BMV website verifies excise tax refund eligibility; nearly 93,000 claims processed so far



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INDIANAPOLIS — More than 130,000 motorists have filed claims for excise tax refunds with the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles and the agency expects more than 50,000 more, it said Monday.

The BMV, which has acknowledged about $29 million in overcharges on excise taxes when vehicles were registered going back to 2004, said it has processed more than 92,700 claims so far that total $14.9 million, plus $1.2 million in interest.

The agency provided the update on claims and refunds as it announced it had created a website where motorists can verify whether they are eligible for refunds. It said it has mailed out more than 185,000 claim forms to customers for a total of nearly $29 million in refunds. Customers must complete a claim form to receive a refund.

The claim forms have been mailed out in the past month, some as recently as last week, the BMV said.

Motorists who have not received a claim form can check their eligibility by going online to http://www.in.gov/bmv and clicking on the green icon on the right side of the home page that says "Check Your Excise Tax Refund Eligibility." Users will need to put in either their Social Security number or their driver's license number to check their eligibility.

The BMV is currently processing claims about a week after it receives them, and refund checks are being issued about a week later, it said.

If any refunds go unclaimed, the BMV said it will use all reasonable measures to locate the eligible parties, including follow-up mailings and the use of national databases to locate individuals who may have moved from Indiana. After those measures have been exhausted, refunds will be turned over to the Indiana attorney general's unclaimed property program, the BMV said.

The agency acknowledged the excise tax overcharges in September and said they resulted from vehicles being improperly classified when they were registered.

The BMV last year settled a class-action lawsuit that accused the agency of overcharging customers by $30 million. More than 4.5 million Indiana drivers were refunded $3.50 to $15 as part of the settlement.

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