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Judge lets second suit alleging BMV overcharges proceed

February 21, 2014

Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles must answer a second complaint alleging the agency overcharged Hoosiers millions of dollars on almost 30 types of licenses or registrations, a judge ruled Wednesday.

BMV previously agreed to refund $30 million for overcharges of operator’s licenses as a result of an earlier lawsuit.

In the latest lawsuit, Marion Superior Judge James Osborn denied the BMV’s motions to dismiss and stay discovery. The suit seeks class action status.

Lead plaintiff Tammy Raab sued the bureau alleging that 29 BMV fees overcharged people from 50 cents to $11 dollars, according to Cohen & Malad LLP managing partner Irwin Levin.

Among the more commonly alleged overcharges were $3 for motorcycle endorsements, $1 for duplicate titles, $4.50 for chauffeur’s license, $3 for personalized plates, and $1 for plate transfers. Overcharges of $11 are alleged for antique year of manufacture registrations.

“We’re guessing the number is in the tens of millions of dollars” that Hoosiers were overcharged at the BMV, Levin said Friday. The BMV hasn’t provided an accounting of how much it collected from the overcharges, and depositions are scheduled next month.

“We’re going to find out whether the BMV is just reckless in making sure they charge people the legal amount or if something else is going on,” he said.

BMV previously announced it would refund $30 million to motorists who were overcharged $3.50 to $7 for driver’s licenses. That suit  also was brought by Cohen & Malad.

“The court has essentially ruled that the BMV can’t simply say ‘Trust us’ and throw out the case. Hoosiers now get to ask the BMV the tough questions about this debacle and get the answers they deserve,” Levin said in a statement.
 

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