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Scrap metal and motor salvage licence

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If you run a business that buys or sells scrap metal or are a motor salvage operator then you must be licensed with the local authority. Operating without one is a criminal offence. The licences last for three years.

There are two types of licences but you can not hold both.

Site Licences

You can apply for a site licence if you have premises where the business of a scrap metal dealer is carried out. A site manager has to be named for the site and this licence allows the licensee to transport scrap metal to and from those sites from any local authority area.

Collectors Licence

You can apply for a collectors licence if you are a mobile collector, do not have a site and do not store metal. This licence does not allow you to operate in any other local authority area or to operate a site. For this you need a site licence from the relevant local authority.


All licence applications have a charge. Fees are as follows:

  • Pre-Application advice: £135
  • Collector’s Licence (new applications and renewals): £473
  • Site Licence (new applications and renewals): £645
  • Variations and transfers: £130
  • Replacement Licence: £104

Application Form

Download the application form and send to:

For guidance on applications and how we process them refer to the BCP Council Scrap Metal Dealers Policy

Application evaluation process

Applications must be submitted on the forms provided by the licensing authority and be accompanied by the required fee. Please see the schedule of fees for further information. The following criteria, amongst others, will be considered when the application is being evaluated:

  • whether the applicant, and in the case of a company or partnership, whether the directors of the company, the company secretary, or each of the partners (whichever the case may be) is a suitable person to carry on a business as a scrap metal dealer
  • whether the applicant or any site manager has been convicted of any relevant offence
  • whether the applicant or any site manager has been the subject of any relevant enforcement action
  • any previous refusal of an application for the issue or renewal of a scrap metal licence (and the reasons for refusal)
  • any previous refusal of an application for a relevant environmental permit or registration (and the reasons for refusal)
  • any previous revocation of a scrap metal licence (and the reasons for revocation)
  • whether the applicant has demonstrated that there will be in place adequate procedures to ensure that the provisions of the Act are complied with

A licence will be valid for three years from the date of issue and, in the case of a site licence, a copy of the licence must be displayed at each site identified in the licence in a prominent position accessible to the public. In the case of a collector's licence a copy of the licence must be displayed on any vehicle that is used in the course of the dealer's business.

Conditions for the licence

All scrap has to be paid for by cheque or electronic transfer of funds. You can’t have cash payments.

You’ll also need:

  • a basic criminal check from Disclosure (Scotland)
  • a passport sized photograph
  • proof of address
  • details of the bank account payments will be made into

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