From 1 October 2013, the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 requires that any persons collecting, buying or selling scrap will require a Scrap Metal Dealer Licence. Any persons who undertakes a business as a scrap metal dealer without a licence may be liable on conviction to maximum fine of £5,000.

  • The main provisions of the Act commence on 1 October including the offence of buying scrap metal for cash.
  • Dealers and motor salvage operators registered immediately before 1 October will be deemed to have a licence under the Act from 1 October.
  • Provided the dealer submits an application for a licence on or before 15 October their deemed licence will last until the Council either issues them with a licence or gives them Notice of the decision to refuse a licence, although they will be able to continue trading pending an appeal against the decision not to grant a licence.
  • Where a dealer submits an application on or before 15 October but does not supply all the required information with the application form then the deemed licence remains in effect after 15 October.
  • Where a dealer with a deemed licence fails to submit an application on or before 15 October the deemed licence will lapse on 16 October.
  • Other scrap metal dealers, not previously registered, will be able to apply for a licence from 1 October but will have to wait until a licence is granted before they can legally trade.
  • Councils will complete suitability checks on applicants and decide whether to issue licences (Councils may also request (either when the application is made of after) such further information as the authority considers relevant for the purposes of determining the application).
  • All other enforcement provisions within the Act commence on 1 December.


Licences are valid for three years from the date of issue.

Collector's Licence:

To collect scrap metal within a single local authority area. If you wish to operate in more than one area local area, you will need to apply with every local council.

Please note these do not replace the Waste Carrier’s Licence. To collect scrap in Torbay you will be required to hold a licence issued by us and a Waste Carriers Licence that is issued by the Environment Agency.

Site Licence:

To operate a site and collect any scrap relevant to that site.

Each licence is valid for three years from the date of issue.

An valid application must be made with Torbay Council. This should include:

  • A complete application form
  • The correct fee
  • A valid Disclosure and Barring Certificate (no more than 3 months old)

You need to submit a Basic Disclosure Certificate from Disclosure Scotland along with the application form. You can apply for this certificate at Disclosure Scotland: Basic Disclosure Certificate  Opens in a new window .

This is because the Home Office has decided that you need to tell the Council if you have been convicted of certain crimes. A conviction may not automatically prevent you from having a licence if the offence was unrelated to being a scrap metal dealer or occurred a long time ago and you can convince the Council that you are a suitable person.

All applicants for a Collector’s Licence must provide photographic identification in support of their application

An application needs to be made for your licence and a fee will be payable to Torbay Council. Please note it is also a requirement to submit a valid Disclosure and Barring certificate as part of the application process.

Any person convicted for any of the relevant offences will be refused a licence. Details of the relevant offences are available below.

Will the application be granted automatically?

No, the Police have the right to make representations against an application if they feel that it is necessary to protect the public. We aim to complete every application within 6 weeks.

New Site - £920
New Collector - £470
Variation - £106
Renewal Site - £690
Renewal Collector - £345

In the first instance, your appeal should be logged with:

Community Safety
Torbay Council
C/o Town Hall
Castle Circus

It is possible to apply online for this licence at Gov UK:

Register as a scrap metal dealer  Opens in a new window

The dealer must keep records of any scrap metal received or disposed of in the course of their business.

Metal received:

Date and time it was received, registration number of any vehicle it was brought in and the name and address of anyone who brought it in, copies of documents they have used to verify the name and address of who brought in the metal and receipts of any financial transaction

Metal disposed of:

Description of the metal, date and time of its disposal and the name and address of any person it is sold to.