All About Indiana’s Catalytic Converter Laws

Unless your vehicle is more than 25 years old, you’ll need an EPA-approved catalytic converter in Indiana.
Written by Patrick Price
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Under Indiana catalytic converter laws, all vehicles that are 25 years old or newer are required to have an EPA-approved catalytic converter.
Nowadays, almost all cars come standard with at least one catalytic converter equipped. One of the most overlooked pieces of equipment, your converter is also one of the most crucial parts that regulates your exhaust fumes and minimizes harmful emissions. Catalytic converters also improve your gas mileage by helping to regulate the rate of fuel injection. 
Since they play such a critical role in managing pollution, catalytic converters are regulated by most states. Unfortunately, they’re also pretty valuable and easy to reach—which means that catalytic converter theft is quite common. 
As a car owner in Indiana, it’s important that you’re familiar with the region's catalytic converter laws—as well as how to prevent yours from being stolen. Luckily, your pal
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Do I need a catalytic converter in Indiana?

Yes. According to the
Indiana Code
, all cars are required to have functioning catalytic converters unless they’re more than 25 years old
You also are responsible for ensuring that your engine and power mechanism are properly equipped and adjusted in order to stop excessive fumes/smoke from escaping. It’s illegal for you to remove, damage, or cause the catalytic converter not to work correctly in any way.
And it’s not just the state laws you need to follow. There are federal laws regulating emissions and catalytic converters. These laws, established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1986, dictate that your catalytic converter must be:
  • The same type and in the same location as the original one was
  • The correct model for your vehicle
  • Installed correctly and fully-functional 
  • Accompanied by the installer’s warranty information card
Your car may still function without a catalytic converter, but it will have significantly decreased fuel efficiency and low-end torque. Since most cars now have a vital O2 sensor mounted on or near the converter, removing it will also trigger a fault and a check engine light. More importantly, you will not be able to pass an emissions test—and you’ll be breaking the law. 
Key Takeaway In Indiana, it is entirely your responsibility to make sure that your catalytic converter is always installed and working properly. You can be prosecuted for failing to do so. 

Penalties for driving without a catalytic converter

If you’re caught driving without a working catalytic converter (even if it was stolen), you could face legal consequences
For starters, your vehicle's registration will be revoked, and you won’t be able to renew the registration or drive your car until your repair/replace the converter, pass an emissions test, submit to a vehicle inspection, and are approved by a ruling from the state board. 
On top of that, you could face a fine of up to $250—and that’s just if the converter is broken or was stolen. If you intentionally removed your catalytic converter, the fine could be as high as $10,000
In order to protect the environment from harmful emissions and yourself from heavy fines and a registration suspension, you need to make sure your converter is always attached, intact, and working properly. 

Why are catalytic converters being stolen?

There are several reasons why catalytic converters are so commonly stolen. Not only are converters relatively easy to remove from underneath a parked car, but they’re also pretty valuable
Thieves can sell your converter for between $300 and $1,500. Auto parts traders can resell the converter to someone who needs one or scrap it for the precious metals inside it—catalytic converters contain palladium, rhodium, and even platinum

How to keep your catalytic converter safe

Indiana has recently passed new laws aimed at reducing catalytic converter theft by tightly regulating how they can be sold. However, thefts remain frequent. 
In order to reduce the risk of converter theft, there are some precautions you can take:
  • Equip an anti-theft device. Most cars have built-in security systems, but these are mainly aimed at making sure no one breaks in or steals your actual car. Luckily, there are aftermarket anti-theft devices available that are specifically designed to protect the converter. They usually come in the form of a cage that fits over the converter and costs about $300. 
  • Choose a safe parking space. One of the simplest yet most effective ways to avoid theft is to park in safe areas. Look for a well-lit parking spot in high-traffic areas without a lot of space around. Busy parking lots—preferably with security cameras—are best.  
  • Engrave your catalytic converter with your license plate number. Unlike some components in your car, the catalytic converter doesn’t have the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on it. Scratch the VIN or license plate number into the converter. If a thief knows that the part can easily be traced back to you, they’ll be less likely to steal it. 

Is catalytic converter theft covered by insurance?

Whether catalytic converter theft is covered by your
car insurance
depends on your policy. If your policy includes
comprehensive coverage
, then it’s covered. If not, then it won’t be. 
Unfortunately, even if you take every precaution, you still might fall victim to catalytic converter theft. If the worst should happen, comprehensive coverage will pay for the cost of replacing the converter. 
If you don’t have comprehensive coverage, aren’t sure if you do, or are just looking to save some money, you can use the
app to quickly and easily shop and compare insurance policies. 

Keep your car safe with the best insurance

If you have the right car insurance, you can submit a claim to help pay for a new catalytic converter. Of course, if you’re not careful, you could end up paying a fortune in premiums for that insurance.
Don’t worry, though: there’s a fast and easy way to find the insurance you need for a price you can afford. 
All you have to do is download
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Once you find a plan that works for you, just tap to choose it and Jerry will handle all the paperwork to get your new policy set up. Jerry can even help cancel your old coverage for you!
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Yes. Federal regulations require you to have a catalytic converter on your car. Plus, most states have their own laws on the matter as well.
Yes. Catalytic converters are one of the most commonly stolen vehicle components. They’re easy to steal and valuable. Take proper precautions to avoid becoming one of the many victims.
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