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July 16, 2009

Agents Named for Dexter, Lebanon, Marshall, North Kansas City & Salem License Offices

JEFFERSON CITY – Management contracts for five more local motor vehicle/license offices were awarded today by the Missouri Department of Revenue.  The granting of the offices came as a result of a comprehensive bidding process that has been championed by Gov. Jay Nixon.

The offices awarded today are in Dexter, Lebanon, Marshall, North Kansas City and Salem.  This brings to 38 the total number of offices granted under the new system.

The Dexter License Office has been awarded to Elizabeth Rowland of Dexter.  Ms. Rowland is the current manager of the office and the spouse of the current agent.  The office will remain at 1525 Business 60 West, Suite B.

TM Management of Lebanon has been awarded the right to operate the license office in Lebanon.  TM Management is associated with Toni Morris of Lebanon. The office will remain at 219 N. Adams Ave., Suite F.

The Marshall License Office has been awarded to Minerva Licensing Services, LLC, which is associated with Rebecca Buie of Marshall. Ms. Buie has been the incumbent agent since 2005, and the office will remain at 120 N. Lafayette Ave.

James R. Williams of Kansas City has been named as the new agent for the North Kansas City License Office.  The office will stay at its current location of 2600 Burlington, Suite 100.

Linda Harris will remain as the agent at the Salem License Office – a post she has held since 2005.  The office will stay at its current location of 102 W. Third St.

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

The five offices awarded today are the latest to have their management chosen using a bidding process that was implemented when Gov. Nixon took office on Jan. 12.  The process calls for people or groups to submit detailed bids to obtain the management contracts to operate the offices.  The Dexter, Lebanon, Marshall and North Kansas City license offices all received two bids, and there was one bid for the Salem office.

Gov. Nixon signed legislation on July 1 that permanently puts his competitive bidding process into state law.  The bill endorsing the change passed with huge bipartisan majorities in the Missouri Senate and House.

“Republicans and Democrats alike endorsed this new, transparent method of awarding the license offices, and legislators from both political parties praised the legislation at the recent bill signing,” Gov. Nixon said.  “Since I took office, the Department of Revenue has focused on awarding license office contracts to those who pledge to run their offices in an efficient and customer-friendly way.  It’s hard to believe that anyone would want to undo this progress and return to the old patronage system.”

Alana M. Barragán-Scott, acting director of the Missouri Department of Revenue, said she is pleased with how the competition for license offices has progressed.

“The new system provides incentives for current office agents and new bidders to improve the services at the license offices,” she said.  “Instead of just awarding a license office without any regard to the customers, the new system demands that potential agents detail their office operations, including how many hours they will stay open and how they will handle busier times at the office.  The bids are reviewed by the professional staff here at the Department of Revenue, and once a winner is selected the relevant bid documents are open for public inspection.”

Some winning bidders have chosen to return part of their estimated office revenues to the state.  The Dexter License Office will return 2 percent ($3,058) of its first-revenues, Lebanon will return 3 percent ($6,858), Marshall will return one-half of 1 percent ($624), North Kansas City will return 3 percent ($11,040), and Salem will return 1 percent ($928) to the state.  The cumulative amount of estimated funds that will be returned to the state in the first contract year from the 38 license offices that have been awarded so far is $261,343.

“The willingness of agents to return some of their profits is a great cost-efficiency measure for the state, and the amount returned to the state will undoubtedly grow as more bids are awarded,” Barragán-Scott said.  “This money will be able to be used for a variety of vital state services.”

Of the 183 license offices, 38 have been awarded and the bidding time has closed for another 86.  For a list of winning bidders for license offices, please go to http://oa.mo.gov/purch/awardedfeeoffices.pdf.

All local license offices provide services that are overseen by the Missouri 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, applying for 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.