Dispute over Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles Charges Headed to Mediation1292
The second class-action lawsuit in two years filed against the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) over alleged overcharges levied against Indiana drivers in licensing fees is heading to official mediation.
In the first lawsuit, filed in 2013, the BMV acknowledged that it had overcharged citizens to the tune of $30 million for their license fees, as well as $29 million in mistaken taxes collected. The BMV agreed to repay the overcharges through a series of refunds and credits given to drivers.
The new lawsuit alleges that the BMV’s excessive fees actually go back to 2002, and may amount to additional monies owed to Indiana drivers totaling as much as $40 million. In order to avoid the cost and delay of a lawsuit, both sides have agreed to take the matter to mediation in hopes of settling quickly, to the advantage of drivers who might benefit further from a settlement.
In addition to a refund, the litigants are seeking a transparent accounting of the overcharges and an examination of records to determine how the BMV came to overcharge and how long, exactly, the overcharging has been going on.
In the meantime, one result of the scandal is a change in leadership, as Indiana Governor Mike Pence announced that former chief of staff at the Indiana Department of Environmental Management Kent Abernathy would step in as a new BMV Commissioner. The move is meant to restore some confidence in the BMV.