Pawnbrokers and second-hand dealers

NCAT can resolve disputes about stolen goods claimed to be in possession of a pawnbroker or second-hand dealer.

Pawnbrokers and second-hand dealers cases are managed through NCAT's Consumer and Commercial Division.

Reporting of stolen goods

When a person claims that stolen goods belonging to them are in a pawnbroker or second-hand dealer’s shop, they must first report the theft to the Police and provide evidence of ownership.

The Police will then serve the pawnbroker with a Restoration Notice. After being served the notice, the pawnbroker has 28 days to either return the goods to the claimant or apply to NCAT to resolve the dispute.

How to apply

Download and complete a Pawnbroker and second-hand delears application form (PDF , 176.3 KB).

Lodge your application at any NCAT Registry or with Service NSW.


Fees are payable for pawnbroker and second-hand dealer applications. View our fees and charges or apply for a fee waiver.

Time limits

You must apply to NCAT within 28 days after the pawnbroker or second-hand dealer was served with the Restoration Notice.

If you apply outside of the time limit, you can request a time extension as part of your application. NCAT will not always agree to a request for a time extension.

What orders can NCAT make

NCAT can make the following orders under the Pawnbroker and Second-hand Dealers Act 1996.

  • That the stolen goods are returned to the rightful owner
  • That the goods remain with the pawnbroker or second-hand dealer
  • An order for money to be paid to the pawnbroker or second-hand dealer
  • An order for money to be paid to the rightful owner
  • Any other order about the goods that NCAT thinks fit.

The goods must ​​​be kept, unaltered, by the licensee until the matter is resolved. If there are criminal proceedings in the relation to the goods, the NCAT proceedings will be suspended until the criminal proceedings are concluded.


The following legislation applies to pawbroker and second-hand dealer claims about stolen goods.

Organisations that can help

NCAT cannot provide legal advice. Find out how we can and cannot assist. Below are some organisations that can provide help or advice about your case.

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