Scrap metal dealer licence

Last Updated: 12 October 2022

Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 replaced the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 and the Motor Salvage Operators Regulation 2002.

The act gives councils more powers of control, such as refusal of a licence or revocation of a licence if the dealer is considered unsuitable or the operators are not abiding to the legislative requirements set out in their application.

The police and council now have powers of entry for inspection of scrap metal premises.

Main requirements of the act

  • you are required to hold a licence if your business is to collect, buy or sell scrap metal
  • motor salvage operators are now included
  • there is now a requirement for all metal dealers to complete applications and disclosures and satisfy the council that they are genuine traders
  • all applicants of the licence must now apply for a Basic Disclosure Certificate. All named people on the scrap metal licence form must provide a certificate. This includes the site manager and director
  • all sellers of metal must provide ID at point of sale which is recorded and retained by the scrap metal dealer
  • cash must no longer be given as payment for scrap metals. Sellers must be paid by BACS or cheque (or another traceable method). This will now apply to all collectors of scrap metal
  • there will be two licences available: a site licence or a collector's licence

There are two types of licence:

  • site licences allow the licence holder to buy and sell scrap from a fixed location
  • collector's licences authorise the licence holder to operate as a mobile collector who travels within the area to collect scrap metal from commercial/domestic premises. Mobile collector's are required to be licensed with all council's within the area they collect

The Environment Agency are required to maintain a register of scrap metal licences issued by authorities in England.

How to apply

Scrap metal licence application form (DOC 18KB / 9 pages)

Guidance notes for completing the scrap metal dealer application form (PDF 172KB / 5 pages)

Individuals applying for a collector's licence will need to register as a waste carrier.

This should be returned to the licensing group with all disclosure certificates, Environment Agency Waste Carriers Licence and the relevant fee;

Existing fees (2022/23):

  • Site licence (grant): £414.98
  • Site licence (renewal): £301
  • Site licence (variation): £131.99
  • Collector's licence (grant): £281.41
  • Collector's licence (renewal): £170.73
  • Collector's licence (variation): £136.45