Purchase of Catalytic Converters

September 8, 2021

Updated: September 1, 2021

Summary Overview

The following summary explains the changes made to the purchasing process of catalytic converters as following the passage of House Bill 4110 by the 87th Texas Legislature, which became effective September 1, 2021. The legislation increases criminal penalties for knowingly purchasing stolen catalytic converters and adds certain requirements relating to the purchase of catalytic converters by metal recycling entities. The requirements apply only to catalytic converters purchased off the vehicle as well as any material removed from a catalytic converter.

The following topics are covered in this summary:

  • Information from Seller
  • Prohibited Purchases
  • Marking of Catalytic Converter
  • Catalytic Converter Unique Identifier
  • Record Requirements
  • Criminal Offense

Information from Seller

In addition to the general, preexisting requirements relating to information on the sellers of all regulated materials, (see Occ. Code Section 1956.032), the seller of a catalytic converter must provide to the metal recycling entity:

  • The year, make, model, and vehicle identification number for the vehicle from which the catalytic converter was removed; and
  • A copy of the certificate of title or other documentation indicating that the person has an ownership interest in the vehicle identified above.

Prohibited Purchases

A metal recycling entity may not purchase a catalytic converter from a seller who fails to provide this information or if the catalytic converter does not match the manufacturer's specifications for the identified vehicle.

Marking of Catalytic Converter

A metal recycling entity must mark each catalytic converter purchased by the entity with a unique number.  Proposed Rule §36.38 provides as follows:

A metal recycling entity shall mark each catalytic converter purchased by the entity with the unique number that identifies the entity, the date, and the individual transaction, in the form and manner determined by the department.  The number may consist of a combination of numbers and letters, and must be legibly and permanently marked with an industrial paint pen or marker in numbers at least one inch high.

Catalytic Converter Unique Identifier

The Catalytic Converter Identifier (CCID) will consist of:

  • 3-character identifier specific to each MRE location, to be known as the MRE Location Identifier (MLID);
  • 2-Digit Month;
  • 4-Digit Year;
  • 4-Digit unique sequential identifier for each catalytic converter.

The TOM system will generate and assign an MLID to each Metal Recycling Entity.  MREs will be able to access their unique Location Identifier from within the TOM online application.

MREs will enter the month and year, and will create the unique sequential identifier for the catalytic converter.  This can be a simple 0001, 0002, for example, that can be reset at the first of each month.

Record Requirements

A metal recycling entity must keep an accurate record of each catalytic converter purchase. The record must be in English and include:

  • The information required by Section 1956.033, with the additional requirement of, a clear and legible thumbprint of the seller unless the seller presents to the metal recycling entity a valid cash transaction card issued under Section 1956.0382.
  • The above described vehicle information provided by the seller;
  • A copy of the vehicle documentation described above;
  • The unique identifier marked on the catalytic converter.

Other preexisting statutory requirements relating to preservation of records, inspection of records, reporting of transactions; and disposition, processing, sale or removal of the item, apply to purchases of catalytic converters.

Criminal Offense

A violation of Section 1956.038  involving a catalytic converter is a state jail felony unless it is shown on trial of the offense that the person has previously been convicted of a violation of this subchapter involving a catalytic converter, in which event the offense is a felony of the third degree.