The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles is looking for contract applicants to run two local license plate agencies.
Rebecca Ann Brown, the contractor for the license plate agency at 938-A S. State St. in Yadkinville, is retiring and will close the office Dec. 20. She has operated it since November 1994.
The contract for the license plate agency at 1033 Randolph St., Suite 13, in Thomasville expired Nov. 30, but it will continue to operate during the application process.
The DMV seeks applicants to operate a license plate agency whenever a contract expires or ends.
“ That does not prevent the current contractor from reapplying,” said Marge Howell, a DMV spokeswoman.
License plate agencies offer vehicle registration services, title transactions, vehicle license plate renewals, replacement tags and duplicate registrations.
Two license plate agencies are currently closed in Forsyth County. The DMV closed an office at 1325 E. Highway 66 South in Kernersville on Aug. 15 after the death of Judy Joyce, the contractor who had operated it since 1975. The DVM accepted applications through mid-November but has not made a final decision.
Howell said it typically takes about four months for the DMV to go through the process of choosing a new contractor.
“ Sometimes it can take longer,” she said. “Each one is a little different.”
The office at 2731 Lewisville Road in Clemmons closed April 30 and the DMV has no plans to reopen it.
Howell said the decision to close an office by the DMV’s vehicle services administration depends on a variety of things, including the population, the number of vehicles and the number of transactions at an office.
Donna Muncus, a motor-vehicle field supervisor of 14 offices primarily in the Triad, said that contractors are paid for each transaction, and that the Clemmons office did not have as many transactions as its operators had anticipated.
“ There are so many factors involved,” Muncus said. “These new offices have to pay rent on their equipment, and when you’re looking at overhead as far as rent, you’re paying your employees and insurance and different things like that, sometimes it doesn’t balance out.”
Howell said that because offices can close for any number of reasons, turnover is a problem. But she said she doesn’t believe the DMV is having trouble attracting applications from folks wanting to be a contractor.
“ Every contract is going to come up at some point for rebid,” she said.
In the past, people probably were served by the same license plate agency contractors and employees for years at a location.
“ We had what we called perpetual contracts, but that has been changed in recent years to give us a way to reestablish rules and procedures and make sure that all of our contracts stay up-to-date and that all the contractors are operating under the same requirements,” Howell said.
For the past five to 10 years, the DMV has been moving toward three-year contracts with optional two one-year renewals. As a result, contractors basically bid for the chance to continue operating an office after five years.
Muncus said that a contractor’s position is for those with good customer-service skills because they will be dealing with the public.
She said that contractors are required to attend training classes for three weeks in Raleigh and their offices have to be ready to open before classes are held. Then they receive two more weeks of hands-on training once their offices open.
Her suggestion to those interested in the position is to talk to other contractors who have been in the business for a while.
“ It’s a full-time job,” Muncus said. “It’s not easy work.”