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January 14, 2010

License Office Agents Named in Grant City, Overland and Rolla

JEFFERSON CITY - Using a reformed bidding process that emphasizes openness, customer service and financial efficiencies, the Missouri Department of Revenue has announced the awarding of management contracts for three local motor vehicle and license offices.

"The old system - which was politically driven and provided little accountability - has been eliminated," said Gov. Jay Nixon, who has made the reform of the license office bidding process one of his major goals.  "Under the new system, the Department of Revenue's professional staff makes the final decision on who gets to run each office after it takes many important factors into consideration.  It's that simple."

The three offices awarded today are in Grant City, Overland and Rolla.  All three offices will remain at their current locations.

Bidders have the option of returning a portion of an office's revenues to the state.  Two of the winning bidders have opted to return some of their revenues.  The estimated amount of money that will be returned to the state in the first contract year from the 175 offices that have been awarded so far under the new bidding process is $974,052.

The city government of Grant City has been selected as the agent for the Grant City License Office, which is located at 101 W. 3rd St. (City Hall).  The city's bid was the only one submitted, and no return to the state was included.  Grant City has been the agent for the office since 2007.

The Overland License Office has been awarded to a new agent, Wentzville Agency Management, LLC.  The company is associated with Mary Winkelman of Labadie, John R. Harris II of Washington, and Michelle Boyer of O'Fallon, and it was also awarded the Warrenton License Office in July.  The winning bid was one of two submitted, and a 4 percent ($6,962) return to state was included in the proposal.  The Overland office is located at 9443 Lackland Rd.

The Rolla Public School Foundation will continue to be the agent for the Rolla License Office.  The not-for-profit foundation is associated with the Rolla Public School District, and it provides financial support for enrichment activities for students and teachers.  It has been the office agent since 1994, and the license office is located at 1038 S. Bishop Ave.  The winning bid was one of three submitted, and it includes a 7.5 percent ($17,921) return to the state.

Details about 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 a year ago, 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 175 offices awarded so far, 99 have gone to incumbents, groups associated with incumbent agents or interim agents.  Seventy-six of the offices have been awarded to new agents.  There are 183 offices statewide.

Alana M. Barragán-Scott, director of the Missouri Department of Revenue, noted some of the parameters of the reformed bidding process.

"Each bid stands on its own, no matter how many offices a person or group bids on," she said.  "Review teams, comprised of Department of Revenue employees, thoroughly go over every bid, and then award the offices to those that best meet the state's standards.  After the process is complete, all of the winning and losing bids are available for public viewing.  This process is fair and transparent."

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.


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