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Catalytic converter transactions

Catalytic converter transactions

Catalytic converter theft is a major issue in Calgary, as it is in many other Canadian cities.

The City of Calgary introduced changes to the Business Licence Bylaw (32M98) on July 4, 2023 to better regulate businesses and individuals in possession of unattached catalytic converter. 

New requirements

As of July 4, 2023, changes will come into effect for the following business types:

  • Salvage collectors.
  • Salvage yard/auto wreckers.

As of January 1, 2024, the same changes will apply to:

  • Auto body shops which sell used auto parts. 
  • Motor vehicle repair and service which sell used auto parts. 

The changes mean that thess businesses:

  • Cannot remove or deface any of the existing identifying markings on a catalytic converter.

  • Cannot accept a damaged or defaced catalytic converters.

  • Must keep a record of the vehicle identification number (VIN), make, model, colour and year of the vehicle that the catalytic converter originated from.

  • Are prohibited from accepting catalytic converters when the required information is not provided.

In addition to the VIN, make, model, colour and year of the vehicle, buyers are also required to keep a record of:

  • The seller’s first name, middle name and surname, current address and telephone number, height, weight, hair colour and eye colour and two pieces of ID.

  • The full name of the employee who accepted the property.

  • The date and time of day the property was acquired.

Salvage collectors and salvage yard/auto wreckers are required to maintain sale records with the above information for a period of one year. 

How does this bylaw amendment correlate with the Provincial legislation?

The approved bylaw changes support and work with the provincial requirements outlined in the Scrap Metal Dealers and Recyclers Regulation, Alta Reg 124/2020.

How to meet the requirements on your licence

The new licence requirements will help ensure only legitimate buyers and sellers are involved in the trade of catalytic converters.

If your business sells used auto parts, an additional license category of Salvage Collector will be required to add to your existing business license. There will be no additional fee for businesses for adding this license category besides the requires police check fee. Business owners can add the new category to their existing license at the time of renewal. 

How to get your approvals

Police Check

This license type requires recommendation by the Calgary Police Service through the Police Information Checks unit. This is an internal process that is completed automatically by the Calgary Police Service and is initiated on your behalf through your business license application. 

Previous police checks cannot be used as a substitute for this approval process

If motor vehicle repair and service businesses sell used auto parts, they will require a police check when adding the salvage collector licence category to their business licence. Police checks are coordinated through The City at time of renewal and cost a minimum of $65.

If your business licence type required a police check when you initiated your application, no additional police checks are required.

Licensing Costs

There will be no other additional fees for businesses that add this licence category. Business owners can add the new licence category to their existing licence at the time of renewal at no extra cost. 


The new licence  requirements will help law enforcement track stolen catalytic converters and lay charges if they encounter someone with stolen catalytic converters.

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 Business Licence Bylaw (32M98).

Protecting your property

Calgarians can protect themselves against theft of their catalytic converter by:

  • Engraving your vehicle’s VIN on your converters.

    Scrap metal recycling businesses and private buyers can use the marking to help identify if they are stolen.

  • Install security alarms and cameras and car alarms to help prevent theft.

  • Park in a closed, secured garage or in a well-lit area outside.

File a business licence complaint

Report a stolen catalytic converter