ST. PAUL — Golden Valley’s Motor Vehicle Licensing Office will be able to reopen on June 1 under terms of an agreement announced today by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Division of Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS).
The city closed its licensing office in April 2011 following allegations that an employee was engaged in illegal activity. An investigation by the Golden Valley Police Department led the Hennepin County Attorney to file felony charges against a clerk for theft by swindle, theft of public funds, and failure to pay state funds. The city has since repaid the funds to the state.
DVS appoints and oversees 126 independent driver’s license agents and 175 independent deputy registrars who provide driver’s license application, vehicle titling and vehicle registration services throughout Minnesota. The city of Golden Valley operated the office as a deputy registrar.
Prior to re-opening its licensing office, the city must submit a plan to DVS that addresses issues identified in the city’s independent audit and provide a Policy and Procedures Manual for review. The manual must include:
- The proposed plans and procedures that will provide adequate and ongoing oversight as well as plans to monitor and ensure ongoing compliance with all state laws and regulations.
- The name of the individual who will manage the office and the qualifying background experience in maintaining oversight and internal controls.
- Notification to DVS in writing of the name of the city’s new deputy registrar as required by Minnesota law.
- Notification to DVS of all its deputy registrar office employees and assurance that background checks are conducted on these employees.
- A training plan for its employees.
“Our priority is to maintain the integrity of the state’s driver and vehicle licensing system while ensuring that Minnesotans continue to have options for licensing services,” Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman said. “With the criminal investigation and its audit complete, the city has agreed to develop a compliance plan that will protect consumers and prevent abuse.”
About the Driver and Vehicle Services Division
DVS is responsible for driver testing, driver licensing and maintenance of driver records, driver evaluation and compliance, motor vehicle title and registration, commercial vehicle registration, crash data collection, motor vehicle dealer licensing and regulation, and enforcement of no-fault insurance requirements.
- Annually, DVS conducts more than 500,000 written and road tests, and issues about 1.6 million licenses. It also registers 4.6 million vehicles and issues about 1.3 million titles.
- Each year, DVS collects close to $1 billion in state revenues.
- The DVS Public Information Center handles about 1.2 million calls each year.
- DVS licenses and regulates more than 3,500 motor vehicle dealers in Minnesota.
- Web-based services include driver’s license status check, registration renewal (tabs), and vehicle inspection and driver test scheduling.