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Scrap metal dealer licence

If you buy or sell scrap metal, you will need to apply to us for a site licence or mobile collector's licence.

Licences are issued for three years.

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Scrap metal dealing

Any business or person that buys or sells scrap metal must have a scrap metal dealer licence under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013.

A scrap metal dealer includes all those who:

  • operate from sites
  • travel to buy scrap metal
  • collect scrap metal to sell on.

Motor salvage operators also qualify as scrap metal dealers.

Even if the material is provided free of charge, a licence is required in order to sell it on. A person who carries on business as a scrap metal dealer without a licence is committing a criminal offence.

It is an offence to pay cash for any scrap metal bought or sold.

For further information, refer to our Scrap Metal Dealers Guidance Notes below.

Definition of scrap metal

Scrap metal is any of the following:

  • old, waste or discarded metal or metallic material
  • a product, article or assembly which contains metal and is broken, worn out or has reached the end of its useful life.

The following is not considered to be scrap metal:

  • gold
  • silver
  • alloy of which two per cent or more by weight is gold or silver.

Types of licence

There are two types of licence. You can only hold one type of licence in any one council area. This means you cannot hold both a site licence and mobile collector's licence with us.

Site licence

This allows you to carry on business at a site in our area. More than one site can be included in the licence. It also allows you to transport scrap metal to and from the site from any place.

You will need for a site to operate this type of business.

Mobile collector's licence

This allows you to travel only within our area in a vehicle to collect scrap metal. You will need to obtain a licence from each council you wish to collect in.

For further information, download the Scrap Metal Dealers Guidance Notes below.

Scrap Metal Dealers Guidance Notes (PDF) [174KB] (opens new window)

Apply for a scrap metal dealer licence

With your application, you need to supply a basic Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

Once you have received your basic DBS check, you can apply for a scrap metal dealer licence using the online form below.

Alternatively, download the application form below and return it to us with your basic DBS check and the fee.

Scrap Metal Dealer Licence Application Form (PDF) [615KB] (opens new window)

Once received, we will process your application and issue your licence. The application can be subject to a 28 day consultation period with other agencies such as the police, planning agencies and the Environment Agency.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check

You can apply for a basic DBS check using the GOV.UK online form below.

You'll need a basic DBS check for:

  • the applicant and any person listed on the application form
  • all site managers (if applying for a site licence)
  • each partner (if a partnership)
  • any director, shadow director and company secretary (if a company).

The basic DBS check should be no more than three months old when you apply for a scrap metal dealer licence.

If you have convictions, this will not automatically prevent you from holding a licence. If the offence was unrelated to being a scrap metal dealer or a long time ago, a licence can still be issued.


A list of scrap metal dealer licence fees for the 2024/25 financial year can be found below.

  • Site licence: £192
  • Mobile collector's licence: £142

Other licences or permits

In addition to a scrap metal dealer licence, you may need to hold other environmental permits or licences.

If you carry waste as part of your business, it is a legal requirement to register as a waste carrier. This includes transporting waste:

  • while travelling from job to job
  • to a storage place for disposal later
  • to a waste disposal company or waste site.

Visit the GOV.UK website for information or to register as a waste carrier, broker or dealer.

Renew a licence

Renewing your licence is the same as applying for a new licence, including the form and fee.

You can renew up to three months in advance of your licence expiry. You need to renew before your licence expires.

We will send you a renewal pack before your licence expires. Alternatively, you can use the Scrap Metal Dealer Licence Application Form above.

Public register

We maintain public registers of scrap metal dealer licences.

View a register of our scrap metal dealer licences, including both site and mobile collectors, using the link below.

Contact details

You can contact us if you have any questions about scrap metal dealer licences.


Phone: 023 8028 5505

Licensing Services
New Forest District Council
Appletree Court
Beaulieu Road
SO43 7PA

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