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Scrap Metal Dealer Licence

Scrap Metal Dealers must apply to their local authority for a licence under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013.

The Act repeals the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 and consolidates scrap metal dealers and motor salvage operators under one licensing regime.

We will act as the principle regulator but the new Act will give the authorities powers to refuse a licence and powers to revoke licences if the dealer is considered ‘unsuitable’.  

  • Definitions

  • Terms

  • Transfer

  • Variation

  • Costs

  • Eligibility Criteria

  • Regulation Summary

  • Application Evaluation Process

  • How we will notify you

  • Timescales

  • Making an Application

  • Appeals

  • Complaints

  • Downloads

  • Useful Links

  • Contact Us



Scrap Metal Dealer

(2) A person carries on business as a scrap metal dealer if the person:

  • (a) carries on a business which consists wholly or partly in buying or selling scrap metal, whether or not the metal is sold in the form in which it was bought, or
  • (b) carries on business as a motor salvage operator (so far as that does not fall within paragraph (a)).

Motor Salvage Operator

(4) For the purposes of subsection (2) (b), a person carries on business as a motor salvage operator if the person carries on a business which consists:

  • (a) wholly or partly in recovering salvageable parts from motor vehicles for re-use or sale and subsequently selling or otherwise disposing of the rest of the vehicle for scrap,
  • (b) wholly or mainly in buying written-off vehicles and subsequently repairing and reselling them,
  • (c) wholly or mainly in buying or selling motor vehicles which are to be the subject (whether immediately or on a subsequent re-sale) of any of the activities mentioned in paragraphs (a) and (b), or
  • (d) wholly or mainly in activities falling within paragraphs (b) and (c).



The 2013 Act brings in two types of licences either a site licence or a collectors’ licence.

A person can only hold one of these licences in a Local Authority’s area, but can hold a licence in more than one Local Authority. 


Site Licence

A site licence requires all of the sites at which the licensee carries on the business as a scrap metal dealer within the local authority area to be identified and a site manager to be named for each site.

In doing so, they will be permitted to operate from those sites as a scrap metal dealer, including transporting scrap metal to and from those sites from any local authority area.


Collectors Licence

A collector’s licence authorises the licensee to operate as a mobile collector in the area of the issuing local authority, permitting them to collect any scrap metal as appropriate. This includes commercial as well as domestic scrap metal.

The licence does not permit the collector to collect from any other local authority area. A separate licence should be obtained from each local authority from which the individual wishes to collect in.

A collector’s licence does not authorise the licensee to carry on a business at a site within any area. Should a collector wish to use a fixed site, they will need to obtain a site licence from the relevant local authority. 

The Act 2013 also specifies that a licence will be issued by the local authority in whose area a scrap metal site is situated, or (in respect of a mobile collector) in the area that the collector operates.

All licensees are required to display their licence. For site operators, the licence must be displayed in a prominent place in an area accessible to the public. For mobile collectors, it must be in a manner which enables the licence to be easily read by a person outside the vehicle. 

It will be an offence to carry on a business as a scrap metal dealer in breach of the requirement to hold a licence. This offence is punishable on summary conviction with a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

Both types of licences expire after 3 years from the date of issue.

Please note: this does not replace a waster carriers licence.


Transfer of a Licence

Scrap Metal Dealers licences are non-transferrable.


Variation of a Licence

Scrap Metal Dealers can apply to vary (change) certain details of their licence, under the Act the licence holder has a duty to make a variation on certain details that has changed as stipulated by the Act.

Variations are permitted for the following activities:

  • Vary a licence from a site licence to a collectors licence (or vice versa)

  • Change of name of the licensee (not a transfer)

  • Add or change sites on the licence within the authorities area

  • Change of site manager



Site Licence                          

  • New - £350
  • Renewal - £300

Collectors Licence               

  • New - £150
  • Renewal - £100

Site/Collectors Licence Variation - £75

Copy of Licence - £10.50


Eligibility Criteria

Section 3 of the Act states that a Council must not issue a licence unless it is satisfied that the applicant is a suitable person to carry on a business as a scrap metal dealer.


Regulation Summary         

Scrap metal dealers are regulated by the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013.


Application Evaluation Process   

Applicants must submit the following documentation to the Local Authority (please note transitional dates):

  • Completed and signed application form.

  • The appropriate fee

  • Basic Disclosure Scotland (CRB check) dated within 1 month of application for the applicant(s) and site managers as appropriate.

  • Any further information requested on the application form.

Licensed Scrap Metal Dealers must notify the Licensing Authority of any changes by applying for a variation.

Your application will be consulted with the Environment Agency, South Yorkshire Police and any other relevant Authority to determine suitability. The consultation period will be 28 days.


How we will notify you

The Licensing authority will acknowledge receipt pf your application.

If there are any objections, you will be notified in writing and invited to a Licensing Committee who will determine your application.

If there are no objections and you are suitable to carry on the business as a scrap metal dealer, the licence will be issued to you as soon as reasonably practicable after the 28 day consultation period.


Making an Application

Apply online


Application forms



Please contact us in the first instance.



Please contact us in the first instance.



Guidance notes


European Economic Area

We are a part of the European network for delivering information relating to doing business in the European Economic Area.

For full information on the EU Services Directive and Points of Single Contact for other member states from the European Commission.

  • Modified: Oct 28, 2014 9:50:59 AM