The Washington Area Chamber of Commerce recently was notified that its contract for the license office, which it operates, had been extended until Dec. 21.

After that time, unless there is another extension, operation of the license office will be open to a competitive bid process.

Contracts are coming up for renewal at the majority of Missouri license offices.

This means interested individuals and groups will have an opportunity to submit bids on operating one or more of the offices located throughout the state.

The offices process vehicle registrations and driver’s licenses, and collect vehicle sales taxes.

Contractors can charge fees and earn a healthy profit in some high-traffic areas.

Jennifer Giesike, Washington Commerce president, said her organization will submit a proposal to retain operation of the license bureau here.

“We will submit a bid because it’s an important service to the community,” she said.

Giesike said the contract for the Washington license office originally was supposed to expire May 21, but was extended until Aug. 21 by the state, and now Dec. 21.

“The state is running behind so I’m not sure when the contract will officially go out for bid,” she said.

All Missouri license offices were put out for bid under the competitive procurement process in 2009. Contracts were awarded for one year with three one-year renewal options.

The move toward a competitive procurement process of the license offices overhauled the way local motor vehicle and driver’s license offices are awarded, and was one of the first actions of Gov. Jay Nixon’s administration.

Bidders must have an active Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). Additional information on the procurement process is available on the Missouri Department of Revenue’s website.

The Department of Revenue, through the Office of Administration, will post a Request for Proposal (RFP) for each of the license offices when they come up for bid.

Interested bidders will have approximately four weeks to bid on operating any of the offices.

Bids will be evaluated on areas such as expertise of the personnel proposed, methods proposed for performing the services and whether the individual or entity is a not-for-profit, political subdivision, a Missouri Certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), a Women Business Enterprise (WBE) or a Missouri Service-Disabled Veteran Enterprise.

Giesike said the Washington license office is managed by Deborah Billings-Knight. The office has four full-time and one part-time employees.