Last updated:

5th July 2023

Scrap metal licence

Apply for a scrap metal licence

Anyone wishing to run a scrap metal (whether or not the metal is sold in the form in which it was bought) or motor salvage business must have a licence.

Scrap metal is any discarded metal or metallic material, and anything which contains metal and regarded by its last holder as having reached the end of its useful life.

There are two types of licence

  • A collector's licence
  • A site licence, which permits the licence holder to operate as a scrap metal dealer from the site, and transport scrap metal to and from the site from any council area

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

Site(s) established after 1990 are required to have planning permission.

If you store or process metal at your site you may also need an environmental permit. You can check if you need a permit via the GOV.UK website.

Suitability of applicant

  • The application will be subject to consultation with other agencies such as the Environment Agency or Thames Valley Police and assessments made as to the suitability of the applicant
  • All applicants will be asked to provide a Basic Disclosure Certificate (no more than three months old) with their application form 
  • Apply for a basic Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check to get a copy of your criminal record from GOV.UK

Once you have completed the online application form the next step is for us to verify your identity against your DBS application. 


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Completed forms

The completed application form and supporting documents must be supplied to: 

Licensing, Wokingham Borough Council, Shute End, Wokingham, RG40 1BN 

or emailed to: 


Each licence will be valid for three years from the date of issue. The Environment Agency hosts a public register for scrap metal dealers who are licensed by their local authority.


Any applicant who is refused a licence or wants to appeal against a condition attached to the licence can appeal to the Magistrate's Court within 21 days of notice of the decision.


Go to the fees and payments page to find out the cost.

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