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Scrap metal licences

Find out if you need a scrap metal licence, how to apply, what conditions you need to meet and how to appeal a decision.

Do I need a licence?

There are 2 types of scrap metal licences - a Site Licence and a Collector's Licence. These licences don't replace a Waste Carrier’s Licence, Waste Management Licence or any other relevant permit or approval required by law.

Site Licence: if you own a site which buys or sells scrap metal in Rochdale borough, you'll need a Scrap Metal Dealer's Site Licence. A Site Licence covers you to collect scrap metal anywhere within England or Wales as long as the collection is by arrangement only and not door-to-door collections.

Collector's Licence: if you collect and carry scrap metal in Rochdale borough, you'll need a Scrap Metal Collector's Licence. If you collect or carry scrap metal outside of Rochdale borough, you'll also need a Collector's Licence from the other local authority areas you work in.

How much will my licence cost?

These are the costs for scrap metal licences:

  • Site Licence - new or renewal - £745
  • Site Licence for multiple sites - new or renewal - £745 + £620 for each additional site
  • Collector's Licence - new or renewal - £308 
  • Change a Collector's Licence to a Site Licence - £745
  • Change a Site Licence to a Collector's Licence - £308
  • Change licensee details - £17
  • Change licensed sites - £22
  • Change site manager - £57
  • Certified copy of a licence - £22

How can I apply or make a change to a licence?

You can complete the scrap metal licence application form below to:

  • Apply for a new Site Licence or Collector's Licence
  • Renew an existing Site Licence or Collector's Licence
  • Make a change to an existing scrap metal licence
  • Apply for a certified copy of an existing scrap metal licence

Scrap metal licence application form (192kb pdf)

You can return your completed form to us by email, by post or in person by bringing it to the licensing counter at Number One Riverside.

What conditions do I need to meet?

Once you've been granted a licence, you must:

  • Not receive scrap metal from a person without verifying their name and address.
  • Not buy scrap metal for cash.
  • Only receive scrap metal between 9am and 5pm on any day. All scrap metal must also be kept in the form it was received for at least 72 hours from the time you received it.
  • Keep a record of all scrap metal you receive or dispose of 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 or the person who disposed them.
    • The full name of the person who makes the payment acting for the dealer.
    • If payment is made (by sale or exchange), the price of other consideration received (site licence holders only).
  • 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.
  • Display your licence. A Site Licence must be displayed in a prominent place, accessible to the public, at each site identified in the licence. A Collector's Licence must be displayed on any vehicle that is being used for business purposes so it can be easily read by a person outside the vehicle.
  • Tell us within 28 days if you change your trading name or no longer carry on business as a scrap metal dealer.

Is my licence granted if I don't hear back?

No. We must process your application before it can be granted as tacit consent doesn't apply.

How long will my licence last?

All scrap metal licences last for 3 years.

You must reapply after this time if you want to continue your scrap metal activities.

How do I appeal a decision?

If you wish to appeal a licence decision, please contact us using the details on this page in the first instance.

What are the fines and penalties?

You could be fined up to £5,000 if you:

  • Don't hold a licence but carry out scrap metal collections or run a scrap metal site.
  • Don't follow the conditions of the licence.

We're able to revoke a licence at any time and close unlicensed sites.


Licensing Unit
Number One Riverside
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU

Licensing office opening times

You can collect your licences, plates and badges from the office on:

  • Tuesdays, 9.30am-11.30am
  • Thursdays, 2pm-4pm