New law brings consistency, predictability to BMV
Kent Abernathy, Guest Writer
Over the last year, Gov. Mike Pence has clearly stated that it is time for the back office of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to run as well as the front office. Significant organizational and operational changes have been made during that time, but the foundation of this vision lies in cleaning up layers of Indiana law that govern the processes and procedures the BMV must follow. Many of the laws governing the BMV have not been touched since 1991, causing a confusing and contradictory web that needed to be untangled.
Under the leadership of Gov. Pence and the tireless efforts of our partners in the General Assembly, House Enrolled Act 1087 untangles that web and gives the BMV an unparalleled foundation for the future.
At its core, HEA 1087 simplifies how the BMV conducts its business in a way that provides a positive impact to all Hoosier drivers. For example, there are currently 191 ways to register a vehicle in Indiana across 21 vehicle weight classes. HEA 1087 slashes this unruly system to 23 ways to register a vehicle across eight weight classes, dramatically reducing the possibility of human error when you register your vehicle.
Under HEA 1087, approximately 2.1 million Hoosiers will see fee decreases, 163 registration fees are reduced or eliminated and all fees are streamlined to provide consistent and predictable visits to the BMV.
Motorcycle riders will also see a great new benefit. Instead of paying a $12 fee to renew your motorcycle endorsement every time you renew your driver’s license, HEA 1087 creates a one-time fee that never has to be renewed, saving riders money over time. To make this deal even better, riders who have a motorcycle endorsement prior to Dec. 31, 2016, will never have to pay a fee for their endorsement again.
These are just a handful of the many improvements made to the fundamental structure of the BMV by HEA 1087.
HEA 1087 also addresses convenience fees that partial service providers charge you when choosing to title and/or register a vehicle upon purchase. The fee that you can be charged by the partial service providers is capped at 150 percent of the statutorily authorized fee charged by the BMV. Also, all customers must be notified of this fee up front and agree to the charge as well as be made aware that your local BMV branch will not charge an additional fee for the same work.
The BMV is an agency run by Hoosier taxpayers, for Hoosier taxpayers, and we take our commitment to you very seriously. Anyone who has been served in a license branch during the last 10 years understands firsthand how far the BMV has come; from 15-minute or less wait times in the branches to the 96 percent customer satisfaction rate. However, we always strive for more and never settle for less.
Gov. Pence and the 2016 General Assembly have given the BMV the foundational tools it needs to ensure a bright future for this agency by passing HEA 1087. We look forward to implementing these tools to serve you and your family with efficiency and accuracy for many years to come.
For more information about HEA 1087 and all the important changes that have taken place under Gov. Pence’s leadership, I encourage all Hoosiers to visit the ‘BMV Improvement Page’ at www.myBMV.com.
Kent Abernathy is commissioner of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles.