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Scrap metal dealer and motor salvage operator licence

Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013

The government passed the 2013 Scrap Metal Dealers Act with the intention of regulating scrap metal dealers, collectors and motor salvage operators. The Act replaces all of the existing legislation for motor salvage operators and scrap metal dealers.

Under the Act there are two licences:

  • A site licence for scrap metal dealers and/or motor salvage operators
  • A collector’s licence for mobile collectors

Both are valid for three years. You must obtain one of these licences in order to trade in scrap metal.

Scrap Metal Dealers Act - schedule of fees


2019/20 fee

Site licence (3-yearly)


Mobile licence (3-yearly)


There will also be an administration fee of £40 to change the details on a licence and issue a new licence when necessary, eg change of name or address of site, or change of vehicle.

Application procedure

All applications must use the application form below and be accompanied by:

  • The relevant fee (see the table above)
  • A basic DBS check for every person named in the application, which is less than three months from the date of issue (details below)
  • A passport style photograph of every person named on the application.

All applicants and named persons will be required to prove their identity using photographic identification, eg a passport or photo card driving licence and a utility bill. It is therefore necessary that your application is given to the Licensing team in person. Your identity and your DBS certificate will be checked and copied then immediately returned to you. Please discuss these requirements with a Licensing officer if you are unsure what to bring in with your application.


If scrap metal is a by-product of your business you may be exempt from the need to be licensed.

Examples of businesses that may be able to claim exemption are builders, plumbers, electricians, motor vehicle repair garages, and engineering workshops, where scrap metal is recovered or produced as the result of the main purpose of the business.

The Licensing team can advise on whether your business is exempt from the legislation.

Mobile collectors

Mobile collectors who work in different council areas will have to apply for a collectors licence in each of those areas. You must contact the relevant council to obtain an application form.

Every person working on a vehicle collecting scrap metal must be licensed unless they are properly employed by a business licensed for a site or as a collector.

DBS Certificate

Before you apply, you and every person listed on the application form needs to obtain a Basic Disclosure Certificate from Disclosure Scotland. You can apply for this certificate at .

You should apply for your criminal conviction disclosure now to ensure it is returned prior to October. A Basic Disclosure Certificate is only valid for three months from the date of issue, but can be used to apply to as many councils as you want within that time.

Application form

Last updated: 12 November 2019

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