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New Oregon law aims to cut catalytic converter theft

The law, effective Jan. 1, 2022, creates new paperwork requirements surrounding the purchase and sale of catalytic converters

Portland, Ore.—In an effort to stop (or at least reduce) this proliferating market, Sen. Chris Gorsek (D-Gresham) a former Portland police officer, introduced Senate Bill 803.

Sen. Gorsek worked closely with newly-elected Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt on the legislation, according to a Northwest Automotive Trade Association (NATA) report.

A work group, including the district attorney and industry lobbyists, including NATA lobbyist Darrell Fuller and Justin Short from ISRI, met to substantially improve the bill. Together, they drafted language and made final changes to the bill. Fuller was also asked to testify on behalf of the industry in front of legislative committees as the bill progressed through the process.

“This will be a significant change to how dismantlers do business,” Fuller said. “But catalytic converter thefts are all over the news. A bill was going to pass. We were able to make a lot of changes on behalf of the industry.”

Senate Bill 803-B was signed into law by Gov. Brown on June 23, and becomes effective on Jan. 1, 2022. The law creates new paperwork requirements surrounding the purchase and sale of catalytic converters. The goal is to stymie the ever-growing black market.

Four changes starting January 1:

  1. Dismantlers will no longer be able to sell catalytic converters in exchange for cash. The purchaser must use a traceable form of payment, including checks, credit and debit cards, or EFT payments.
  2. Catalytic converters will become a “major component part” under ORS 822.137. This means dismantlers will need to track the acquisition and sale of catalytic converters with a stock or yard number, including providing an itemized list of converters (by stock or yard number) when selling them.
  3. Dismantlers will be prohibited from purchasing detached catalytic converters that are not part of a motor vehicle purchase.
  4. Dismantler employees selling catalytic converters to a purchaser will need to provide the purchaser with a copy of current government ID, and sign a document stating, “I, __, AFFIRM UNDER PENALTY OF LAW THAT THE PROPERTY I AM SELLING IN THIS TRANSACTION IS NOT, TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE, STOLEN PROPERTY.

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