INDIANAPOLIS - A proposed class-action lawsuit claims the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles has "systematically overcharged" millions of Hoosiers for their driver's licenses for years with extra fees not allowed under state law.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday, takes issue with fees put in place in 2007 that charge drivers $4 to $7 when they renew their licenses.
The fees exceed charges authorized by the Indiana General Assembly, the lawsuit claims.
"I'm not in a position to guess as to why this happened," said Irwin Levin, the attorney who filed the suit. "All I know is that the law is very, very specific as to what the component parts of the fee are, and they charged more than that."
"These fee overcharges, in amounts as high as $7 per license, have affected millions of transactions and forced these applicants to pay tens of millions of dollars more than they are lawfully required to pay in order to obtain their Operator's Licenses," the lawsuit alleges.
Hoosiers may have been overcharged between $30 million and $40 million, according to the law firm's calculations.
"That adds up to a whole lot of money that they shouldn't be getting from us when we already pay taxes on everything. Everything's already getting more expensive," said Indiana driver Matt Williams.
The lawsuit asks that the money be returned and the practice be stopped.
"We would hope that the state of Indiana, which is the government of the people, would see that they've overcharged people and agree to a class and agree to give people back their money," Levin said. "That is not my experience with our government. So we are going to aggressively litigate this case on behalf of the citizens of Indiana."
BMV spokesman Dennis Rosebrough said he had not seen the complaint and the agency would not comment until officials review the allegations.
If a judge certifies the class action suit Hoosiers who've gotten a license since 2007 will automatically be part of it if, and they'll get a notice in the mail.
The BMV has about a month to answer the complaint.
The 20-page class action lawsuit could take a couple of years to play out in court.