Licence summary    

The introduction of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 has created a revised regulatory regime for the scrap metal recycling and vehicle dismantling industries. Anyone wishing to operate as a scrap metal dealer must now obtain a licence in order to carry on business.

Eligibility criteria    

A person is considered to be a scrap metal dealer if the person:

  • 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
  • Carries on business as a motor salvage operator 
    • recovering salvageable parts from motor vehicles for re-use or sale and selling the remainder of the vehicle for scrap
    • buying written-off vehicles, repairing and reselling them
    • buying or selling motor vehicles which are to be the subject of any of the activities mentioned in (i) or i)
    • wholly or mainly in activities falling within paragraphs (b) and (c)

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.

Regulation summary

Application evaluation process

Applicants must provide the following:

  • The full name, date of birth and usual place of residence of an individual applicant (including mobile collectors), anyone proposed as a site manager for a site, and every partner where a partnership is applying for a licence
  • The company name, registered number and registered office address where it is the applicant
  • Any proposed trading name for the business
  • The telephone number and email address (if any of the applicant)
  • Where it is a site licence the address of each proposed site to be included on the licence
  • The address of any site in another council area where the applicant already carries on business or proposes to do so
  • Details of any relevant environmental permit or registration held by the applicant
  • Details of any other scrap metal licences issued to the applicant within the three years before making this application
  • Details of the bank account(s) to be used for cashless transactions – where a licensee operates multiple sites different bank accounts may be used
  • Details of any relevant conviction or enforcement action that relates to the applicant
  • Photocopies of :
    • Photocard and counterpart driving licence or passport and proof of address, such as a utility bill
    • For collectors licences a photocopy of the vehicle registration documents (V5 log book & MOT), insurance certificate and waste carriers licence

The licensed dealer must apply to vary the licence where there are any changes relating to the name of the licensee on the licence; any change in the sites from which the licensee is authorised to carry on business; and any changes in the details of a site manager.

When renewing a scrap metal licence in Wales from April 4th 2022, applicants will be required to complete a ‘tax check’ first. This applies to both site and mobile collectors. The digital service to complete a tax check will go live early in March 2022. Applicants should be registered to pay the appropriate tax/taxes on their licensed income and will need to confirm that they are registered during the tax check.

Will tacit consent apply?

No. You should contact us if you have not heard from us within a reasonable period.


  • Site licence (new/renewal): £495 
  • Collector's licence (new/renewal): £231 
  • Variation: £88


Public Protection Services, The Guildhall, Wrexham, LL11 1AY.


Appeal a failed application

Contact us in the first instance.

Consumer complaint

Contact us in the first instance.