Representative Don Lehe

Contact: Christina Nash or Lindsay Quandt
Phone: (317)234-2993
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For Immediate Release: Feb 23, 2005
Bill Passes to Allow BMV Access to Public Records
Rep. Don Lehe Authors Bill that will Change Public Records Procedure

(Statehouse) February 23, 2005 –The Bureau of Motor Vehicles may be allowed to withhold certain records with the help of House Bill 1073 which passed out of the Indiana House yesterday by a 83-13 vote. Representative Don Lehe (R-Brookston), author of the bill, was supported on the bill by co-author Representative Woody Burton (R-Greenwood). HB 1073 gives drivers who have been reported as unsafe and incapable of holding a drivers license more options to renew their license and show they can safely drive. Currently, a driver could be required to spend hundreds of dollars in medical costs to prove their ability. With this legislation, they can simply return to the local BMV to request a driver exam. Upon further review, the BMV may still require further medical information. The bill also allows for a law enforcement agency to have discretion to withhold certain items of personal information in their files.

“This is simply a provision to allow for safe drivers on our roadways,” said Rep. Lehe. “The purpose of the legislation is not to punish drivers, but to keep those unsafe drivers off the road, and to give falsely reported drivers more options to retain their license.”

HB 1073 also authorizes the bureau to conduct a reasonable investigation of a driver’s continued fitness to operate a motor vehicle when they have reason to believe that a driver may not be able to operate safely. However, the BMV cannot suspend or revoke a driver’s license until a thorough investigation in their ability has been made. If the driver refuses to submit information, such as medical history, the bureau may suspend the license.

“We by no means want our citizens to be falsely accused with agencies having the ability to withhold this type of information,” said Rep. Lehe. “However, if there is some information that requires us to look more closely at an individual case, this bill will allow us to do so.”

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