Estate Planning 101

Notifying the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles After a Loved One’s Passing

September 13, 2023

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Experiencing the loss of a loved one is a difficult time filled with many responsibilities, including notifying relevant institutions. If your loved one was a resident of Indiana and held a driver's license or state ID card, it is necessary to notify the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) to prevent any misuse of the deceased’s identification and to update the BMV’s records.

Who Should Be Notified

The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles should be notified of the death of anyone who held an Indiana driver's license or state ID card. This will ensure their records are accurate and help reduce the risk of identity theft.

When to Notify

Notification should be done as soon as possible after the death. This minimizes the risk of the deceased's identification being used fraudulently.

How to Notify

The Indiana BMV does not have a formal process for reporting a death. However, you can surrender the deceased's driver's license or state ID at any BMV branch. Alternatively, you can mail it to the Indiana BMV at the following address: Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, 100 N. Senate Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

What to Expect After Notification

Once the BMV has been notified, they will update their records to reflect the individual's passing. This will prevent anyone from renewing the license or ID or using it for fraudulent purposes.

Tips for Notification

When surrendering the license or ID, it may be helpful to include a short letter notifying the BMV of the holder's death and requesting that their record be updated. It's also advisable to keep a copy of everything you send for your records.

Conclusion

While it may seem like a small detail amidst the larger responsibilities that come with a loved one's passing, notifying the Indiana BMV is an important step in settling their affairs. It helps prevent identity theft and ensures the accuracy of state records.

FAQ

Q: Is it necessary to notify the BMV if the deceased did not have a driver's license?
A: No, if the deceased did not have a driver's license or state ID, there's no need to notify the BMV.

Q: Are there penalties for not notifying the BMV?
A: While there are no specific penalties, not notifying the BMV can leave room for potential identity theft, which could complicate matters in the future.

Q: Is it necessary to notify the BMV if the deceased did not own a vehicle?
A: Yes, the BMV should still be notified if the deceased held a driver's license or state ID, regardless of vehicle ownership.