Thousands of Hoosiers have driving privileges restored

Lourrinne White is one of thousands of Hoosiers whose unlawful suspension of their driver's licenses had threatened to thrust them into poverty. But in 2012, following an ACLU of Indiana lawsuit against the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), White and thousands of others had their driving privileges reinstated.

The case, Lourrinne M. White, et al. v. Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, brought by the ACLU of Indiana and private counsel Scott DeVries, asked the BMV to stop demanding proof of auto insurance from people who weren't required to have it.

The ability to drive is fundamental to many basic rights and to people's ability to work and provide for their families.

In 2010, after the state legislature established the "Previously Uninsured Motorist Registry," the BMV began randomly selecting individuals on that list (known as PUMR) for suspension of their licenses. But since the BMV never created official guidelines to determine who should be on the list, many Hoosiers' licenses were unlawfully suspended. In White's case, the Clay County, Indiana mother of six did not own a car, was not driving, and was not legally required to have insurance. Yet because her name was on the list, the BMV still took her license.

The BMV's actions violated Indiana law and due process as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. By stopping these unlawful suspensions, the ACLU of Indiana demonstrated that all laws in our state must be fairly written and legally enforced.

Download a copy of the decision