New law targets thefts of catalytic converters

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A new law through the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance is aiming to stop the rising theft and resale of catalytic converters in Tennessee, according to a news release.

Catalytic converters are devices that reduce toxic gases and pollution created by engines in vehicles. The devices also contain precious metals, according to the release.

TDCI says thefts of catalytic converters rose from 282 reports per month in 2019 to 1,203 a month in 2020, according to statistics from the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

TDCI says their Scrap Metal Registration Program has announced the new consumer law going in effect on July 1.

The new law includes:

  • Any person engaged in the business of buying or selling scrap metal including unattached catalytic converters as a single item and not as part of a scrapped motor vehicle shall give written notification to the chief of police and sheriff of each city and county in which the activity occurs.
  • Any person purchasing a used, detached catalytic converter must be registered as a scrap metal dealer pursuant to § 62-9-102. Registering with TDCI’s Scrap Metal Registration Program means providing either a state or federally issued photo identification card with an address and a thumbprint, submitting an application, paying the appropriate fee and meeting all requirements under the law.
  • A scrap metal dealer shall not purchase or otherwise acquire a used, detached catalytic converter, or any nonferrous metal part of such converter unless:
    • The used, detached catalytic converter is purchased at the fixed site of the scrap metal dealer in an in-person transaction; or
    • The scrap metal dealer must maintain a fixed site; obtains, verifies andmaintains all identification and documentation required by § 62-9-103 and § 62- 9-104; and obtains and maintains a copy of the seller’s license or a copy of the documentation and vehicle registration.
To read the full bill, click here.
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