Scrap metal dealer licence

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 came into force on October 1, 2013.

It requires that any persons collecting, buying or selling scrap will require a scrap metal dealer's licence  issued by the Council.

There are two types of scrap metal dealer licence:

  • a site licence - allows for the operation of a site and collection of any scrap relevant to that site;
  • a collector’s licence - allows for the collection of scrap only within the area for which it was issued.

An application needs to be made for the appropriate licence and a fee paid to the Council. A basic criminal record disclosure form, no more than one month old, must be submitted as part of the application process. 

Anyone wishing to operate as a collector in more than one council area will need to apply for a collector's licence from every council in whose areas.

NB. whilst a site licence and/or collector's licence can be held in more than one council area, only one type of licence can be held in any one council area.

Please note too that these do not replace the waste carrier’s licence. To collect scrap in the Doncaster area, a person is required to hold a licence issued by the relevant council and a waste carrier's licence that is issued by the Environment Agency.

Any persons who carry out business as a scrap metal dealer without a licence may be liable on conviction to maximum fine of £5,000.

It is an offence to buy scrap metal for cash - a scrap metal dealer must not pay for scrap metal except by a cheque or electronic transfer.

Changes from April 2022 (Renewal Applicants Only)

From 4 April 2022, licensing authorities are responsible for carrying out certain checks on applications from individuals, companies and any type of partnership to make sure they are aware of their tax responsibilities or have completed a tax check.

If you make an application on or after 4 April 2022 you’ll need to complete a tax check, link below for information and how to apply:

Changes for taxi, private hire or scrap metal licence applications from April 2022 - GOV.UK (
(please note that you will be unable to complete a tax check until the 7th March 2022)

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 we can confirm you have carried out a tax check.

Please note that the HMRC has powers to obtain information from licensing authorities:

Schedule 23 to Finance Act 2011 (Data Gathering Powers) and Schedule 36 to Finance Act 2008 (Information and Inspection Powers), grant HMRC powers to obtain relevant information from third parties. This includes licensing bodies being required to provide information about licence applicants.

Applications may be made online using the link below.

Apply/Renew online


Every scrap metal dealer who receives any scrap metal in the course of their business must record the following information -

a) a description of the metal, including its type (or types if mixed), form, condition, weight and any marks identifying previous owners or other distinguishing features;
b) the date and time of its receipt; 
c) if the metal is delivered in or on a vehicle, the registration mark (within the meaning of section 23 of the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994) of the vehicle;
d) if the metal is received from a person, the full name and address of that person;
e) if the dealer pays for the metal, the full name of the person who makes the payment acting for the dealer.

If the dealer receives metal from a person, the dealer must keep a copy of any document which the dealer uses to verify the name and address of that person.

If the dealer pays for the metal by cheque, the dealer must keep a copy of the cheque.

If the dealer pays for the metal by electronic transfer the dealer must keep a receipt identifying the transfer or, if no receipt was obtained, the dealer must record particulars identifying the transfer.

Disposal of metal

Where a site licence holder disposes of scrap metal in the course of their business they must record the following information:

a) a description of the metal, including type (or types if mixed), form and weight;
b) the date and time of its disposal;
c) if the disposal is to another person, the full name and address of that person;
d) if the dealer receives payment for the metal (whether by way of sale or exchange), the price or other consideration received.

Where disposal is in the course of business under a collector's licence, the dealer must record the following information:

a) the date and time of disposal;
b) if the disposal is to another person, the full name and address of that person)

Further information

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 is available here: legislation

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 (Prescribed Documents and Information for Verification of Name and Address) Regulations 2013 are available here 

Also see the mobile collector's records template:

Mobile Collectors Record Book
Download (247KB)

The outcome of an application will usually be determined within 28 days. The licence is valid for three years.  

SMD Licensing policy
Download (290KB)

Application and Renewal Fees


Site Licence


Collector's Licence


Variation Fees

Name change (not change of person)


Change from Site Licence to Collector's Licence


Change from Collector's Licence to Site Licence


Change of Site Manager


Add additional site(s) to a Site Licence


Related pages

Licensing Homepage

Second Hand Goods Dealer


Social Media

Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter @LicensingDMBC

Licensing issues


Last updated: 04 April 2022 14:53:20