Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013

Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013

Every scrap metal dealer and motor salvage operator must have a licence and operating without one is a criminal offence under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013.

There are two types of licences:

  • site licence 
  • collector's licence

A dealer can only hold one type of licence in any one local authority area (see attached guidance below).


Suitability of applicant

We will determine if an applicant is a suitable person to carry on the business as a scrap metal dealer and may consider any information we considers to be relevant.

Applicants will be asked to provide a Basic Disclosure Certificate, no more than three months old, with their application form. These are available from the website.

In the case of a partnership or company the suitability of each of the partners, director and company secretary will need to be assessed and a Basic Disclosure Certificate must be provided for each. A Basic Disclosure Certificate will also be required for those acting as site managers.


Fees (from 1 April 2023)

Site licence: £520

Collector's licence: £217

Addition of new site: £260

Change of site manager: £15

Add person to site licence who has not been previously checked: £85

The fee mist be included with the application.

Vehicle identification discs are available under each licence type. The cost of the original licence includes three vehicle identification discs. Additional discs can be purchased at a cost of £3.50 each.


Apply online

You can apply online at

Alternatively you can print out an application form below and return it to us by post or in person at the Customer Service Centre

If our documents are not accessible to you, you can request a different format here.
Guidance on the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 PDF (PDF 125 KB)
Scrap Metal Licence Application Form Word (Word 95 KB)


Advice for householders disposing of scrap metal

Many scrap metal collectors will drive around the streets looking for scrap metal to collect.

If you decide to let a scrap metal collector take away your metal waste, you are responsible for making sure it is done legally.

Don't leave your old scrap metal out on the road or pavement where it may be a hazard or cause an obstruction.

Make sure the collector has a valid scrap metal collector's licence and that they give you a waste transfer note, otherwise if they dump your waste you could be prosecuted.

Find out more about your duty of care.

* scrap collectors won't take fridges or freezers due to the special way they have to be recycled.

Last updated on 06 April 2023