The State of Indiana Doesn't Know What an MG Midget Is

This is really, really sad, I think. A Jalopnik reader and Indiana resident named Cory is now the proud owner of an MG Midget he’s restoring, and wanted to get it titled and all the paperwork in order with the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Unfortunately he ran into a little complication: the Indiana BMV seems to have no idea what an MG Midget, a known motor vehicle, is.

Cory received this letter from the BMV:


Just so we’re clear, the highlighted line reads:

“Other: need more information on what kind of vehicle this is what does mg stand for and midget stand for”

What do “MG” and “midget” stand for? I don’t know? Basic motoring fun? Old-school British charm? “Morris Garages” and an outdated term for a little person? What more do you need here, exactly? Can’t one of you just Google it?

Now, I know that MG Midgets aren’t as common as they once were here in America. But it’s not like they’re all that exotic. Many people have at least heard of MG Midgets, even people who aren’t gearheads. It’s a reasonably well-known car, distinctive and memorable. It’s not like the dude was trying to register a 1915 Alldays & Onions Midget or something really crazy. It’s an MG! Everyone’s uncle had one in the 1970s.

Cory and his MG

Plus, it’s worth remembering that the organization Cory was attempting to deal with was the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles. It’s very literally their job to know what cars exist. And again, if they don’t maybe they could, say, take two freaking seconds to bang “MG Midget” into Google and see what happens.


In response, Cory showed a lot of restraint and just sent them a picture of his VIN plate, with “MG” and “MIDGET” called out:


Cory hasn’t heard back from the BMV yet, but hopefully this will solve everything. And, maybe, just maybe, Cory’s paved the way so the next person to try and register an MGB GT or something won’t face the same sad realization that nobody at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles actually seems to know shit about motor vehicles.

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About the author

Jason Torchinsky

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus • Not-so-running: 1973 Reliant Scimitar, 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!)