Licking License Office news

By Scott Hamilton


After the large response to the announcement of the Licking License Office closure, we at The Licking News realized that many people in the area do not understand the inner workings of the license offices and how they work throughout the state. We had many questions on our Facebook page asking how a government office could have “owners.” We would like to educate you on the process behind Missouri license offices.

A majority of the license offices in the state are ran by private contractors, the Licking License Office being one of them. These independently owned and operated license offices are private business contracting to the state for providing services to their respective cities and surrounding areas. They are neither owned nor operated by the state. Anyone can submit a proposal to the state for operating a license office provided the state has a proposal open for a particular office.

The open proposals are listed on the state procurement website at and the qualifications to respond to a proposal are as follows. You must be registered as a valid business and have a Taxpayer ID Number. You must register through the state procurement system at the site and be approved to conduct business with the state. There will be a request for proposal listed on the site that you must respond to following the instructions on the site, and if you offer the lowest operating cost for providing the services you become the proud new “owners” of a license office.

The license office contracts are usually a five-year contract. The contract on the Licking office was not due to expire until February 3, 2020. It is very unusual for a contract to end early as there are penalties that have to be paid by the “owners” of the office for closing prior to the end of a contract. We were not provided with details of the penalties as they are privately negotiated at the time of the contract signing. The bid process is usually a two-month process from the time a RFP is issued until a contract is awarded and a new office can be opened immediately following the signing of a contract.

In the case of the Licking License Office, this will likely be a little longer as new facilities will need to setup unless an existing business with space available for the office and the proper equipment wins the proposal. We expect Licking to have a new license office under new ownership, but we do not know the time frame for a reopening. We will be publishing the notification of the request for proposals when they become available.



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