March 3, 2005

City of Memphis Taking Over County Licensing Duties

Memphis residents head to City Hall at the first of the month to pay light and water bills. Now Scotland County residents will also be heading to City Hall, this time at the end of the month to renew their driverís licenses and register motor vehicles with the state.

The Scotland County License Office will be opening at the Memphis City Hall as soon as final word is received from Missouri Governor Matt Bluntís office. The City of Memphis received preliminary notification at the end of February that its application had been approved by the state to transfer the office to City Hall under ownership of the City of Memphis.

The Scotland County License Bureau currently is privately owned and operated. Traditionally county license offices are tied to the governorís office and partisan politics. When there is a shift in the winning party, such as 2005 when Republican Matt Blunt unseated incumbent Democrat Bob Holden, license offices across the state changed hands.

That proved to be the case in Scotland County this year when a number of interested parties petitioned the Scotland County Republican Committee to support their applications to be appointed the stateís license office in the county.

Ultimately it was a non-partisan application that was approved by the Governorís office.

Proponents of the move cited several factors for making the move. Not only will the office provide revenue for the city, but it will also benefit users. With an office staff of three employees, the move to City Hall should streamline the process for customers, allowing them easier access and faster transactions.

The transition likely will mean an increase in revenue for the city. According to DOR estimates, the City can anticipate earnings of approximately $30,000 annually for operating the stateís license office in Scotland County.

The license office will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, the same hours that City Hall is open. In addition, the license office will offer special Saturday hours, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on the last Saturday of the month.

Two of the three city hall employees will be attending five days of training by the state once the final approval of the office relocation is announced.

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