Minnesota to introduce catalytic converter ID system

State will spend $400,000 to encourage vehicle owners to have traceable converters.

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June 9, 2021

Minnesota’s state government reportedly has earmarked $400,000 to fund a program to help more vehicle owners placed identifying markers on their catalytic converters in an attempt to thwart some converter theft attempts.

As prices for platinum group metals (PGMs) have risen, the theft of catalytic converters has risen throughout North America. The Minnesota funds will go toward an identification or marking system that was recently endorsed by panelists at an Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) online session on the topic.

In Minnesota, the state legislature has agreed to $400,000 in funding for a new pilot program as part of its next two-year budget, according to an online article on the St. Peter (Minnesota) Herald website.

The program would pay for car owners to have their catalytic converters engraved with their vehicles’ identification numbers or be otherwise permanently marked so the converter could be identified if removed and attempted to be sold to a scrap yard or converter processing facility.

The Herald quotes a state representative who says the lack of individual identification on converters makes it nearly impossible for law enforcement agencies to determine if a converter is stolen or legitimately scrapped property.