Apply for a new scrap metal dealer licence

You must have a scrap metal dealer licence if you collect or buy scrap metal.

Scrap metal includes:

  • any old, waste or discarded metal or metallic material
  • any product, article or assembly which is made from or contains metal and is broken, worn out or regarded by its last holder as having reached the end of its useful life

Gold and silver aren’t considered scrap metal.

Licences are valid for 3 years and can be renewed. See the fees and charges page for application cost details.

We offer 2 types of licences - 1 for fixed sites and 1 for mobile collectors. You must choose only 1 of these licenses, as you can’t apply for both.

Your licence must be displayed clearly either on your vehicle (for mobile collectors) or at your site (for site operators).

Tax Conditionality

If you make an application on or after 4 April 2022 you’ll need to complete a tax check if you’re:

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

You must carry out the tax check yourself. You cannot ask a tax agent or adviser to do this on your behalf.

The tax check will ask questions about how you pay any tax that may be due on income you earn from your licensed trade.

After you have completed the tax check you will be given a 9-character tax check code.

You will need to give the code on your application to the licensing authority, so they can confirm you have carried out a tax check.

For further HMRC guidance about your tax registration obligations, visit the following GOV.UK web pages:

Apply by email

To apply by email, complete the downloadable application form with a scan of your signature and email it to

After we’ve received your application, a licensing officer will contact you to take a debit or credit card payment for the appropriate fee


Local Authorities, when issuing a licence, may impose prescribed conditions if the licensee or site manager has been convicted of a relevant offence.

The 2 conditions that can be imposed by Local Authorities on a licence, namely:

  • that the dealer must not receive scrap metal except from 9:00am to 5:00pm on any day; and,
  • that all scrap metal received must be kept in the form in which it is received for a specified period, not exceeding 72 hours, beginning with the time when it is received.

Page last updated: 11 March 2024

rating button