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Bill Resulting From BMV Lawsuit Will Save Hoosiers Money

Two-million Hoosiers would pay less at the license branch under a bill unanimously approved by the House.

The 431-page bill is the result of a two-year review begun after a class-action suit pulled back the curtain on millions of dollars in overcharges and undercharges.

The bill reconciles conflicting laws on some fees and simplifies others. The current schedule of 191 different fees would be slashed to 23.

House Roads and Transportation Chairman Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso) says the bill will still be revenue-neutral, with the reduced charges offset by an increase in late fees.

"The one place we did increase the fees...everybody pays the same or less except for the folks who can't seem to get things done on time," said Solliday.

The bill also requires private contractors who perform titling and registration at dealerships to give customers a written explanation of the convenience fee they're paying, including an explanation that they can avoid the fee by going to a license branch. The bill would cap the markup over regular BMV fees at 50 percent.

Rep. Dan Forestal (D-Indianapolis) says the mammoth bill is a triumph of bipartisanship.

"At the end of last session things got a little chippy. But it's a good thing when two people are passionate about an issue or good government have a disagreement but are then able to come together and overhaul an entire agency."

The Senate will take up the bill sometime next month.

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