Scrap metal dealers licence

Anyone wishing to carry on a business as a scrap metal dealer requires a licence.  A person carries on a business as a scrap metal dealer if they:

  • operate a business which consists wholly or partly in buying or selling scrap metal, whether or not the metal is sold in the form in which it was bought, or
  • operate a business as a motor salvage operator

Scrap metal includes:

  • any old waste or discarded metal or metallic material
  • 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

Types of licence

There are two types of licence.

Site Licence

This is where the scrap metal business is operated from one or more sites in the local authority area. The licence allows the licensee to buy and sell scrap metal and to transport scrap metal to and from those sites from any local authority area.

Collector's Licence

This is where the scrap metal operator collects scrap metal in the local authority area. A separate licence must be obtained from each council area the collector wishes to operate in.

A scrap metal dealer is only permitted to hold one type of licence in any one local authority area.

Fees (from 1 April 2023)

Grant or Renewal

Site Licence (one site) £405.98
Site Licence (multiple sites) £368.74 plus £139.83 per additional site
Collector’s Licence £227.91

Variation of licence

Collector’s Licence to a Site Licence £204.13
Site Licence to a Collectors Licence £70.30
Additional Site £204.13
Site Manager £260.83
Licensee’s details £70.30


Copy of Licence  £11.91


Return the application form and relevant documentation to:

Licensing Authority
Wallasey Town Hall
Brighton Street
CH44 8ED

Attachments required

If applying for a Site Licence you are required to submit the following with the application:

If applying for a Collector’s Licence you are required to submit the following with the application:

  1. taken against a light background
  2. full face uncovered, without sunglasses and without a head covering, unless the applicant wears a head covering due to their religious beliefs
  3. on photographic paper
  4. countersigned on the back of the photo by a professional person with the following statement: ‘I certify that this is a true likeness of [full name of person applying for licence].’ The countersignatory must add their signature and the date under this statement.

Processing and timescales

If you have no relevant convictions the application will be granted. 

If you have a relevant conviction the Licensing Authority will propose to refuse your application. You will receive notice of the proposed decision. You will have 14 days to make representations in relation to the decision. When the Licensing Authority has made a final decision, you will receive a notice of the decision.

Legislation and Guidance

Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2003

Supplementary guidance - Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013

Determining suitability to hold a scrap metal dealer’s licence

Guidance on the offence of buying scrap metal for cash


If an application is refused you may appeal the decision to Wirral Magistrates Court within 21 days of the decision to refuse.