St. Louis Public Radio News
1:50 am
Wed January 14, 2009

Mo. Gov. Nixon bids out driver's license fee offices

Jefferson City, MO – Governor Jay Nixon has begun bidding out control of Missouri's driver's license fee offices.

In the past, political favoritism was the deciding factor in who got to run the offices, in which the license holders get to keep a percentage of the fees.

Nixon says six fee offices, located in Springfield, Columbia, Liberty, St. Charles, Mexico and Moberly, have been put up for competitive bid.

"The era of license patronage ends today...the action signals a new way in which essential government services will be provided," Nixon said.

The rest of the state's 183 offices will be bid out in the coming weeks and months.

Karen King Mitchell, Nixon's designee to run the Department of Revenue, says a point system will be used to determine the most worthy applicants.

"45 points of the point structure will be for efficiency of the operation...next, there will be 30 points available for financial stability, reliability and past performance...there will be five points available for whether there is a civic organization or a not-for-profit involved," Mitchell said.

Points will also be rewarded for women and minority applicants, and for those who agree to return some of the money generated to the state.

Nixon says the only office that won't be bid is the state-owned driver's license office in Jefferson City.

Former Governor Matt Blunt began bidding out license fee offices after a federal inquiry was launched in 2006.