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Indiana BMV says Drivers Owe More Than 100 Million Dollars Over Two Decades

The state of Indiana is back in the news against uninsured motorists. While Indiana is calling for stiffer penalties for uninsured motorists, Elizabeth Murphy has stated uninsured motorists owe the state over $100 million dollars going back to 1993.

For each of the years, the uncollected fees for Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles is approximately 10 to 11 million dollars according to Murphy.hoosiers image

What is Elizabeth Murphy, general counsel for BMV, doing about it? During a meeting of the Interim Study Committee on Insurance, Rep. Matt Lehman and Rep. Berne learned the state of Indiana has over $11 million in uncollected fees so far this year from uninsured motorists.

Murphy explained to Rep. Lehman and Berne that over 300,000 motorists could be driving on a suspended or no license at all. Indiana requires each driver to pay any fees owed and they have car insurance which equates to over $11 million. Murphy also went on to explain the average driver would owe over $400.

According to the Indianapolis Business Journal (IBJ) Rep. Lehman has boldly stated “This is an issue we need to deal with”.

This is an enormous amount of money

During the meeting Murphy outline year by year the amount of uncollected fees:

  • 2009 – $9.2 million

  • 2010 – $9.6 million

  • 2011 – $10.9 million

  • 2012 – $13.3 million

  • 2013 – $11.4 million

For the past five years that is over $50 million in lost revenue for the state of Indiana. Lehman stated a report from the fiscal analyst shows states with a low amount of uninsured motorists impose higher fines and if necessary revoke the driver’s license and plates after a second offense of driving without insurance.

Other options where discussed with guidelines recommended

Lehman would like to enact similar laws as other states, however, Senator Greg Taylor, D-Indianapolis would only approve of it if there are “clear guidelines” as to whom can revoke plates from drivers. Senator Taylor went on to say “He will not vote for a police officer to start revoking plates”.

In a previous article Jon Zarich, VP of the Insurance Institute of Indiana, claims everyone is overreacting. Lehman, which has similar recommendations as Zarich, would like to see a “forgiveness program” when offenders comply with BMV policies.

Steve Duff, a lobbyist for Insurance Agents of Indiana, believes there isn’t a quick way to decrease the number of people driving without insurance in the state. However, a good starting point would be to enhance penalties for drivers which don’t comply.

During the meeting, lawmakers discussed solutions which have worked in other states, such as Oklahoma and Missouri. Oklahoma has one of the worse uninsured motorist rates in the nation and has recently enacted a program.

Other members shared their opinion on a solution while Senator Travis Holdman, chairman of the committee, would like to attempt to get some closure on the issue.

While members where undecided on the issue, Holdman wants to continue to discuss other insurance issues including uninsured motorists until there is a consensus.

Image Credit: Evan Finch

Greg Fowler
Managing Member of AutoInsureSavings LLC, Greg enjoys writing articles to help drivers save on anything related to automobiles. Travel and enjoying the outdoors are some of his hobbies. The best way to reach him is at Google+ or Facebook Profile.

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