The Indiana BMV Sucks . . . but you already knew that

So, I was in an auto accident back in mid-June; very minor stuff. I was stopped at a red light, and a guy rear-ended my car, some healthy damage to the back corner of my car, but nothing else really. It was a hassle, but everyone in the chain has performed admirably; with one notable exception.

The guy who hit me, apologized, was very nice, and was insured. The Lafayette Police Department officer was on the scene promptly, and took care of business efficiently. I called and reported to my insurer but indicated that I was going to get my car repaired under the other guy’s insurer, State Farm. The State Farm claim rep didn’t give me any hassles, just asked where I wanted to get my car fixed and hooked me up with a rental vehicle. It was a Saturn, so I took it to Bob Rohrman Collision, and they took a look, wrote up an estimate, and got it fixed within a couple of days.

The LPD officer had advised me that I’d be getting a notice from the Indiana BMV asking for proof of financial responsibility – apparently they are requiring that of everyone who gets in an accident under IC 9-25-5-2, regardless of fault or lack thereof. Eventually, on July 30, I got the notice from the BMV with the form for providing proof of insurance. It instructed me to give it to my insurer who was to complete the form and provide it to the BMV prior to September 7, 2010 to show that I was, in fact, insured at the time of the accident. On August 16, I called my insurance adjuster on the claim and faxed the form to her. On August 17, she faxed and mailed the verification.

So, imagine my surprise this weekend to receive a Notice of License Suspension dated September 7, indicating that they had suspended my license because they had not received proof of financial responsibility. First thing this morning, I called my adjuster with some concern. Her response, “Oh, they do this all the time.” She provided me with a copy of the fax confirmation sheet, showing that she had, in fact, faxed the copy to the BMV. They got it 3 weeks early, couldn’t process their paperwork, but could spit out a license suspension notice.

So I have absolutely followed every rule in this situation – I had insurance, I was not at fault for the accident, I turned in proof of insurance well advance, and the Indiana BMV is still screwing with me.

Any legislators who happen to read this thing – here is a nice hanging curve ball to knock out of the park politically. Nobody likes the BMV, they have a system that appears to be very broken (from my adjuster’s reaction, I am far from the first person in this situation), and an angry electorate would presumably enjoy seeing an unresponsive bureaucracy raked over the coals a bit. As for a good legislative fix – perhaps mandate that the BMV is not permitted to suspend any licenses under this provision until they have processed all certificates of compliance received by the bureau on or before the particular due date.



  1. Don Sherfick says

    Doug: I’d just about given up, thinking that maybe something was wrong with either your site or my internet connection concerning this thread on the BMV. Your “That’s insane” comment above first attracted my attention today, and so I clicked on it in the right hand column and it led me to your original post, (dated September 13th) and then down the long thread of (then) 50 comments, and thinking to myself: “Wow, how could I have missed this one…..this is just awful.”, I signed out but then a little later went back to it, scrolled down and your post was nowhere to be seen. FINALLY (dah!) I realized that your initial post is dated September 13, 2010, and the whole thread is now over a year old. I now see your own comment on that date seeming to say that your own situation was resolved. But from the year’s worth of comments since then it would appear that nothing has changed. If so, what a shame. (From now on I’ll check my dates more carefully, too!)

  2. says

    Yup, my situation arose out of a fender bender where I was rear-ended the day I was moving across town to a new residence — June 15, 2010. Seems that the financial responsibility verification operation is pretty much unchanged since that date.

  3. Jamey Timpe says

    Hi, something similar happened to me. I found this blog after a google search, it was the first result. I’m book marking this – I got more results to read. But we need to stand up together and cut the BMV down to size. Thanks for posting this blog. I’ll be back!

  4. Ferguson says

    If anybody is wondering, this is still happening! My certificate was submitted on January 6, 2014 (less than 24 hours after my Sunday afternoon accident). I returned home from being out of town to find a letter from the BMV that my license was suspended, meaning I had been driving with a suspended license for a week. After having my insurance agent resubmit the certificate, the BMV, which is conveniently closed on Monday except for their incompetent customer service line, informs me I will have to wait 24-48 hours for the electronic form to be processed. This system is beyond broken. Now I have to deal with the inconvenience of having someone else chauffeur me around since I am currently without a valid license. Like Doug, I only did everything I was supposed to do. And still got screwed.

  5. says

    Wish I would have got a letter. I got pulled over last night and come to find out my license was suspended.Never got letter. My accident was on 12/24/2014 and no one said one word about a damn form.02/01/2014 got a letter saying they were suspended 2/08/2014, so I went to bmv and asked why.They said ins company was suppose to send a form. So by this time it was 2/07/2014 and i had my ins electronically file that day.The form was turned in a day before,and its on file at the ins company.3 weeks later get pulled over and cop comes up and says your licenses are suspended and tried impound my truck.Oh it also cost 65$ for the tow charge.

    • Carlito Brigante says

      Why, do deadbeat idiotlouges like you can transfer the losses you create to someone else? Don’t ever speakl about responsibility again.

      • Freedom says


        How ironic to be a microbrew drunk, smug and pretentious about “buying local,” then hopping on line and making a car wreck of your comments.

        Post again in the morning.

        • Carlito Brigante says

          I do not drink, clown. I posted this from my Iphone key pad. Think again in the morning, if that is ever possible.

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