Chapter 33, Article 2 of the Fairfax County Code requires that any person who acts as a pawnbroker by lending or advancing money for profit in exchange for another person’s personal property must obtain a Pawnbroker Permit. Pawnbroker permits are issued by the Regulation and Licensing Branch.
Fairfax County limits the number of allowed pawnbroker businesses, commonly called pawn shops, to 12. Individuals who are interested in opening a new pawnbroker business in Fairfax County should contact the Regulation and Licensing Branch at 703-324-5966 to check the number of existing pawnbroker businesses and see if any new businesses are allowed.
The location of a pawnbroker business is regulated by the Fairfax County Zoning Ordinance. Zoning approval of the location is required. For information regarding the type of permit required and the application process, please contact the Zoning Administration Division, Department of Planning and Development, at 703-324-1314. Inquires must include the address of the proposed pawnbroker business.
An individual who is interested in obtaining a pawnbroker license must first be approved as a pawnbroker by Fairfax County Circuit Court. The Circuit Court will perform a full background check of the applicant and if they determine that the individual is qualified, the Court will issue an order naming the individual as a pawnbroker. The individual must obtain this court order before applying for a permit with the Regulation and Licensing Branch. For more information on how to apply with Fairfax County Circuit Court, please call 703-246-3029.
Pawnbroker applicants must also apply for a Precious Metals and Gems (PMG) permit to allow the pawnbroker to purchase jewelry and other precious metal items from the public.
All applicants must appear in person at 12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 127, Fairfax VA 22035 to apply. Applications are accepted Monday-Friday,8:00 am to 4:00 pm.
The following are required by the Regulation and Licensing Branch to apply for a Pawnbroker permit:
- Order issued by Fairfax County Circuit Court naming the applicant as a pawnbroker.
- Application and Release of Personal Information form; signed and notarized. Notary services are provided during the application process at no charge to applicants.
- Valid, unexpired state-issued picture identification.
- Applicants who were born outside of the United States must provide valid, unexpired proof of employment authorization such as a Permanent Resident Card, Employment Authorization Card, or proof of U.S. citizenship.
- Applicants who live or have lived outside of Virginia in the past 12 months must provide a state background check from their state of residence (other than Virginia), normally available through state police.
- Copy of Fairfax County Business, Professional and Occupational License (BPOL) from Fairfax County Department of Tax Administration.
- Copy of zoning approval for business location from Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning.
- Surety bond, payable to Fairfax County, Virginia in amount of $50,000.
- Copy of Virginia “Placed in Service” report for trade scale. A list of scale companies certified by Virginia Office of Product and Industry Standards is available from the Regulation and Licensing Branch.
- Payment of $240.00, payable to County of Fairfax by cash, check, money order, or debit card. Credit cards are not accepted for payment of license fees.
- Please review these requirements carefully. Failure to provide any of the required information will delay issuance permit.
Download a Pawnbroker/PMG permit application (pdf)