The state of Missouri is dramatically raising the cost of obtaining driver’s license and vehicle title records, and the information clearinghouse companies who will be most directly affected have sued to reverse the changes,The Associated Press reports.
Since 1998, the price for ordering the records has been $1.25 per individual copy and significantly less when the records are ordered in bulk. Under the change, which went into effect on May 1, all copies now cost $7.
The three companies suing the state are claiming that the relatively steep price increase violates open records statutes, because Missouri law limits the recovery of such costs to that required for staff time, copying and the medium used for the copying. The companies say those costs equate to about 1 cent per copy.
The state’s revenue director, meanwhile, has said the fees for vehicular-related records have always been unrealistically low. He has also argued that the current system infringes on Missouri residents’ privacy by making it too cheap and easy to obtain such records.
To implement the new system, the state signed a $50 million contract with Virginia-based BearingPoint, which will also get $1 for every driver’s license and vehicle title record that’s sold.