Scrap metal dealers

Do you need a licence to sell scrap metal, how to apply and pay for a scrap metal dealer's registration, what happens if you don't apply and how to report an unregistered scrap metal dealer.

Do I need a licence to deal in scrap metal?

Under The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013

If you are a person who for the time being is carrying on a business as a Scrap Metal Dealer whether or not authorised by a licence, you will require either a Scrap Metal Dealer Site Licence or Scrap Metal Collector Licence within each district your trade-in.

The definition of a Scrap Metal Dealer is 'someone carrying on a 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'.

Scrap metal policy February 2018 (word 159kb)

Scrap Metal Dealer Site Licence

If you trade in scrap metal or motor salvage from fixed location within the East Riding of Yorkshire district you need to apply for Scrap Metal Dealer Site Licence.

Scrap Metal Collector Licence

This is a person that carries on a business as a scrap metal dealer otherwise than at a site and regularly engages in the course of that business in collecting waste materials and old broken/worn-out or defaced articles by means of door-to-door visits.

What is classed as scrap metal?

Scrap metal is defined as:

'any old waste or discarded metal or metallic material and any product article or assembly which is made from or contains metal and is broken/worn out or regarded by its last holder as having reached the end of its useful life'.

The only exemption to this is gold and silver, or any alloy which is 2% or more by weight attributable gold or silver.

Do I need a licence to transportscrap metal?

You may need to be registered with The Environment Agency. For information regarding a waste carriers licence please call:

Tel: (01482) 651446

Alternatively, you can visit the Environment Agency website:

GOV.UK - Register or renew as a waste carrier, broker or dealer (external website)

How do I applyfor a scrap metal dealer licence?

Applications for a scrap metal dealer licence can only be accepted from persons over 18 years of age.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council have a scrap metal policy, where it details our approach to licensing scrap metal dealers and full requirements of the licensing authority.

If you do not already hold a scrap metal dealer licence within the East Riding, you will need to apply using the below application form:

Apply online for a scrap metal licence. 

Email: licensing@eastriding.gov.uk

Along with this application, you must submit all supporting documentation as listed below, but applications without all supporting documents will not be accepted.

  • The appropriate fee (£510 for a scrap metal dealer's site licence) (£390 for a scrap metal collector's licence)
  • Fee for ID badge and vehicle plate if applicable. 
  • One passport photograph (Please note: only required for collector applications)
  • Collectors only: Details of all vehicles used for collecting scrap, to include make, model, colour and registration number.

A Scrap Metal Dealer licence will last for 3 years once granted.

Please note: if you are applying for a collector licence, you must book an appointment with the Licensing team to verify your identity documents.

Contact us by email at

Email: licensing@eastriding.gov.uk

The identity document must be either a valid passport or a DVLA photocard.

A tacit consent does not apply to this application, meaning that your application will not be automatically granted after a specified period of time. Each application must be considered on its own merit. 

What if I have convictions?

There are relevant offences under The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013, to which the Licensing Authority can consider to determine your suitability to hold a licence, and these are provided in the document below:

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 (Prescribed Relevant Offences and Relevant Enforcement Action) Regulations 2013 (pdf 28kb)

Licensing Authorities may also take into consideration other aspects as outlined in the below statutory guidance:

Scrap Metal Dealer licensing - Guidance for Licensing Authorities (pdf 173kb)

How do I pay?

You can pay by the following means:

  • Credit or debit card by calling (01482) 396297
  • A cheque made payable to 'East Riding of Yorkshire Council'
  • Visit a local customer service centre to make payment.

Current fees

Item  Fee 
Scrap metal dealer site licence £510
Mobile collector licence £390
Vehicle plate for collector £50
ID badge £40

Renewal fees

Item Fee
Site licence (3 years) £460
Mobile collector £330

Other fees

Item Fee
 Minor administration change to a licence £30
 Variation of transfer of a licence £200
 New or replacement plate for vehicle £50
 ID badge new or replacement £40

Will I be granteda scrap metal dealer licence?

The Local Authority can consider any information it deems relevant to asses the applicant's suitability to be issued a scrap metal dealer licence.

This may include:

  • Criminal Record Check, relevant convictions of the operator or site manager
  • the applicant has been refused, or had revoked a scrap metal dealer licence
  • the applicant has been refused a relevant environmental permit or registration.

All applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

A tacit consent does not apply to this application, meaning that your application will not be automatically granted after a specified period of time. Each application must be considered on its own merit. 

Can I changemy scrap metal dealer licence?

You can apply to change a detail on your licence for example the registered address of the licence holder, change of name or apply for a replacement licence. The fee for minor changes is £30. Please email licensing@eastriding.gov.uk for further advice. 

You can also apply to vary your scrap metal dealer site licence to a scrap metal mobile collector's licence.

The fee for this £200.

All requests for a change to your scrap metal dealer licence must be put in writing to licensing@eastriding.gov.uk.

What are the offences under The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013?

The following offences can be committed under The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013. 



Max Fine   Penalty


Carrying on the business as a scrap metal dealer without a licence

Level 5


Failure to notify the authority of any changes to details given with the application

Level 3


Failure to display site licence or collector’s licence

Level 3

11 (6)

Receiving scrap metal without verifying persons full name and address

Level 3

11 (7)

Delivering scrap metal to dealer and giving false details

Level 3

12 (6)

Buying scrap metal for cash

Level 5


Failure to keep records regarding receipt of metal

Level 5


Failure to keep records regarding disposal of metal

Level 5

15 (1)

Failure to keep records which allow the information and the scrap metal to be identified by reference to one another

Level 5

15 (2)

Failure to keep copy document used to verify name and address of person bringing scrap metal, or failure to keep a copy of the cheque issued

Level 5

15 (3)

Failure to keep information and records for three years

Level 5


Obstruction to right of entry and failure to produce records

Level 3

What happens if I do not applyfor a scrap metal dealer licence?

If you trade in scrap metal without a valid licence in place you will be committing a criminal offence which on summary of conviction holds a maximum fine of level 5 on the standard scale (£5,000).

How do I know if a dealer is licensed?

A list of all licensed scrap metal dealer can be viewed on our public register.

You can also check the licence of a scrap metal dealer on The Environmental Agency public register.

How do I report an unlicensedscrap metal dealer?

You can check if a dealer is licensed by checking the Scrap Metal Dealers public register.

To report an unlicensed scrap metal dealer you can contact us online.

Alternatively, send us an email:

Email: licensing@eastriding.gov.uk.