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Indiana license branches no longer renewing plates

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Hoosiers will longer be able to renew their license plates at their local license branches beginning Monday.

All Indiana residents now have to order their registration cards, stickers and plates online or by mail, the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles said. That's because the agency is switching to a centralized distribution system.

Customers can renew their registrations online at myBMV.com, by phone at 888-692-6841 or by mail using a new postage-paid envelope enclosed with the annual reminder sent out by the BMV.

The agency said millions of customers have used those methods to renew their registrations since 2008, though it did not say what percentage of customers still visited a license branch to renew their plates.

"It's a win-win situation, we believe, in terms of customer service," agency spokesman Dennis Rosebrough told Indianapolis television station WTHR.

He said the centralized distribution will make it easier for officials to validate driver records and identification.

"We think the centralization process will help with accuracy of information, which is very important, of course, as well as the whole security issue," Rosebrough told station WRTV.

The BMV said registrations, stickers and plates will be mailed out to customers within 14 business days.

The agency also said in its announcement that it was eliminating dozens of self-service kiosks at license branches across the state. Rosebrough told WRTV that the kiosks were little used.

BMV Commissioner R. Scott Waddell said in a release that centralized distribution would save the state money by eliminating plate inventory at branches across the state. Plates will be made to order, the BMV said.

"Unless a registration renewal is unusually complex, there's no need for customers to visit a license branch," Waddell said. "Centralized distribution is more effective and will virtually eliminate inventory costs since plates are not produced until they are needed."

Waddell said customers with complicated registration issues still can receive help from staff at their local license branch. He said the change will allow staff to focus on more complex transactions such as driver's licenses and vehicle titles.

"We are constantly looking for ways to improve customer service while conserving taxpayer dollars," Waddell said.

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  • Control
    Whatever they can to to more control peoples movement This country is looking more and more like Soviet Russia or China.
  • Wow
    Thanks for taking away the self-serve machine at my local BMV branch and wasn't aware of it until the week of my plates expiring. That was the only way I renewed my license. You're just making it harder and harder for customers to renew their plates.
  • BAD BAD IDEA
    I want to know why you are paying all the people in the License branches, since they have nothing to do. I visted mine the other week 8 people working 7 doing nothing. Is this why we have to pay the extra costs
  • I dont agree with
    I dont agree with BMV now not able to renew plates at the branches. Some people dont have credit cards in order to renew online or by phone. what are we supposed to do?
  • Great idea, but...
    Plates with a visual, illuminated "insurance indicator" may seem like a good idea, but it's going to cost more. That's just not realistic in the current political climate, and unnecessary. The technology exists for the police to scan plates from a distance, which allows them access to the owner's records. This could be done continuously and automatically, scanning each license plate that comes within range of the scanner (presumably mounted in the front of a police car). This could also automatically search for warrants, etc. Isn't that Orwellian enough?
  • horrible
    So now instead of buying my tags in 5 minutes at a machine, I have to send my money to them 3 weeks in advance? I like keeping my money not handing it over.
  • I second Hector's idea
    Hector, that is a brilliant idea...costly....but brilliant. I have had an encounter where an uninsured driver hit my parked car while I was pumping gas and ran. The police caught him (suspended liscense, no insurance, warrants for arrest) leaving me stuck paying my $500 deductible for repairs.
  • Better focus???
    How about the state creating license plates which have a prominent frame which lights up green if you carry auto insurance and your auto insurance company reports such to the BMV CONTINUOUSLY via satellite. If you have not paid your insurance the FRAME lights up RED. Thus underinsured and uninsured coverage (a hidden tax-thru higher insurance rates) will not be shifted to the responsible citizens/insureds. Further the police can easily identify those without insurance. Out of state plates would of course be exempt but only until those states recognize such and get tired of all the imported people from Indiana who do not comply with Insurance requirements. They will title their cars and hopefully live in other states.

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