Apply for a scrap metal licence


Apply for a scrap metal licence

To be a scrap metal dealer, you need to be licensed with us in accordance with the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013. It is a criminal offence to operate as a scrap metal dealer without a valid licence.

There are 2 types of licence and you must decide which type of licence you wish to hold in our area:

  • a site licence, which allows you to operate a site, or sites, and collect any scrap metal to and from the site(s)
  • a collector's licence, which allows you to collect scrap metal only within North Northamptonshire

What is a scrap metal dealer?

A dealer is defined under s21(2) of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013, as someone carrying on business which consists wholly or in part of buying or selling scrap metal, whether or not the metal is sold in the form in which it is bought.

A manufacturing business that sells scrap metal created only as a by-product of the processes it uses, or because it has a surplus of materials, is not caught by this definition (see s21(3) of the Act).

What is a mobile collectors licence?

This allows the licensee to operate as a collector in the areas of the issuing local authority only. It does not allow the collector to operate in any other local authority area. A separate licence must be obtained from each authority the collector wishes to collect scrap metal waste in. The licence does not authorise the licensee to operate a site.

What is a site licence?

Sites where the licensee carries on a business as a scrap metal dealer must be licensed and a site manager must be named for each site. This type of licence allows a licensee to transport scrap metal to and from those sites from any area.

Does it include firms that hire out skips, or to tradesmen like plumbers or builders who sell scrap metal resulting from any work they do?

In the case of most tradesmen such as plumbers and electricians and some skip hire firms the sale of scrap metal is not an integral part of their business and they will not require to be licensed as a scrap metal dealer.

Where the material deposited in the skip will contain significant amounts of scrap metal, such as skips used where there is demolition activity or ones sited at engineering manufacturing establishments and plumbers’ yards, then the skip hire company will generally require a scrap metal dealers licence.  


Please read our application guidance notes and the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 supplementary guidance before making an application.

For a collectors licence you will need to submit:

For a site licence you will need to submit 

  • basic disclosure and barring service (DBS) checks for you and for all directors, partners and site managers referred to on the application form. All checks must have been issued by the service no earlier than 3 months before you submit your application.

For either licence you will need to provide an HMRC declaration or tax check, for further information read our application guidance notes.​​​​​​

If you are granted a licence it will be valid for 3 years. To renew a licence please make an application no later than 56 days before your current licence expires.

For costs, view our licensing fees and charges.

Change a licence

If you have an existing scrap metal dealer licence, you can apply to change:

  • a site licence to a collector's licence
  • a collector's licence to a site licence
  • your name as registered on your collectors licence or site licence
  • the site name or a site manager on a site licence

You cannot transfer your licence to another person.

Next steps

Once we have received your application you will receive a letter of acknowledgement. If we are missing any information we will advise you of what we need you to provide to make your application valid.
We aim to process a valid application within 6 to 8 weeks.


Please contact us in the first instance as we may be able to provide more information.

If we refuse your licence or wish to apply conditions, you have the right of appeal and you will be able to continue trading until the appeal is heard.

Last updated 09 February 2024