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

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.

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