Can anyone offer some BMV advice? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Can anyone offer some BMV advice?

About a month ago, I received a letter from Bureau of Motor Vehicles Department of Public Safety, here in Ohio. It was a notice that I'd been randomly selected and that I had to provide proof of insurance within 21 days otherwise I faced mandatory suspension.

A few years back, I received a letter, supposedly from the IRS, about a form that I needed to fill out. I had never seen the form before, but I'm no tax specialist, so I was going to go ahead and fill it out, but there was something on it that I couldn't fill out without my tax forms from the year before and I didn't have them handy (they were packed away in boxes that I couldn't get to and the form was yelling about getting it back to them ASAP), so I called the IRS to get a copy in order to fill out the form. The convo went something like this: "Hi, I need to get a copy of my 2004 taxes so I can fill out this IR-2457 etc, etc, form you sent me." "Sure, I can... wait, what form?"

Turns out the form was a fake and it was being sent to trick people into sending back their personal information. Ever since then, I've been a little leary about people randomly sending me forms asking for information.

So, I called the BMV 3 separate times, to ask about the form. The first two times, I got transferred around, put on hold, transferred again, etc. until finally I hung up. The third time, I finally got a woman told me that yes, the form was the real deal and I needed to send the proof of insurance. Cool, no problem.

So, approx. 2 weeks ago (about 10 days before the deadline) I sent a copy of my insurance card (one of the things they claimed was considered acceptable proof) and figured it was taken care of.

Today, I get a notice of pending suspension. If I don't send the proof of insurance along with $125, my registration will be suspended for 3 months.

What the heck??? I realize there's a chance that they might not have received it, but how do I prove that I sent it? They aren't going to care if the mail guy at work decided that the personal mailbox wasn't full enough to take for 8 days in a row or that the nasty weather made the mail guys decide not to deliver 3 boxes to a particular area (or whatever might have happened).

I'm going to call them, tomorrow (they're closed, at the moment), but I don't really know what to say... I suppose first thing would be to have them check and see if they ever received it and if this notice was sent AFTER they received it (but it was sent automatically) or if they never got it. If that's the case, do you think there's anyone I can talk to about dropping the charge, since they DID receive it, or do you think they'll charge me for it, anyway?

Basically, at worst, they never received it. In that case, I'll likely have to just suck it up and send it, again, with the $125 (if they never received it, I'm sure they'll never believe that I did; they probably hear that all the time).

Anyone have any experience with anything like this? Is there someone specific I should talk to? My car has been insured with the same people with no breaks in coverage since I moved to Ohio... I know they want to catch uninsured motorists in order to make sure that no one has an uninsured driver accident, but it seems so unfair that they can start randomly charging people who AREN'T the problem!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 08:49 PM
 
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id just take your insurance card and drivers license in with you to the nearest Motor Vehicle branch (ever town has atleast one, most have several) and show it to them and explain that your not paying the extra money because you sent off proof already and you came all your way to them to backup that proof.

be firm. tell them that you were never notified that they did random checks and that it isnt fair to charge someone something that they were never notified about and then threaten to revoke their license when it isnt recieved fast enough.

you cant be charged anything that wasnt explained to you at the time of purchase (and you "purchase" insurance dont you?) so tell them that and stick to your guns that you went the extra mile to come in yourself and show it to them. but if they kick up a real stink you should pay it. but i think its mostly a threat and/or the insurance companies way of making extra money off you
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willow771
...the insurance companies way of making extra money off you
More like the BMV's way to pad their budget.

Did you send them a check? Call you bank to be certain they haven't already cashed the check. Can you show them your checkbook register?

If you must re-send, do it certified with return receipt requested. This means they have to sign for the envelope and you recieve a notice back that it was received by them on such-an-such date.



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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Willow; I would do that, but I think I'd actually have to go to the department of public safety (not just any BMV office) since they're the ones that sent the notice. I wonder if I could do that, though... I'll have to look up where they are and see if I can go tomorrow morning. Thank you for the idea!

Heidi n Q, the only thing I was required to send was proof of insurance; I copied my insurance card and sent it along with the notice (which is what they said to do) and figured everything was roses, ya know?
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry for the double post, but I wanted to post a link to the Ohio Financial Responsibility Form (which everyone has to sign upon getting a license in Ohio).

Quote:
PROOF OF COVERAGE IS REQUIRED: • Whenever a police officer issues a traffic ticket • At all vehicle inspection stops • Upon traffic court appearances and • Upon random checks by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles.
The bold part is where they're legally nailing me with this (although neither this nor the last notice said anything about charging me a $125 because they didn't get it in time)...
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 10:42 PM
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Ugh. Simply Frustrating.



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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I know...

Think if I went in and threw a temper tantrum, complete with stomping, crying, etc, that would work...?
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 10:54 PM
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I think it would depend. I've had more luck treating situations as 'catch more flies with honey than vinegar'.

Maybe call them and ask for a fax number to show you have had continuous coverage through the period of time they first contacted you. State that you mailed in the copies they requested within the time-frame perameter, and you will do so again, but you will need to have proof that it has arrived (certified retern receipt) because they and the Post Office can't seem to keep track of their mail.

Our state (Georgia) has insurance databases for vehicles somehow linked with law enforcement. When they pull a car over or do a license plate/tag check, it also lets them know if the vehicle is covered and when it was cancelled, if applicable.

Good luck with this situation. I don't know of any way to get out of the $125 fee, other than being polite and adamant that you did send the information to them at the time they requested it.



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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 11:22 PM
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One question....when you called them, did you look up the number on your own or did you take it from the form you were sent? This sounds suspiciously like a scam....

I would go in person as well....


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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-14-2008, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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I think you're right, Heidi n Q, that the best way to go is the 'honey' approach. I think they see enough of the tantrums, around here, that they'll just write it off.

doodlebug, I looked up the Ohio BMV online and called the number that I got from the official website.

The number on the form was a 1-866 number and the website listed there on the form didn't seem right, either (turns out it was a referral link; it autojumps to the correct site when you enter the link). But can you see why I was so suspicious and didn't want to send any information until I got a straight answer...? By the time I got one, I guess it was too late.

I tried looking up what office would be best to go directly to, for this, but couldn't find one. I'll have to call, tomorrow, and go from there.

There was something on this form about being able to get a hearing for $30, but I'm a little confused about all that. One of the things that qualifies you for a hearing is having been covered by proper insurance on the date of the notice (which I was), HOWEVER a couple of lines down it says that you don't need a hearing if you send the proof of insurance... well, if I send the proof of insurance, I have to send the $125 fee... why wouldn't I rather get the hearing for $30?! Or will the hearing admin just say something like "Well, you didn't get it in on time, you have to pay the $125, too" and then I'm out $155, instead of just the $125...?

This whole thing is just a nippin' joke, I tell ya...
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