Authorities are hoping a new law that continues some reforms from 2022, will help curb catalytic converter theft in WA state. Converters are a legally required part of a vehicle's emission exhaust system.

  The new law will require car dealers to stamp converters with ID mark

The law will not go into effect until April 1st, 2025, but officials hope it will eventually help.

House Bill (HB) 2153 would require a car dealer, prior to the sale or transfer of a vehicle, to offer the buyer the option of having an ID number stamped onto the converter.  It would consist of the last 8 digits of the vehicle's VIN Number.

Then, scrap dealers and wrecking yards would be required to run that ID number vs. a database before accepting it for recycling, to see if was stolen.

The bill also stiffens penalties for theft, making it a gross misdemeanor. According to The Center Square, the legislature tasked a group of experts to study converter theft trends in our state.

The Division of Governmental Studies and Services at Washington State University helped lead the study.  The data they compiled showed in WA state 3,000 converters were reported stolen in WA in the year 2000.

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By 2022, that number had risen to over 13,000 and those were only the ones reported.  The study group found many drivers don't always report the theft because they only carry liability on their vehicle (which doesn't cover repairs), or they don't have insurance at all.

Converter thefts have skyrocketed over the last few years because of the increased value of the metals they contain, such as copper, platinum, palladium, and others.

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On average, during periods when metal prices were very high, a recycled converter could bring as much as $800.

LOOK: What major laws were passed the year you were born?

Data for this list was acquired from trusted online sources and news outlets. Read on to discover what major law was passed the year you were born and learn its name, the vote count (where relevant), and its impact and significance.

Gallery Credit: Katelyn Leboff


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