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July 15, 2010

Springfield and Poplar Bluff License Offices Awarded Using Competitive Bidding Process

JEFFERSON CITY - One local motor vehicle and license office will remain under the guidance of its current agent while another office will have new management.  The winning proposals for both offices were chosen as part of a reformed, competitive bidding process for all of Missouri's local license offices.

Alternative Opportunities, Inc. will continue to be the agent for the Springfield License Office, which is located in Room 252 of the Landers State Office Building at 149 Park Central Sq.  The Springfield not-for-profit corporation provides a variety of services for youth, veterans and the physically challenged, and it has been the office agent since August of 2009.

The winning bid for the Springfield office was one of three initially submitted, and two of the bidders did not respond to additional requests for information during the bidding process.  The contract with the state is good for one year, and the state has the right to renew the contract for three additional one-year periods.  According to figures from Fiscal Year 2009, an estimated 66,477 transactions were conducted at the office during FY 2009, and $228,180 in contract agent processing fees were generated.

The Poplar Bluff License Office has been awarded to a new agent, the Three Rivers Endowment Trust.  The trust will benefit Three Rivers Community College.  The winning bid was one of two submitted, and the new office will be located at 2218 N. Westwood Blvd.  An estimated 74,382 transactions were conducted at the office in FY 2009, and the office generated $251,810 in agent fees.

Bidders have the option of returning a portion of an office's revenues to the state.  Alternative Opportunities' winning bid for the Springfield office included a 6 percent ($13,690) annual return to the state, and the Three Rivers Endowment Trust's bid included a 5 percent ($12,590) return.  More than $1 million is estimated to be returned to the state in the first full year of operations from the 183 license offices statewide.  

The Springfield and Poplar Bluff License Offices were two of 10 offices initially awarded in 2009 that are being re-bid at the request of the Missouri Department of Revenue because of incomplete information provided by the winning bidder during the first round of bidding.  Six of the 10 offices have been re-awarded.

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

Although Gov. Jay Nixon authorized the Department of Revenue to implement the new bidding system in January of 2009, it didn't become part of state law until legislation was signed by the Governor in July of 2009. The new law was overwhelmingly approved by both Republican and Democratic members of the Missouri Legislature.

Alana M. Barragán-Scott, director of the Department of Revenue, noted the overall success of the bidding process.

"The open competition for the license offices has resulted in new management ideas and better financial returns from the offices," she said.  "Incumbent agents and new competitors have presented business plans, and all these actions benefit the citizens who conduct business at these offices."

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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