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Scrap metal licences

In order to carry on a business as a Scrap Metal Dealer, you will need to be licensed by Torridge District Council. A scrap metal business is defined as - (a) a business consisting wholly or partly in buying or selling scrap metal, or (b) motor salvage. If your business falls into either of these categories you will need a licence.

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There are two types of scrap metal licence:

  • site licence
  • collector's licence

Site Licence is required for all sites in the local authority area where scrap metal is bought and/or sold. 

Collector's Licence is required by anyone who buys or collects scrap metal by visiting premises on a door-to-door basis.

You may only hold one type of licence.

'Scrap metal' is defined in the Act as:
(a) any old, waste or discarded metal or metallic material, and
(b) 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.

A licensed dealer must verify and record the identity of all persons from whom he/she purchases scrap metal. All purchases of scrap metal must be paid for either by cheque or electronic transfer. It is illegal to make cash payments.

A licensed dealer must keep records of all scrap metal received and disposed and must retain these records for a period of 3 years.

Target completion period: we will aim to issue your licence within 6 working days of determination of your application.


To apply you will need to:

Apply now
on the GOV.UK website

If you don't want to apply online, you can download a site application form (PDF) [233KB]  or  collector application form (PDF) [200KB]  to complete, and send it back to us, along with copies of the supporting documents.

Supporting documents

For either type of scrap metal licence, you must provide a basic criminal record disclosure or a police subject access check (no more than 3 months old) for all persons listed on the appication form. You can request a basic DBS check on GOV.UK.

For a collectors licence, you'll also need to provide a clear full-faced passport sized photograph of yourself.

More information

In determining whether an applicant is a suitable person to hold a licence, the local authority may have regard to any relevant information including convictions for relevant offences, any previous refusal of a licence application, any previous refusal of an environmental permit or registration and the applicant's procedures for compliance with the Act.  The authority may also consult other organisations such as the police, the Environment Agency, the Natural Resources Body for Wales and other local authorities.

If an applicant has been convicted of a relevant offence, the local authority may attach conditions to the licence restricting the hours of operation.

The local authority has the power to inspect licensed sites and can revoke a licence under certain circumstances.

Contact us

If you have any queries, or require help with your application, please contact the Licensing Team.

  • email:
  • phone: 01237 428700
  • post: Licensing Team, Torridge District Council, Riverbank House, Bideford EX39 2QG

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