ST. LOUIS – Taxpayers will continue paying to operate a popular DMV office that’s supposed to be run by a private contractor.
The Missouri Department of Revenue had to step in and take over the license office this past May, while a judge reviewed whether regulators properly awarded the bid. A judge Monday ruled it was bid out illegally, meaning taxpayers will continue paying to operate the office until it can be re-bid.
The office closed for a few days this past May when the dispute began. It confused customers who were showing up to get license plates.
It’s been operated by state regulators using taxpayer funds since then and now a new ruling from a judge means that will continue.
In Missouri, private contractors bid for the chance to run license offices. The bids are scored on elements the state believes will provide the best customer service. Bidders are scored by points – the most of which you can get for having a business address close to the DMV.
The state recently awarded the Troy Chamber of Commerce with the contract. The Chamber is in the same shopping center. A company called LO Management sued, saying they are also close.
Their address came back to an empty lot, but they said that was given by mistake – and their real address was in a nearby building.
They claimed the state unfairly penalized them for the mistake. A judge agreed in Monday’s ruling writing “(The State) arbitrarily and capriciously refused to seek clarification from LO Management concerning its address and violated Missouri law by giving the Troy Chamber an unfair advantage.”
A representative of LO Management responded to FOX 2 Wednesday, saying they’re pleased with the outcome of the case and look forward to future opportunities to serve the citizens of Missouri.
The Troy Chamber of Commerce told FOX 2 it’s disappointed with the outcome of the case and remains committed to serving its businesses and the community.
For now, the Troy License Office will continue to be operated by the Department of Revenue, funded by taxpayers, until it’s put out for bid all over again – a process that will continue into next year.