Class action against Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles certified

Posted on: May 9th, 2013 by Steve Larson

Fotolia CarA judge has granted class action certification to a lawsuit alleging the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles has systematically overcharged Hoosiers for drivers’ licenses since 2007.

Marion Superior Court Judge Heather Welch approved the class status in the case, which was filed in March. The judge’s ruling means she found the single lawsuit, rather than individual cases, a better option for resolving the issue potentially affecting a large number of people.

The lawsuit filed by Irwin B. Levin of the Indianapolis law firm Cohen & Malad claims the BMV collected tens of millions of dollars more than allowed under state law from Hoosiers younger than 75. It contends the overcharges ranged from $4 to $7 more than allowed. Drivers 75 and older obtain a different type of license, Levin said, and the suit does not challenge charges for those licenses.

In 2012, the suit alleges, 2.2 million Indiana driver’s licenses expired and required renewal. If all those licenses were renewed and drivers were overcharged by the lowest amount alleged in the suit, the BMV would have collected $8.8 million more than allowed by law last year.

When the suit was filed, BMV spokesman Dennis Rosebrough said the agency had no comment.

“Since the issue is now in the courts,” he said at the time in an email to The Indianapolis Star, “that becomes the venue for the discussion.”