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Metal Dealers Licence

In terms of Section 28 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 metal dealers require to be licensed. The metal dealer's licensing scheme is administered by the Council's Licensing Team. The Team is able to provide general guidance on the scheme but cannot assist you to complete your application form or provide legal advice on whether a licence is required. You should seek legal advice from a solicitor or advice centre if you are unsure as to whether you require a licence.

Metal Dealers who require a licence from the Council

You will need a licence if you are 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

In addition, you will require a licence if you are 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).  A motor salvage operator is a person who carries 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.

Licences can be applied for by individuals, companies, partnerships or other  formally constituted organisations.

How do I apply for a Metal Dealer's Licence?

If you want to apply for a licence you must submit an application form along with the required documents and the appropriate fee.

Application forms which have guidance notes attached to them and a list of fees are available from the Related Documents section of this page. You should read the guidance notes carefully before completing your application form.

There are two separate application forms. One is for persons applying for a licence as an individual and the other is to be completed by applicants who are companies, partnership or organisations.

All applications are copied to the Council's advisors who can recommend that conditions in addition to the standard conditions detailed on this page are attached to the licence when granted. If you do not want to accept any recommended conditions then the application would be referred to the Licensing Committee for a decision to be made regarding which conditions will apply to your licence. Mandatory background checks will be carried out on all applicants by Police Scotland and applicants' details will be retained on computer. You will be contacted once vetting is complete.

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.
How will my application be decided?

We have nine months in which to make a decision regarding your application however the majority of applications are determined within 60 days and applications which do not attract any adverse comments or objections are granted by the Chief Solicitor under delegated powers.

All other applications require to be referred to the Licensing Committee for a decision to be made to grant or refuse your application. You will be advised if your application is being referred to the Licensing Committee. The Committee meets on a monthly basis and you will be sent notice of the date and time of the meeting at which your application is to be considered along with a copy of the report on your application. Meetings are held in the West Lothian Civic Centre and you or your representative will be given the opportunity to explain to the committee at the meeting why you consider your application should be granted.

If your application is refused by the Licensing Committee you may have a right of appeal against that decision and can request a written statement of reasons in relation to the decision from the Licensing Team, this must be done within 10 days of the date your application was refused. Appeals against decisions can be made to Livingston Sheriff Court, information regarding the Sheriff Court is available from the Scottish Courtswebsite and you should consult your own legal representative should you wish further information on how to appeal.

How long will my licence be granted for?

A metal dealer's licence is issued for a period of 1 year for both the grant or renewal of a licence.

What standard conditions will be applied to my licence?

Standard conditions that are applied to metal dealer's licences can be found in the related documents section of this page.

What if I want to vary any of the standard conditions in relation to my licence?

If you are a current licence holder and wish to vary a condition of your licence you need to make a variation application using the form and pay an administration fee. Please note that a separate application must be made for each licence which you wish to be varied. The application form and a list of fees can be found in the Related Documents section of this page.

Once your application form and fee are received a copy of your application will be sent to the Council's advisors for their comments. If there are no adverse comments received from advisors the licence can be varied by the Chief Solicitor using delegated powers.

However if any adverse comments are received the application would then need to be referred to the next suitable Licensing Committee for a decision to be taken. If your application needs to go to the committee the whole process may take three to four months depending on how long it takes for the advisors to respond. If your variation application is referred to committee you will be invited to attend the meeting to explain to the committee why you consider your application should be granted.

If you are applying for a new licence or to renew your licence and wish to request that any of the standard conditions be varied you can request that at the time you make your application without making a separate variation application. You should include a letter with your application form explaining what condition you wish varied and the reasons for that. The procedure is the same as for variation applications and if any adverse comments are received the application would then need to be referred to the next suitable Licensing Committee for a decision to be taken on the grant or renewal of the application including your request for the conditions to be varied.

List of current metal dealer licence holders and premises

The following list contains details of licence holders, the list is updated regularly and at least every 12 weeks and gives details of the name of the licence holder and premises address. For the avoidance of doubt this is the only information available to members of the public.

pdf icon Current List of Metal Dealer's [74kb]

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

Complaints regarding licence holders may be made to the Licensing Team. These should be made in writing by email to the Licensing Team or letter and give all the information you can about the nature of the complaint including the date.

Complaints regarding unlicensed second hand dealers should be made to Police Scotland by calling 101.