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Scrap Metal Dealer Licence

Every scrap metal dealer must have a licence. Operating without one is a criminal offence.

Scrap metal dealers require a licence issued by their local authority.

The current system of licensing was introduced by the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013. This replaced the old system of registration.

Licence types

There are two different types of licences: site and collector's. 

You can only hold one type of licence at once. Each licence last for three years.

License typeFeeDescription
Site licence£411.00

A site licence is aimed at scrap metal dealers who operate from sites. They may also be suitable for other types of dealer, e.g people who have a contract to collect scrap or carry out scheduled rounds to visit regular customers.

The granting of a scrap metal dealer licence does not in itself constitute you to store scrap metal. You may need planning consent to do so.

To apply for this type of licence, you must apply to the local authority where your site or place of business is located. You must display your licence at your place of business. 

Collector's licence£128.00

A collector's licence is intended for dealers who make visits to premises to collect scrap.

Unlike a site licence, a separate licence is required for each local authority area you operate in. If you intend to operate as a collector in Fenland, you need to apply to us for a licence. 

You must display our collector's licence on your vehicle whenever you are operating in the Fenland district. 

If you are a business that collects scrap metal 'incidental' to their main business (e.g a Plumber), you may not need a licence. However, each case is treated on its merits. If you collect scrap metal incidental to your business, please email for advice. 

Apply for a licence

To apply for a licence, please send us:

If you are applying for a collectors licence you also need to send us a passport size photograph. This needs to be endorsed on the back with the words: "I certify that this is a good likeness of [your name]" and signed by a 'responsible person'. A responsible person needs to be someone of standing in the community such as a teacher or bank official. 

* The easiest and cheapest way to get a criminal records check is to apply online at All applications will be considered on their individual basis - so if you have a conviction, it doesn't automatically mean you won't get a licence. If they want to, individuals on the application form can send their criminal records check to us separately. 

Change an existing licence

You can apply to:

  • change a site licence to a collector's licence
  • change a collector's licence to a site licence
  • change the name of the licencee, site name or site manager on a site licence
  • change the name of the licencee on a collector's licence

You cannot transfer the licence to another person.

To make a change, please email


Licence typeFee
Site licence£411.00
Collector's licence£128.00
Minor administrative change to licence£10.50
Variation of a Site Licence£25.00
Making changes to person involved in a licence£80.00

Licence holder requirements

A scrap metal dealer must not receive scrap metal from a person without verifying their name and address. Acceptable forms of ID are explained in the section below.

Under the current legislation, it is an offence to buy scrap metal for cash. Payments by cheque must be non-transferable and made out to named persons (i.e not made out to 'cash'). Electronic payments are permitted as long as the customer's identity can be checked. 

Scrap metal dealers must keep records of:

  • the metal received and its disposal
  • the name and address of the person they received it from

Proof of identity

The law requires dealers of scrap metal to see proof of identity. The seller can either use:

  • one of the documents shown in Section A as long as it shows the person's full name, photograph and residential address; or
  • one of the documents shown in Section A and a supporting document from Section B which shows the full name and residential address of the seller
Section A
  • A valid UK passport
  • A valid passport issued by an EEA state
  • A valid UK photo-card driving licence
  • A valid UK biometric immigration document
Section B
  • A bank or building society statement
  • A credit or debit card statement
  • A Council Tax demand or statement
  • A utility bill (not a mobile phone bill)

These documents can be a maximum of three months old when the application is made. 


Tax Checks

From 4 April 2022, there will be a small addition to the checks licensing bodies already have in place. You'll need to complete a tax check with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) when you renew your licence in relation to:

  • Licensed Driver for both Hackney Carriage & Private Hire
  • Private Hire Operator
  • Licensed Vehicles for both Hackney Carriage & Private Hire
  • Dealing in scrap metal

Changes will only apply in England and Wales. View more information about Tax Check changes.

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