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BMV reduces license costs that generated class-action suit

June 28, 2013

Indiana driver’s licenses will be $3.50 less expensive, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles announced Friday in a change taking immediate effect.

“We became aware of the possibility that the BMV could be overcharging Indiana drivers for an operator’s license, and reviewed existing law to determine the exact breakdown of fees that make up the cost of an operator’s license,” BMV Commissioner Scott Waddell said in a statement. “We discovered a miscalculation resulting in a $3.50 discrepancy for the six, five and four year standard operator’s licenses.

“As a result, the charge for a standard six-year operator’s license should be $17.50 instead of $21.00, a standard five-year license should be $16.00 instead of $19.50 and a four-year license should be $14.50 instead of $18.00,” Waddell said.

BMV previously acknowledged it “may have inadvertently overcharged” motorists in response to a multi-million-dollar class-action lawsuit  brought by Indianapolis class counsel Cohen & Malad LLP.

That suit represents Hoosiers who paid a fee to obtain or renew an operator’s license after March 7, 2007, and claims drivers under age 75 may have been overcharged by as much as $7 per license. The case before Marion Superior Judge Heather Welch is Tammy Raab, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated v. R. Scott Waddell, in his official capacity as commissioner of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, and the Indiana BMV, 49D12-1303-PL-8769.

Welch on Friday appointed Faegre Baker Daniels LLP partner Jon Laramore to mediate. A jury trial is scheduled for Oct. 21.

Meanwhile, Cohen & Malad managing partner Irwin Levin said in a statement that mediation was taking place today. "We're always happy when our lawsuit motivates the state to follow the law. We wish they had reduced the fee more to comply with the law.” He said the firm hopes “that the BMV will agree to give back the tens of millions of dollars they have illegally charged.”

 

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