DC conveniently provides a public database to search for active pawnbrokers in the state. Contact BondExchange for additional marketing resources. Agents can also leverage our print-mail relationships for discounted mailing services.