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Due to essential maintenance, the following systems will be unavailable from 3.00pm on Friday 31 March until 8.00am Monday 3 April 2023: our online council tax, business rates and housing benefit services, and our welfare assistance form. You will also not be able to register to pay council tax online, make a change of address for council tax or cancel single person discount. You are still able to make a payment during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Scrap metal dealers licence

If you buy, sell or collect scrap metal in County Durham you will first need a licence from us.

From 4 April 2022, you must complete a tax check to renew a taxi, private hire or scrap metal licence, or to apply for the same type of licence with a different licensing authority

Go to Complete a tax check for a taxi, private hire or scrap metal licence to find out more information and to complete your tax check.

On 1 October 2013, the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 came into force and replaced all of the existing legislation for motor salvage operators and scrap metal dealers.

The law requires that anyone carrying on a business as a scrap metal dealer in County Durham will need either a site licence or collectors licence issued by us. If you are a collector, you'll also need an additional licence from each council area that you operate in, outside of County Durham

A scrap metal dealer is a person who carries on a business which consists wholly or partly in buying or selling scrap metal whether or not the metal is sold in the form it was bought in or carries on a business as a motor salvage operator.


A scrap metal dealer collector's licence permits the licence holder to collect commercial and domestic scrap metal.

A  scrap metal dealer site licence permits the licence holder to operate as a scrap metal dealer from the site, including transporting scrap metal to and from the site, from any council area.

A scrap metal dealer licence:

  • lasts for three years
  • must be renewed on or before the expiry date

If you store or process metal at your site you may need an environmental permit. For further advice please contact the Environment Agency on 03708 506 506

Application process

Application forms need to be fully completed and accompanied by a basic disclosure. We must be satisfied that the applicant is a suitable person/company to be issued with a scrap metal dealer's licence. 

To apply for a basic disclosure online please go to Request a basic DBS check.

Please note if you are applying for a site licence, every site manager, director, shadow director and company secretary, if different, will need to apply and submit a basic disclosure along with the application form.

If you wish to collect scrap metal outside of County Durham, you will have to apply for a collectors licence in each council area that you wish to collect in.

Documents to be submitted

  • Site licence: application form, basic disclosure for each person applying, fee
  • Collectors licence: application form, basic disclosure, fee, one passport sized photograph

Applicable fees 

Type of applicationPayable upon applicationCharge upon grantTotal
Site licence - new / renewal£54.00£325.00£379.00
Site licence - variation£55.50-£55.50
Collectors licence - new / renewal£45.00£220.00£265.00
Collectors licence - variation£44.50-£44.50

Application evaluation process

To determine the suitability of each applicant, we will consult on each application with:

  • Any other local authority
  • The Environment Agency
  • Durham Constabulary
  • Trading Standards
  • Pollution Control 
  • Planning Authority 

If there are no doubts in an applicant's suitability, the licence will be granted for a period of three years. If there are doubts over an applicant's suitability, we will contact the applicant to discuss the next stage of the process.

EUGO logo

In partnership with

  • EUGO
Contact us
Licensing - scrap metal
03000 261 016
Our address is:
  • Durham County Council
  • Annand House
  • John Street North, Meadowfield
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH7 8RS