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Texas Catalytic Converter Theft Laws: What You Should Know

  • Car Theft
  • Xavier Sabastian
  • 4 minutes

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Over the past few years, there has been a steady rise in catalytic converter theft in Texas. To combat this crime, Texas lawmakers passed a law. This law makes it a crime to steal, buy, or sell a stolen catalytic converter in Texas. 

Have you ever been alarmed by the loud roaring noise from your car? You have? You must know that you’re among many people who’ve also encountered this problem. 

Therefore, in this article, we’ll talk about the laws of catalytic converter theft in Texas. We’ll also answer some of the most common questions about this strange yet painful (for car owners) trend.

Catalytic converter theft Texas

Laws regarding Catalytic Converter theft in Texas

In Texas, it is now a felony to steal a catalytic converter. In June 2021, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 4110, which made it a state jail felony to steal, buy, or sell a stolen catalytic converter.

A state felony can get you six months to two years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. In addition, if a person has been convicted of stealing a catalytic converter in Texas, they face a third-degree felony, which is punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison.

In Texas, it is now a felony to steal a catalytic converter.

How will the Texas catalytic converter laws help curb theft?

The new law requires, among other things, that people who sell catalytic converters give the year, make, model, and vehicle identification number of the car from which the part was taken. It also says that places that recycle metal must get a thumbprint from the person who sells them a catalytic converter. You could be breaking the law if you don’t follow these rules.

Any new catalytic converter in Texas must be either an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) item or an EPA-approved aftermarket part. In addition, any car equipped with a system must maintain that system to the original specifications. In addition to being valuable and simple to steal, catalytic converters are necessary for regulating your car’s emissions. Consequently, the majority of states have enacted legislation governing their replacement.

Here, we will review the laws governing catalytic converters theft under Texas and federal law.

A catalytic converter is a device on the underside of a car that looks like a muffler. This device helps cut down on harmful emissions from the car's engine.

Is it illegal to drive without Catalytic Converter in Texas?

Yes. As per Texas Motor vehicle laws, all vehicles must fulfill federal pollution control regulations. Therefore, any vehicle with an emissions control system must be kept in excellent condition and cannot be tampered with.

Are there any penalties for driving without Catalytic Converter in Texas?

As per laws relating to the catalytic converter in Texas, driving without one will incur penalties. Each violation is punishable by a maximum fine of $25000. In addition to the possibility of punishment, not having an active catalytic converter will lead you to fail emissions testing, which can result in additional penalties.

Statistics of Catalytic Converter theft in Texas

In the first five months of 2021, catalytic converter thefts were reported by almost 8000 Texans. A 33% increase from 2019 and a massive increase of 380% from the 1254 thefts reported in 2018 add up to these numbers for 2020. Houston law enforcement has also received complaints about catalytic converter thefts in the Bush Intercontinental Airport parking lot.

JFK has experienced at least 55 occurrences between January and June of 2022, according to data from the Houston police department. It appears that this has been an ongoing problem.

If this worries you, you can use our parking guide to get safer and more affordable parking garages near Bush Intercontinental Airport.

Affordable Car Insurance through Way.com

Does your car insurance cover catalytic converter theft? It is a big blatant Yes!

Don’t have comprehensive insurance on your car? You should add it unquestionably to your policy right away. We have a solution for you if you don’t have comprehensive coverage because you don’t want your premiums to increase!

If you live in Texas, you won’t have to look very hard to find insurance companies. Many insurance companies offer good coverage. 

With Way.com, you can compare prices from over 50 of the best insurance companies, like Nationwide or State Farm, and more in less than a minute. So don’t feel stuck with just one car insurance company. With Way.com, you have options. We’ll help you find the best policy and rates for your needs.

Here’s more info on top-rated airport parkingthe best parking spots in your city, affordable auto insurance, easy auto refinance, and high-quality car washes near you.


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