Scrap metal dealers

We are responsible for regulating businesses in Dacorum that deal in scrap metal, including motor salvage. Under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013, businesses that act wholly or partly as scrap metal dealers will be required to hold licences from us. This includes any business which:

  • buys or sells scrap metal, or articles containing metal (irrespective of whether the metal is processed in between), either at a site or through mobile collections
  • recovers salvageable parts from motor vehicles, to be reused or sold
  • buys written-off vehicles for repair and re-sale
  • trades motor vehicles for salvage or recovery purposes

Collecting, buying or selling items for their metal content, such as old household goods or end-of-life vehicles, will also require a scrap metal licence. However, gold and silver (including alloys with more than two per cent gold or silver) are not covered within this Act.

We issue the following types of licence:

  • Site licences - for businesses that operate collection yards, offices, storage facilities or industrial units within Dacorum. These licences also allow metal to be collected by appointment and transported from sites in other areas.
  • Collector's licences - for businesses without sites that wish to collect scrap metal by way of door-to-door visits in Dacorum.

You can only obtain one type of licence from us. If the nature of your business changes, you can apply to change the type of licence at a later date. Our licences are only valid in Dacorum, so if you wish to run sites or collect in several different council areas you will need to apply for licences from every applicable council.

Apply for a licence

You can apply for a scrap metal licence online, or by printing and completing our application form.

Apply online

Apply online for a new scrap metal licence 
Apply online to vary a scrap metal licence 

Download application forms

 Application for a scrap metal dealer's licence (PDF 420KB)
 Guidance for applicants for scrap metal licences (PDF 191KB)

For details of the application fees payable, please see our Licensing fees and charges page.

Applications must be accompanied by Basic Disclosure certificates, issued within the last three months, for every applicant, partner, director and site manager named in the application. You can apply for a Basic Disclosure online from Disclosure Scotland, or by calling 0870 609 6006.

Determining applications

Before we can issue a licence, we must be satisfied that the applicant is a suitable person to hold a licence. In making this decision, we will consider any individual applicants, partners, or directors of a limited company, as well as the nominated site managers for any scrap metal sites operating within Dacorum.

In particular, we will look at:

  • whether any person named in the application has been convicted of a relevant offence
  • whether any person named in the application has been subject to any relevant enforcement action, by a local council, police, or the Environment Agency
  • whether any previous applications for scrap metal licences or environmental permits have been refused
  • whether any previous scrap metal licences have been revoked
  • whether the applicant has suitable measures in place to ensure compliance with their legal duties, if a licence is granted.

For details of what the terms 'relevant offences' and 'relevant enforcement action' include, please see our  Guidance notes for applicants (PDF 191KB).

We will consult with police and environmental agencies before determining applications, and take into account any information or comments they provide. We may also take any other relevant information into account, such as complaints from customers or members of the public.

If we are satisfied that the applicant is suitable, we will issue a licence for a three-year period.

If we have any concerns about your suitability as an applicant we will let you know and allow you the opportunity to make representations, either in writing or at a hearing. Any representations will be taken into account before a final decision is made. If your application is refused, you will have a right of appeal to a magistrates' court.

Can I start trading before my application is determined?

We will aim to deal with all applications within eight weeks, and if you have not received a decision by the end of this period you will be able to act as if a licence has been granted.

However, trading during the application period is not permitted. The period will begin upon the receipt of a full and valid application, and tacit consent will not apply if we have notified you of any issues with your application.

Public register

The Environment Agency maintains a national public register of all licensed scrap metal dealers.

Duties on licence-holders

Licensed scrap metal dealers are obliged to notify us of certain events, and keep their licences up to date by making variation applications should key details change. They must also keep records of details of their transactions, which may be inspected from time to time by police or council officers. For more information, please see our duties on scrap metal dealers page.

Comments and complaints

If you have any comments or complaints about a scrap metal dealer in Dacorum, we would advise that you first contact the trader direct. The best way to do this is by sending a letter with proof of delivery.

If that has not worked, the Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to provide assistance (or the UK European Consumer Centre, if you are outside the UK).

If you believe that a scrap metal dealer is trading in Dacorum without a licence, or is breaching their licence, please contact us with the details and we will investigate.

Contact us

If you need more information on scrap metal licences, or you wish to report an unlicensed scrap metal dealer or a dealer breaching a licence, please contact us:

Email: licensing@dacorum.gov.uk
Telephone: 01442 228860