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Scrap Metal Dealers Licence

You must hold either a  Scrap Metal Dealer's Site Licence or a Scrap Metal Collector's licence if you're a scrap metal dealer.

Do I need a licence?

If you collect and carry scrap metal or have a site which buys or sells scrap metal, you will require either a Scrap Metal Dealer's Site Licence or a Scrap Metal Collector's Licence within each of the districts you trade in.

Each licence lasts for 3 years.

If you apply for a Scrap Metal Site Licence this covers you to collect anywhere within England or Wales as long as the collection is by arrangement only and not door-to-door collections.


  • You must not receive scrap metal from a person without verifying their name and address.
  • You must not buy scrap metal for cash.
  • You must keep a record of all scrap metal you receive including:
    • A description that includes type, form, condition, weight, any marks identifying previous owners or distinguishing features.
    • The date and time.
    • The registration mark of the vehicle it was delivered in or on.
    • The full name and address of the person received from.
    • The full name of the person who makes the payment acting for the dealer.
  • You must keep a record of all scrap metal you dispose of including:
    • A description that includes type, form and weight (site licence holders only)/
    • The date and time/
    • The full name and address of the person disposed to/
    • If payment is made (by sale or exchange), the price of other consideration received (site licence holders only)/
  • You must keep your records for 3 years and allow the council or police to inspect your premises and records if asked.
  • You will also need to submit a Basic Criminal Record Disclosure vetting form (to be obtained from Disclosure Scotland) to be no older than 3 months from its date of issue, as part of the application process.

Licence fees

Site licence grant or renewal
Multiple site licence + price per extra site
£716 + £600 for each additional site
Collectors licence grant or renewal£296
Change from collector to site licence£716
Change from site to collector licence£296
Change licensee details£17
Change licensed sites£22
Change site manager£55
Certified copy of licence£22

How to apply

You'll need to pay the relevant licence fee and tell us:

  • Your name, address, date of birth, telephone number and email address.
  • The name, address and registered number of your company.
  • The name, address and date of birth of each partner (if partnership).
  • Proposed trading name.
  • Address of any site in any council area you carry on, or propose to carry on, business as a scrap metal dealer.
  • Details of any relevant environmental permit or registration.
  • Details of any other scrap metal licence issued in the last 3 years.
  • Details of the bank account that will be used to pay for scrap metal.
  • Details of any conviction for a relevant offence or any relevant enforcement action.
  • Address of each site to be identified in the licence.
  • Name, address and date of birth of site manager named in the licence.

For Scrap Metal Collector's licences we require your original vehicle registration document (V5 log book), valid MOT, insurance certificate, waste carriers licence and a recent photograph.

Acceptable documents for personal identification are:

  • UK or EEA Passport.  
  • UK or NI driving licence. 
  • UK biometric immigration document.

Acceptable documents for proof of address are, a recent:

  • Bank or Building Society statemen.t
  • Credit or Debit Card statement.
  • Council Tax bill or utility bill (but not mobile phone bill). 

Apply for a Scrap Metal Dealer's licence (192kb pdf)

Once you've filled out the form you can either:
  • Email your completed form to 
  • Post it to Rochdale Borough Council Licensing, Number One Riverside, Smith Street, Rochdale OL16 1XU.  
  • Bring it in to the Licensing Unit during (see contact section for address and opening hours).

You'll need to renew your licence every 3 years.

You must tell us within 28 days if you change your trading name or no longer carry on business as a scrap metal dealer.

Please note this does not replace the Waste Carrier’s or Waste Management Licence or any other relevant permit or approval required by law. Environmental Permits.


Please contact Rochdale Borough Council in the first instance (see contact section for details).

Displaying your licence

A site licence must be displayed in a prominent place, accessible to the public, at each site identified in the licence.

A mobile collector's licence must be displayed on any vehicle that is being used for business purposes and can be easily read by a person outside the vehicle. 

Fines and penalties

You could be fined £5,000 if you don't hold a licence and we may revoke a licence at any time and close unlicensed sites.

You could also face the following conditions:

  • You must not receive scrap metal except between 9am and 5pm on any day.
  • All scrap metal must be kept in the form it was received up to 72 hours from when it was received.


01706 924114

Phone: Monday-Friday 8.45am-4.45pm.

Licensing Unit
Number One Riverside
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU

Licensing counter at Number One Riverside​

Drop-in sessions: Monday-Thursday 9.30am-11am and 2pm-4pm. Friday 9.30am-11am.

Collection only sessions: Monday-Thursday 11am-12noon and 2pm-4pm. Friday 11am-12noon.