Scrap metal exemption certificate

An exemption certificate makes it easier for businesses operating crane-type tow trucks that solely transport motor vehicles for scrap metal recycling, and are not destined for repair, reuse or resale in their original form or as parts.


Before an exemption certificate can be issued to you, you will need to show that you:

  • are fit and proper to be granted the exemption certificate
  • have sufficient responsibility to operate a tow truck according to the law
  • do not operate a tilt tray tow truck

You will need to also prove that:

  • your business is incorporated and registered
  • the only vehicles used in the business are crane-type tow trucks that are registered
  • all premises are covered by the required insurance policies
  • anyone connected to the business is suitable to carry out their role.

Suitability checks

Fair Trading will examine your application to make an assessment on your suitability for a scrap metal exemption certificate.

When assessing your eligibility, you will need to give permission for us to check your criminal history. Your application will not be accepted if you do not grant Fair Trading permission to obtain this information.

If you have lived outside NSW, or overseas within the past 10 years, you must provide an original National Criminal History Record check (NCHRC) which is dated within 6 weeks of the application being made, confirming that you have no record for that period in that jurisdiction.

Business premises

Your primary business premises must have adequate public liability insurance cover. All records required to be kept under law must be maintained at your business premises and available for inspection.


Tilt tray tow trucks cannot be included on an exemption certificate. Any vehicles licensed under the exemption certificate must have an approved sign displayed on the front and rear of the vehicle, in a position where they are visible to people outside of the truck.

All vehicles licensed under the exemption certificate must have current motor vehicle registration.

Vehicles must be registered in the name of the licensee/proposed licensee. Lease agreements will not be accepted for an exemption certificate.

Directors, partners, shareholders and associates

You must provide details of any person who has an interest in your business, and any other name, identity or alias they may have used in the past. More information on this can be found on the application form.

Applying for an exemption certificate

In making an application for an exemption certificate, you must provide answers to all questions in the application form truthfully. If Fair Trading finds that you have not been truthful in the application, your application may be refused.

The onus is on you as the applicant to show proof that you comply with the criteria. Your application may be refused if you are not able to demonstrate that you meet all the criteria and requirements.

You can download a copy of the application for a scrap metal exemption certificate on the Tow truck forms and policies page.


Before proceeding with an application, we must receive correct payment from you in the form of a credit card, cheque or money order, payable to 'NSW Fair Trading'.

Payments for a scrap metal exemption certificate can only be made by sending through your completed application, applicable documents and the correct payment by mail. Part of the fee for a scrap metal exemption certificate is an administrative fee and is not refundable should your application be refused.


Fair Trading will examine your application to ensure that all relevant documentation and information has been provided.

If more information is needed from you, or if the documentation is not correct, a member of the licensing team will contact you in writing. It is an offence to make any statement in the application that is known to be false or misleading. A maximum fine of $5,500 or six months imprisonment or both may be imposed.

Refusal, variation, suspension or cancellation

If your application for a scrap metal exemption certificate is refused, cancelled, suspended, or a condition is imposed on the exemption certificate, Fair Trading will advise you of the reasons for the action taken.

There is no right of appeal with a refusal, suspension or disqualification of an exemption certificate. Applicants may apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

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