Scrap metal dealer licences

The provisions of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 require a person who deals in scrap metal to obtain either a site licence or a collectors licence. Any individual, partnership, or body corporate may apply for a licence.


Every applicant and proposed site manager must be deemed a 'suitable person' before a licence may be issued. To assess if an individual is a suitable person all parties to an application must submit one of the following:

  • a criminal conviction certificate issued under section 112 of the Police Act 1997(1), or
  • a criminal record certificate issued under section 113A of the Police Act 1997, or
  • the results of a subject access search under the Data Protection Act 2018(2) of the Police National Computer by the National Identification Service.

You can apply for a basic criminal record check through the DBS. Note, your certificate must be less than one calendar month old when your application is submitted. Photographic proof of identity is required from each applicant submitting a criminal record check. Applicants will also need to demonstrate that they hold the necessary Environment Agency waste carrier permit(s) via the application form.

Application process

You can apply and pay online using the GOV.UK website. If you apply online you must supply an original criminal record check with proof of identity certificate for each applicant and site manager (if applicable) to us directly. A passport photograph is required for a collectors licence application only.

Alternatively, you can complete the application for scrap metal dealer's licence - grant or renewal (pdf, 197kb) and return your completed form in the post with the appropriate fee.

Apply for a variation (pdf, 188kb) to a scrap metal dealer's licence.


If we refuse an application, the applicant(s) will be invited to make representations. Applicants can also request that we allow them to attend an oral hearing to appeal. If the application is refused following representations or an oral hearing, the applicant(s) may submit an appeal against this decision to the Magistrates’ Court.