Licence - scrap metal


To be a scrap metal dealer, you need to register with your local authority. A scrap metal dealer is defined as a person who 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 a person who carries on business as a motor salvage operator.

How to apply

Scrap metal dealer licence application form

You can apply for either a site licence or a mobile collector licence using this form. A site licence lets you buy and sell scrap metal from a fixed location within the council area. A collector’s licence allows you to travel within the council area to collect scrap metal. You may not take this metal back to a site that you run within the council area in order to sell it.

The relevant fees are listed towards the end of the form.

The completed form, fees and any enclosures should be handed into the Customer Service Centre at Time Square.


Every person listed on the application form needs to submit a Basic Disclosure Certificate from Disclosure Scotland dated within the last three months. Previous convictions may not automatically prevent you from having a licence if the offence was unrelated to being a scrap metal dealer or a long time ago, and you can convince the council that you are a suitable person.

If your site(s) were established after 1990, then you are required to have planning permission from the council. You will need to tell us if this is the case, and it will be checked with the council planning department.

What the law says

Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013  

Application process

On receiving your application we may consult with other agencies such as the Environment Agency or Thames Valley Police.

How long will it take to process my application?

We aim to process your application within 28 days of receiving it. Please contact us if you have not heard from us by the end of this period.

How to appeal

Any applicant who is refused a licence or wants to object to a condition on the licence can appeal to their local magistrates' court within 21 days of receiving notice of the decision.

Complaints about motor salvage operators or scrap metal dealers

If you wish to complain about a scrap metal dealer, or if you believe that there has been a breach of licence conditions, please contact us. If you are in the UK, you can also contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service who will give you advice. From outside the UK please contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

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