BMV finds more overcharges on driver's licenses
Last Updated: 74 days ago
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Some Indiana drivers will be getting money back the next time they make a transaction at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, while others could eventually be paying more money.
Three months after the BMV announced it was cutting fees for standard operator's licenses in Indiana by $3.50 because of overcharges and announcing two weeks later that it would credit affected drivers' accounts, the BMV announced Friday that it had found more cases where it had overcharged for licenses and said it found other instances where it undercharged.
BMV spokesman Josh Gillespie said Friday afternoon that the agency has not determined the total amount overcharged, but says it would range from $1 to $3. He said a complex system of determining fees was to blame.
"You can have five to 10 statutes make up the cost of one fee, and the cost of one fee can come to the verbiage in the statute," he said. "We're hoping to work with the General Assembly and Gov. (Mike) Pence to come up with a system that is much easier and much less confusing."
The original overcharges were discovered after a $30 million class-action lawsuit was filed by Indianapolis attorney Irwin Levin against the BMV accusing it of overcharging drivers. Pence then directed the BMV to conduct an independent review of the more than 300 fees the agency administers.
Levin said he was pleased the BMV conducted the review.
"Hoosiers are entitled to pay only that which is fair and which is legal. We are encouraged that our lawsuit caused the BMV to act," he said.
He said the lawsuit has been settled and a final approval hearing is scheduled for November.
BMV Commissioner, R. Scott Waddell says the Indianapolis-based law firm of Barnes and Thornburg conducted the review and found the errors.
Gillespie said the BMV will ask the General Assembly how it should handle the undercharges. He said he didn't think it would immediately charge the affected drivers. He said more likely the money will be added to the bill the next time the driver goes to the BMV.
More than 2 million of the state's 4 million drivers renewed their licenses in Indiana last year, according to the lawsuit that a Marion County judge granted class-action status in May.
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