Relevant Points of the 2021 Catalytic Converter Law

Relevant TN statutes regarding Catalytic Converters

62-9-101 – Definitions:

Catalytic converters are specifically included in the definition of “Scrap Metal” and a “Scrap Metal Dealer” is anyone who buys or deals in “scrap metal” – so a person buying or dealing in catalytic converters is a “scrap metal dealer.”

62-9-102 – a “scrap metal dealer” must be registered with the department of commerce and insurance and the registration includes listing each place of business of the scrap metal dealer.

62-9-103 – sellers of scrap metal to a scrap metal dealer must provide state of federally issued photo ID, and a thumbprint, which must be recorded by and maintained by, the scrap metal dealer, along with the license plate number and make and model of the delivering vehicle.

62-9-104 – an individual selling copper or a detached catalytic converter cannot be paid in cash.

62-9-105 – required records must be kept for 3 years on the site of the transaction, and records and any purchased scrap metal, can be inspected by any law enforcement officer, without a warrant.

62-9-109 – it is an offense to purchase scrap metal (catalytic converter) without registering as a scrap metal dealer, and is a Class A misdemeanor, UNLESS the value of the metal (catalytic converter) in its original and undamaged condition, in addition to any costs of repairing, exceeds $500, in which case the purchaser would be guilty of a Class E felony.

62-9-112 – this chapter generally does not apply to transactions between two registered scrap metal dealers.

62-9-115 – in addition to all of the requirements of Title 62, Chapter 9 (including the above), the following apply to transactions involving unattached catalytic converters:

Any person purchasing an unattached catalytic converter must be a registered scrap metal dealer, pursuant to 62-9-102.

Any person buying or selling unattached catalytic converters, must give written notification to the chief of police and sheriff of each city and county in which they are buying or selling such converters.

Purchases must take place at the fixed site of the scrap metal dealer, in person, OR

The scrap metal dealer must maintain a fixed site and obtain and maintains all ID and documentation required by 62-9-103 and 104, as well as the seller’s license or a copy of the documentation and vehicle registration, as required.

Used, detached catalytic converters may only be shipped between licensed entities.

A scrap metal dealer must make note in their records of any obvious markings on the catalytic converter.

** Possession and sale of detached catalytic converters is limited to:

  • Business or individual must have provided notice to local law enforcement (police or sheriff)
  • Only the following businesses may possess or sell used, detached catalytic converters:
    • A licensed motor vehicle dismantler and recycler (55-17-109)
    • A registered scrap metal dealer (62-9-102)
    • A licensed motor vehicle dealer
    • A licensed mechanic or licensed automotive repair facility
    • Any other licensed business that may reasonably generate, possess, or sell used, detached catalytic converters
  • An individual may possess or sell a used, detached catalytic converter ONLY if that individual possesses documentation indication that the catalytic converter(s) possessed by that individual is the result of a replacement of a catalytic converter from a vehicle registered in that individual’s name.

Any person not described above (and with proper documentation, including evidence of proper licensing and notification to local law enforcement), commits an offence and is presumed to be in possession of contraband, subject to seizure and forfeiture by law enforcement.

Violation (unauthorized sale or possession) is a Class A misdemeanor*, with each detached catalytic converter constituting a separated charge. The seller of a stolen catalytic converter is liable to the victim for the repair and replacement costs, as may be ordered by the court.

*NOTE – if the person can be shown to have purchased the catalytic converter(s), and they are not registered as a scrap metal dealer, and the value of the catalytic converter in its original and undamaged condition, plus repair costs, exceeds $500, the charge can be a Class E felony (62-9-109(c))

A licensed motor vehicle dismantler and recycler, or a registered scrap metal dealer may transport or sell used, detached catalytic converters to a process, smelter, or refiner.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.