Class-action lawsuit claims BMV has been overcharging patrons for years

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A class-action complain was filed against the Indiana Bureau of Vehicles, accusing the agency of overcharging people.

“There’s an old saying, ‘When those who make the rules break the rules, there are no rules’. So, the rules have to apply to the state just like they apply to everybody else,” said Irwin Levin, Managing Partner with COHEN & MALAD, LLP.

The suit states the BMV charged people, under the age of 75, between $4 to $7 more than the law allows when they obtained a new license or renewed it. Levin said it has been happening for several years.

“This law is quite clear as to what components the BMV can charge for in charging you for driver’s licenses. Between 2007 and today, the BMV has been overcharging everyone who has obtained driver’s licenses,” Levin said.

Mark Powers has been renewing his license for several years.

“I am surprised to hear this because just if it’s a few dollars for me that’s okay, but if you multiple that by millions of people that renew their license that’s a tremendous amount of money,” Powers said.

Levin said it is important for the BMV to charge people what the law allows them to charge.

“In these cases, (is isn’t about) the $4, (nor) the $7, (nor) the multiple of that number. The fact that people who take other people’s money -when it’s illegal to do so -need to disgorge that money and give it back to the people who paid it,” Levin said.

Chavese Mason was issued a driver’s license this week. She said she paid $21. Her license expires in six years. The suit states, a person like Mason, was charged $6 more than she should have been for fees.

“I want my $6 and I want pain and suffering, just playing. You know, it’s already done. I just don’t want it to happen to anyone else in the future,” Mason said.

The suits requests that Hoosiers be reimbursed the money they were overcharged.

“What’s more important is the integrity of the state of Indiana because citizens have a right to believe that they’re getting charged what is lawful,” Levin said.

A BMV spokesperson said it is their policy not to comment, during an active lawsuit.

“I want to believe that they would be doing the right thing, if they find that they have been doing this then they would make amends for it,” Powers said.


  • Eddie

    I recently renewed my operator's license with a motorcycle endorsement for six years and the total was $36. How much did I overpay?

    • julie

      my husband just got his new license with motorcycle endorsement and it was $40………….
      i even went back and re did it thinking i must have done something wrong but nope it was 40 bucks. i think that is way to much…………..

  • Mary

    I just recently paid $21 for my licenses last month, and my son did too his month, we want our money back too! Why should the state have it, they already get enough of our hard earned money.

  • Nannette

    So where is the link for Hoosiers to fill out for their portion of the settlement in this case?

  • Janice

    Just renewed mine as well, I hope they make the state reimburse us all, no settlement papers to file, just pay back everyone they have issued licenses for and overcharged. This is ridiculous!

  • Cyndy


  • Bran

    Don’t get too excited yet. These are hard times for certain attorney’s, ESP like this law firm, ones who do a lot of collections… Coming after people just like us. Since times are so hard class action lawsuits are being filed all over the place – in hopes these places will just settle because it will cost less to settle than to fight it. Think about every person who will want in on this claim… You will barely see a dime. The only person who truly benefits from this class action suit is that law firm. They get the most money out of this, please do not think they are doing this to help the Hoosiers out of some scam. They go looking for class action suits. Not just this firm but so many others, because this is how they make a living. I’m not biased against this firm or the BMV, I work this stuff everyday and think its only fair people hear the real truth behind this… Or maybe just my opinion.

    • James

      Thanks for this comment. I for one never would have thought of that. I was thinking more along the lines we waste all this time and money and all the state will do is change the law and charge more or come up with a new tax to make up the difference and more.

  • tammy poole

    i paid 21 for renewl and moved twice after that. so im sure i was over charged everytime. how do we get our money back?

  • John

    I think the BMV should just go through their computers and every person issued a license since 2007 should get a refund for each license issued automatically. No paperwork and no hassles. they should also redo how they charge license plate fees. paying high prices based on the year of you vehicle is just stupid.

  • Cookie

    I agree if we were over charged that is wrong. BUT, everyone must realize after the lawyers get their pound of flesh, each individual would probably get only $2-3. We all probably waste or drop change on the ground of far more than that in six years time. I'm no lawyer, but I don't think anyone can show cause for pain and suffering, etc. from this. Look on the bright side, the BMV is SO much more efficient than it has ever been. Life has so much greater injustice, and other major problems, so don't sweat it.

  • cassie

    I have to renew my license this week, am I going to be overcharged? How do we know what the real exact cost is? I don't want to add to the victim list if I can do something different about it first and now

  • Carolyn Gibson

    On my income taxes, I mistakenly over paid my income taxes for many years. Indiana never notify me of the mistake they just conficated my money, that amounted to thousands of dollars. It seems that the Indiana government takes every oppurtunity it can, to steal money from it's people. I hope one day something is done about the Bmv and this other branch of Ind. government

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