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October 01, 2009

Agents Named for Aurora, Belton, Malden, St. Clair, Shelbina and Vandalia License Offices

JEFFERSON CITY - Management contracts for six more local motor vehicle and license offices were awarded today using a reformed competitive bidding process that has been implemented by Gov. Jay Nixon and supported by bipartisan majorities in the Legislature.

"The old process of awarding license offices in secret and with no consideration to customer service has been terminated," Gov. Nixon said.  "We now have a transparent system that embraces open competition, and which puts an emphasis on customer service and fiscal efficiencies for the state and all of the local offices."

The six offices awarded this week are in Aurora, Belton, Malden, St. Clair, Shelbina and Vandalia. All of the offices will remain at their current locations.  Bidders also have the option of returning a portion of the office's revenues to the state.  Two of this week's winning proposals chose to return some of their revenues to the state.  The cumulative amount of funds that will be returned to the state in the first contract year from the 100 offices that have been awarded so far under the reformed bidding process is $525,706.

Denise Sumners of Aurora will continue to be the agent for the Aurora License Office, which is at 316 E. Church St.  She has held this position since 2005, and she was the only person to submit a bid.  As part of her bid, Sumners will return 1 percent ($883) of the office's estimated first-year revenues to the state.

The Belton License Office has been awarded to Meador's Professional Service, which is associated with Karen Meador of Peculiar.  Meador is a new agent for the office, which is located at 325 Main St.  Four bids were submitted for the office.  One percent ($2,861) of the office's first-year revenues will be returned to the state.

James G. Burrow of Malden is the new agent for the Malden License Office.  Burrow, who was the office agent from 1989 to 2005, submitted the only bid for the office, which is located at 106 W. Laclede St.  No return to the state was included in the bid.

The St. Clair License Office will continue to be run by the St. Clair Chamber of Commerce, which has operated the office since 1981.  One bid was submitted for the office, which is located at 920-F St. Clair Plaza Dr.  No return to the state was included in the bid.

Tim's Home Center, LLC has been awarded the contract for the Shelbina License Office.  The company is associated with Susan Neely of Lentner, who has been the incumbent agent since 2005.  The office is at 201 Fairground Rd.  No return to the state was included in the bid, which was the only one offered for the office.

The Vandalia License Office will continue to be operated by the City of Vandalia.  The city has run the office, which is located at 200 E. Park St., since 2008.  The city's bid was the only one offered, and there was no return to the state in the bid.

Details about any changes in office operations, if any, will be announced by the agents.

Although Gov. Nixon authorized the Missouri Department of Revenue to implement the new bidding system in January, it didn't become part of state law until legislation was signed by the Governor this past summer. The new law was overwhelmingly approved by both Republican and Democratic members of the Missouri Legislature.

Of the 100 offices awarded so far, 54 have gone to incumbents or been awarded to family members of incumbent agents.  Forty-six of the offices have been awarded to new agents.  Of the 183 total offices, bidding has closed on 181, and two remain open for bidding.  For a list of winning bidders for license offices, please go to http://oa.mo.gov/purch/awardedfeeoffices.pdf.

Alana M. Barragán-Scott, acting director of the Missouri Department of Revenue, noted some of the criteria that are evaluated when the department rates the bids.

"The experience of the agent - whether it has been running a license office or other business experience - is one thing we evaluate," Barragán-Scott said.  "We also look at plans for customer service, especially during busy times of the month, and whether the office location itself is accessible and secure.  When these and other factors are considered, a winner is then chosen.  The real winners, however, are the future customers of the offices because even incumbent license office agents now have an incentive to improve customer service and make the office more efficient."  

All local license offices provide services that are overseen by the Department of Revenue, but each office is operated by an independent contractor.  Transactions that are conducted at these offices include the issuance and renewal of driver licenses, issuance of titles for motor vehicles, and the issuance and renewal of registration for motor vehicles, boats and outboard motors.

Additional information on the bids will be posted by the Missouri Office of Administration within the next few days.