Governor Phil Murphy has signed S249/A2210, a new bill aimed at deterring the illegal sale and purchase of stolen catalytic converters in New Jersey. This measure is part of the Governor’s comprehensive plan to combat auto theft, which was announced in November 2022 and includes proposed legislation and administrative actions to address the issue. The bill signed by Governor Murphy introduces stricter regulations for the sale and acquisition of catalytic converters, making it more challenging for criminals to profit from this illicit activity and facilitating the identification, apprehension, and prosecution of offenders.
The key provisions of the bill include:
- Expanded Definition of “Scrap Metal”: The legislation explicitly adds used catalytic converters, whether in whole or in part and not attached to a motor vehicle, to the definition of “scrap metal.”
- Enhanced Verification of Ownership: To sell used catalytic converters to scrap metal businesses, sellers will now be required to provide documentation such as the vehicle identification number (VIN), certificate of title or registration, a receipt from a repair transaction, or a bill of sale. Scrap metal businesses that fail to comply with these requirements will face fines.
- Restricted Purchase of Catalytic Converters: Only registered scrap metal businesses that engage in the collection, storage, or sale of catalytic converters or other vehicle parts as part of their regular operations will be allowed to purchase used catalytic converters from individuals who are not professional sellers.
Governor Murphy emphasized the importance of addressing catalytic converter theft as a means of combating auto theft and crime in the state. He acknowledged the significant financial burden placed on vehicle owners who must bear the cost of replacing stolen catalytic converters, and he reaffirmed the administration’s commitment to ensuring the safety of residents and communities by tackling this issue head-on. Governor Murphy expressed optimism that the new legislation would build upon the progress already achieved in reducing auto thefts in New Jersey.
With the signing of this bill, Governor Murphy reinforces the state’s determination to curb the illegal sale and purchase of catalytic converters. By implementing stricter regulations and requiring thorough documentation, law enforcement will be better equipped to identify and prosecute those involved in this criminal activity. The Governor’s actions demonstrate a proactive approach to protecting the interests of residents and maintaining the remarkable strides made in reducing auto thefts across the state