New business licence requirements aimed at curbing catalytic converter theft approved by Council

Catalytic converter theft is a major issue in Calgary and many other Canadian cities.

With more than 3,000 reported incidents of theft in 2022, the newly approved licence requirements will help ensure only legitimate buyers and sellers are involved in the trade of catalytic converters.

Starting July 4, 2023, changes are coming to the Business Licence Bylaw (32M98) to deter theft and better regulate businesses and individuals in possession of unattached catalytic converters.

“Catalytic converter thefts across Calgary have continued to rise year over year,” says Deputy Chief Chad Tawfik of the Calgary Police Service. “The Calgary Police Service is looking at several initiatives to help deter and prevent theft of catalytic converters and hold those who are committing these thefts accountable. We are pleased to see initiatives like updates to the business bylaw that will make it easier to track the sale of catalytic converters to salvage collectors, auto wreckers and salvage yards, and make it more difficult for people to anonymously sell them and profit from the thefts.”

In 2021, there were 1,560 reported incidents of catalytic converter theft. In 2022, that number rose to 3,439 reported incidents. In the first quarter of 2023 (Jan. 1 to March 31), there were 994 reported thefts.

As part of the approved amendments to the Business Licence Bylaw, salvage collectors, auto wreckers and salvage yard businesses will now have to keep a comprehensive record including the seller’s details, buyer’s details and the VIN, make, model, colour and year of the car the catalytic converter originated from. All businesses are required to maintain the sale records with the above information for a period of one year.

Under the amended bylaw, buyers cannot purchase catalytic converters when the required information is not provided and are prohibited from removing or defacing any of the existing identifying markings on the catalytic converter before or at the time of sale. Salvage yard, auto wreckers and salvage collectors are required to implement the new requirements effective immediately. Failure to comply with the licensing requirements can result in fines up to $3000 per offense.  A full list of infractions and charges are available in the amended Business Licence Bylaw.                                                                                                         

We will provide salvage yard business owners with support material and training to ensure they are aware of  and trained on the updated requirements. While there is no official “grace period” for compliance, we understand there may be changes to business practice and will work with businesses to implement the new requirements.

Motor vehicle repair, service and auto body shops selling used auto parts are required to comply with the same standards as of Jan. 1, 2024. These business owners will need to add a salvage collector licence category to their business licence at time of renewal and may require a police check, a minimum cost of $65.

“We have an exceptional team of representatives that will work with all motor vehicle repair, auto body shops and service business in the new year to renew their existing licences and add the new category to their business licence, says Ulrik Seward, manager of Business & Building Safety at The City of Calgary.  “Our goal is to ensure a smooth and effortless transition process for the customer,” says Seward.

More information about the new requirements is available at