The Scrap Metal Dealers’ Act 2013 applies in England and Wales and commenced on 1 October 2013, becoming enforceable from 1 December 2013.

What the new Act involves:

  • All site-based and mobile scrap dealers, including motor salvage operators, must obtain a scrap metal dealer’s licence from their local authority in order to continue operating legally.
  • Councils will check the sustainability of applicants to operate as a scrap metal dealer which will include checking criminal records.
  • The ban of cash payments for scrap metal will be extended to all metal dealers including traditional scrap yards, mobile collectors and motor salvage operators.
  • Scrap metal dealers must verify the identity of anyone from whom they buy scrap metal.
  • There will be increased penalties including higher fines and sentences for breaking the law.


In order to verify a supplier’s name and address, a scrap metal dealer must see and keep a copy of either;

  • a valid Great Britain or Northern Ireland photo-card driving licence which bears the supplier’s full name, photograph and residential address


  • a valid United Kingdom or EEA passport or a valid UK biometric immigration document which bears the supplier’s full name, photograph and date of birth


  • one of the following supporting documents which bears the supplier’s full name and residential address and has been issued less than three months before receipt of the scrap metal:
    • a bank or building society statement
    • a credit or debit card statement
    • a council tax demand letter or statement
    • a utility bill (but not a mobile telephone bill)
© McCoy Metals 2016