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Metal Dealers Licence

Under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 metal dealers require to be licensed.

From 16 March 2016 metal dealer means:

a person who carries on a business which consists wholly or substantially of buying or selling for scrap:

  • metal articles that are old, broken, worn out or defaced; or
  • partly manufactured articles that are made wholly or partly from metal; or

a person who carries on business as a "motor salvage operator" (so far as that does not fall within the kind of business referred to at 1 above).  This applies to you if you carry on a business which consists wholly or substantially of:

  • recovering salvageable parts from motor vehicles for re-use or sale and selling or disposing of the rest of the vehicle for scrap;
  • buying significantly damaged motor vehicles and subsequently repairing and reselling them; or
  • buying or selling motor vehicles which are to be the subject (whether immediately or upon a subsequent resale) of either of these activities.   

The Licensing Team can provide guidance and information regarding the council's application form and the application process but cannot provide legal advice. If you are in any doubt as to your licensing requirements, you should take legal advice from a licensing solicitor without delay.

Standard conditions for licensed metal dealers

You can access a copy of the council's standard conditions for licensed metal dealers which came into effect on 2 August 2016 from the related documents section of this page.

How to apply

You can apply for a metal dealer's licence using the application form available in the related documents section of this page. Please note that you should use the appropriate application form depending on whether you wish to apply as an individual or as a business (company or partnership).

All applications require to be lodged in person by either the applicant if an individual or the day to day manager if the applicant is a company or a partnership, please see the notes for guidance attached to the application on how to lodge the application.

Please note the legal requirement for:

  • a site notice, completed correctly, to be displayed at or near the premises for a period of 21 days from and including the date on which you make your application,


  • a certificate of compliance, confirming that a site notice has been displayed correctly, to be provided to the council after that.  Please refer to the council's application form and guidance notes for further information regarding this.  Please use the templates attached to the application form and guidance notes for your site notice and certificate of confirmation.  
Application fees

List of current fees pdf icon Current fee list [20kb]

Application process

By law the council has a period of 9 months in which to determine an application for a metal dealer's licence from the date on which a complete application is received. 

The council is legally required to send a copy of your application to Police Scotland and to Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. In accordance with the legislation a copy of your application will also be sent to the council's Trading Standards service.

If there are any comments from advisors regarding your application, we will notify you accordingly. If any advisor has suggested that a condition or conditions are applied to your licence, we will ask you whether you accept the condition or conditions they have suggested.

If there are no adverse comments from advisors, or if any condition suggested by an advisor is accepted by you, your application will be granted by the Chief Solicitor under delegated powers.

If there are any such adverse comments regarding your application, or an advisor has suggested a condition which you do not accept, your application will be referred to the council's Licensing Committee, for the Committee to decide whether to grant your application. 

You will be notified if your application requires to be referred to the Licensing Committee. The Committee meets on a monthly basis. You will be given the opportunity to attend or be represented at the meeting at which your application is to be considered and determined by the Committee.

If your application is granted we will contact you to let you know and arrange for your licence to be posted to you.

What if my details change or I no longer wish to hold my licence?

You should notify us as soon as you can if your details change or any of the information given in your application becomes out of date due to a change in your circumstances.

If you no longer wish to hold your licence you can surrender it to the council at any time by returning your licence together with a letter stating that you wish to surrender it. If you surrender your licence it will cease to have effect.

How to complain about a licensed metal dealer

Please send details of your complaint in writing to the Licensing Team by email or letter using the contacts details available on this page.

How to complain about an unlicensed metal dealer

Please contact Police Scotland by calling 101 or by email to: