Florida’s DMV is moving ahead with plans to change the way license plates are made and distributed in Florida despite legal challenges from the people who make and sell the current plates. The issue could come to a full boil next week when bids are due.
One local tax collector’s office processes several thousand license plate renewals and new tag purchases every day. Florida tax collectors are baffled why the state wants to out-source the plate distribution to a private company, and they filed the challenge, seeking to have an 82 page invitation to negotiate withdrawn. “The funds that would go into changing a process that currently works with no benefit to the consumer and that’s the whole issue. I think it’s strictly customer service”, says Doris Malloy, President of the Florida Tax Collectors Association.
The tax collector’s biggest concern is that tags ordered online won’t show up, but the motorist will, and they won’t be able to get any help.
The current plates are made by prisoners in a public-private partnership with Prison Industries. PRIDE is also challenging the department’s efforts to seek bids.
But Highway Safety is moving ahead. Proposals are due December 3rd, and the schedule calls for four companies to be selected to begin negotiating by December 10th. The state says no decisions have been made. “The bid process is just collecting information we’re still in the very early stages so we’re sitting down and talking to various people and there is exchange of information back and forth and that’s where we’re at right now”, says Kirsten Olson-Doolan, Highway Safety Spokesperson.
Meanwhile, four designs crafted by the state are online. The public is being asked to vote. In the first week, 35 thousand people cast an online ballot. None of the above is not a choice.