The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

December 19, 2013

County needs to re-up license plate contract


TARBORO — Edgecombe County will reapply for the contract to operate the License Plate Agency (LPA), said County Manager Lorenzo Carmon. The contract is set to expire in April.

As a policy of the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) the general public can also apply. According to a press release by DMV, it takes about four months to complete the application process.

Carmon said Edgecombe County as well as its citizens have benefited from the county operating the LPA. He did not see any reason why the county's application would not be renewed.

"It has been a big plus for us and the citizens," Carmon said. "It is very convenient  for the citizens to be able to take care of their taxes and (vehicle) tags in the same building."

The county took over the LPA about four years ago from Robin Cunningham. Cunnigham had run the operation for 11 years as an independent contractor. Cunningham's experience apparently didn't go unnoticed. The county hired her as the manager of its operation.

"Robins' knowledge as a private contractor is a great benefit for us," said Gloria Lyndaker, Edgecombe County tax collector who oversees the LPA office. "She has a great relationship with DMV and she has years of experience."

Cunningham didn't see any reason why the county would not be given the contract.

"We have not had any issues with customers or DMV," she said. "I believe that we are on good standings with DMV."

Edgecombe may also use the new Tag & Tax Together law as a lobbying tool to get the contract. The new law requires vehicle owners to pay their property taxes and vehicles taxes at the same time. Both tag renewals and tax payments must be paid in full to renew vehicle registration.

Currently the county vehicle tax collection rate is 78 percent. Carmon said he expecting the new law to push the rate to a whopping 98 percent."

"We're all about trying to do what's best for the county and the citizens," Carmon said. "That's why we are going to try to reapply for the contract."

Plate agency applications (Form MVR-93 or Form MVR-93AA) are located on the Connect NCDOT website. Interested applicants can download an application form for a motor vehicle LPA or call (919) 861-3332 with questions. The application must be returned to NCDMV no later than Jan. 15.

LPA's offer vehicle registration services and title transactions, as well as vehicle license plate renewals, replacement tags and duplicate registrations. Currently,  about 120 license plate agencies operate across North Carolina.