Scrap metal dealers licence

If you are a scrap metal dealer in Sheffield you must apply to us for a licence. We are the principle regulator and we can refuse or revoke a licence if the dealer is considered unsuitable. 

A scrap metal dealers licence does not replace a waste carriers licence.

Application changes from April 2022

From 4 April 2022 all scrap metal dealers will need to complete a tax check if you’re:

  • renewing a licence
  • applying for the same licence you previously held (that ceased being valid less than a year ago)
  • applying for the same type of licence you already hold with a different licensing authority

You must carry out the tax check yourself. Guidance on how to complete a tax check will be published in January. You can find out more on the government’s website:

Who needs a scrap metal dealers licence

You need a scrap metal licence if you operate a business which involves buying or selling scrap metal, whether or not the metal is sold in the form in which it was bought or is part of a motor salvage operation.

You'll also need a scrap metal licence if you operate a business which involves:

  • recovering salvageable parts from motor vehicles for re-use or sale and selling or otherwise disposing of the rest of the vehicle for scrap
  • buying written-off vehicles and repairing and reselling them
  • selling vehicles which are to be used for salvage or scrap purposes

Who can apply for a scrap metal dealers licence

Anyone can apply to be a scrap metal collector but we must be satisfied that your are suitable.

You can view further information regarding suitability under section 3 of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013.

Changes to your licence

Licensed scrap metal dealers must notify us of any changes to an existing licence by applying to change their licence.

What licence you will need

There are two types of scrap metal dealer licences:

  • a site licence
  • a collector's licence

You can only hold one of these licences at a time in Sheffield.

You can hold licences from multiple authorities, for example, a site licence in Sheffield and a collectors licence from a different local authority, but you cannot have both types of licence in the same authority.

Site licence

To get a site licence, you'll need to identify all of the sites in Sheffield where you operate your scrap metal or motor salvage business. You'll also need to name a site manager for each site.

Once you're licensed, you can transport scrap metal to and from these sites from anywhere, including other local authority areas.

You need to display your licence in a prominent place in an area accessible to the public. 

Collectors licence

A collectors licence means you can operate as a mobile collector in Sheffield and allows you to collect any scrap metal that's appropriate. This includes commercial as well as domestic scrap metal.

The licence does not permit you to collect from any other local authority area. A separate licence should be obtained from the local authority in any other area that you want to collect in.

A collector’s licence does not authorise you to have a scrap metal site in any area. If you want to use a fixed site to store and trade scrap metal, you will need to obtain a site licence from a different local authority (you can't have both a site licence and collector's licence in the same local authority area).

Your collector's licence must be displayed so it can easily be read from outside the vehicle you use for collecting scrap metal. 

Make sure you renew your licence

These licences expire after three years. It's an offence to carry on a business as a scrap metal dealer without a licence. This offence is punishable on summary conviction with a fine.


A new licence costs:                 

  • new site licence - £355
  • new collectors licence - £155
  • licence copy - £10.50

To renew a licence costs:

  • renew site licence - £305
  • renew collectors licence - £105

What you need to provide with your application

Applicants must submit the following documentation to us:

  • a completed and signed application form (and privacy statement is applying by post)
  • the correct application fee (or a payment reference number if applying by post)
  • Basic Disclosure Check (DBS check) dated within 1 month of application for the applicant(s) and site managers as appropriate
  • any further information requested on the application form
  • a completed privacy statement

What happens once you have made an application

There is a 28 day consultation period on your application during which we will consult with the Environment Agency, South Yorkshire Police and any other relevant authority to determine your suitability.

If there are any issues or objections against your application, you will be notified in writing and invited to attend a licensing committee who will decide on your application.

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

Tacit consent will not apply

You cannot assume your licence has been granted if you haven't heard from us. It is in the public interest that we process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us after the 28 day period you should contact us.

Apply for a new licence or renew your existing licence

You can apply online for a new licence or to renew an existing licence.

Apply by post

Before you send your application by post, you should pay online first and provide a reference of payment with your submitted application.

You can then download and print the application form and send it to us by post.

How to make an appeal or a complaint

Contact us if you want to appeal a decision.

Members of the public who are experiencing problems with a scrap metal dealer should contact us for advice.

Contact the Licensing Team

0114 273 4264
Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm
Block C
Staniforth Road Depot
S9 3HD

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