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Wright County News

Posted on: May 13, 2020

License Bureau Friday Drive-Through Deemed a Success and Will Continue

In the aura of COVID-19, many decisions as to how to conduct business have been made on the fly. The Wright County License Bureau found itself in that position last week with the Minnesota fishing opener coming Saturday (May 9) and decided to take a proactive approach in the COVID-19 reactive world.

License Bureau Supervisor Becky Aanerud said she and her staff have been trying to come up with innovative solutions to meeting the demands of the office at a time when public counters are closed. One such idea was tried last Friday (May 8) – take license tab requests for boats, trailers, campers and vehicles and distribute them with curbside service.

“I was approached by one of our employees to try it,” Aanerud said. “She explained her idea and my thought was, ‘Why not?’ Our approach throughout this has been to think outside the box and be open to new ideas. We did it. I’m happy we did and I’m hearing back very positive things.”

The initiative had residents fill out the appropriate forms and drop them in the drop boxes at the front door of the Government Center or outside the License Bureau office. Those that were collected prior to noon May 8 were distributed between 2 and 3:30 p.m. Drivers were able to pull into the front parking lot and, while maintaining social distancing, were able to have their tabs delivered to their vehicles.

Aanerud said she had no idea how many people would utilize this unique service and was pleasantly surprised by the response.

“I think it went really, really well,” Aanerud said. “We had about 50 transactions and all but one got picked up. They were thrilled to get their tabs because they needed them right away and this was a way of doing that in the situation we find ourselves in right now.”

The initial test run was done because of increased requests for service due the opening of fishing season, which annually brings in more people to the License Bureau to get tabs for their boats and trailers before heading off to Minnesota lakes. Last week’s pilot project was so successful Aanerud said her office will be doing it again this Friday (May 15). Requests can be dropped off or mailed at any time, but they will need to be received by noon Friday. If mailed in, people are asked to put a notation on the envelope or on a Post-It note inside the envelope instructing staff to hold the tabs for Friday pickup. As with last week, License Bureau staff will be in the front parking lot of the Government Center from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. to welcome vehicles to fulfill the requests. Drivers will be required to show identification to complete the transactions.

Aanerud didn’t know what to expect in the way of turnout because the drive-through option had never been tried before. But, she came away from it extremely pleased with the results

“I didn’t how it would be received,” Aanerud said. “It’s something new and you never know what you’re going to get until you try it. People were very thankful. They didn’t have to wait for the mail and wonder where it was. Most of the transactions were done in a minute or two and they went on their way. I think it went over well because of that.”

While many boaters and anglers that were heading to Minnesota lakes for the fishing opener were able to secure their tabs, Aanerud expects more to be requiring tabs for boats, trailers and campers for the Memorial Day Weekend, which is less than two weeks away. She intends to have a similar option available to residents and hopes it gets used to the same extent it was May 8.

“We’ll see how this week goes because this isn’t traditionally a big weekend like the fishing opener is,” Aanerud said. “If it continues, then we’ll continue to do it. With Memorial Day Weekend just a couple of weeks away, that could be another big weekend that people are going to need the tabs for boats and trailers and campers that they haven’t done yet. Given the response we had, my guess right now is that we will do this again prior to Memorial Day weekend.”





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