sweet, strange mysteries of life

A little mystery in the least mysterious  possible place: the local License Branch of the Indiana Bureau of  Motor Vehicles. It’s a take-a-number, deadly dull encounter with a squad of polo shirted bureaucrats arranged at workstations behind a sweeping arc of formica counter, a counter that surrounds one of the least attractive waiting rooms in town. No free coffee at the BMV. No free wifi. And the portrait photographs are terrible.

I went over there this evening to renew my driver’s  license–apparently  you can’t  renew it on line twice in a row.

Answered the questions, read line one, answered some more questions,  took off my glasses and sat for the terrible portrait (looked at the blue dot, waited for the flash), then signed the donor card (sure, you can have my insides if I’m not using them). Then came the part where you hand over the $17.50. I’d brought three fives and two ones and two quarters–baffle ’em with exact change when they’re expecting yet another debit card.

And they charged me $13.72. Apparently  I had a three dollar and thirty two cent credit at the BMV.  

How in the world did I end up with a three dollar and thirty two cent credit at the BMV?

I paid with two fives and three ones and three quarters and got three cents back in change. My question was not answered. My new license will be mailed to me in seven to ten business days.

(My question has been answered, by M, in the comments. Do read the explanation;  it’s quite interesting. Thanks, M!)


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3 Responses to sweet, strange mysteries of life

  1. Rick Santman says:

    There Are Some Things Drivers Are Not Meant To Know.

  2. M says:

    Your $3.32 credit was due to a $30 million settlement in a class action lawsuit against the BMV in 2013. It was determined that the BMV charged a higher fee for a most drivers licenses than state law allowed. There were three options: 1), fill out a bunch of paperwork and get a check. 2) get a credit on a future transaction (this is what you got) 3) wait long enough that they send a check automatically to close out the books to comply with the terms of the settlement. Most motorists got between $3 and $15 dollars. Some law firm got $6 million. The taxpayers footed the bill.
    Hope this clears things up.
    (Yes, I’m from the government, and Yes, I’m here to help)

    • Pam Bliss says:

      Yay, M! Asked and answered! Thank you very much for the information. I was mightily confused by this, since I don’t do all that much business with the BMV. I will edit the post to send people down to the comments to read your explanation.

      I was not surprised to hear that the lawyers got paid first, and that I paid them. But my settlement did pay for most of a pint of ice cream.

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