OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Thousands of Oklahomans are bypassing the state's 300 tag agent offices by going online to renew their car tags.
Jeff Segell, head of The Oklahoma Tag Agent Group, said the Web site gets about 10,000 hits a month. It is estimated that 5 percent to 10 percent of those visits turn into transactions.
“The online renewal system works really well, and our group has been in discussions just in the last year about ways to publicize it more,” Segell said. “I think a lot more people would use it if they knew it was out there.”
Visitors to the Web site - www.oktagagent.com - can download motor vehicle forms and get information from the Tax Commission and the Public Safety Department.
Those renewing their tags online are sent the decals and paperwork by mail, Segell said. Vehicle owners pay the postage.
Beginning in January, everyone renewing their tag will get a new license plate. Segell said vehicle owners may continue to go online to renew their tags and the plate, decal and paperwork will be mailed to them.
“The process will essentially be the same,” Segell said. “It'll just cost a little more obviously because postage rates will be higher for a metal plate.”
Buying a new vehicle tag will require a visit to a tag agent office for some years yet, to ensure all the paperwork is correct in person, Segell said.
The Web site was set up about three years ago by about 30 tag agents, Segell said. They pay a small fee for each transaction to the site's administrator.
The site allows customers to specify a tag agent, Segell said. Visitors can choose one of 27 participating tag agents by clicking on a list of their names. Participating tag agents are in 23 of the state's 77 counties and in 33 cities.
The selected tag agent handles the renewal, Segell said. The Oklahoma Tax Commission appoints tag agents, who receive fees for conducting the transactions.
“The tag agent network is a pretty good tag delivery system,” said Russ Nordstrom, director of the Tax Commission's motor vehicle division. “We've got 300 or so independent contractors that are out there quite frankly to service the public and I think they do a pretty good job of that.”
Nordstrom said he has no problems with the Web site developed by the tag agents.
“Our interest from here is that the business is conducted properly in accordance with the law and that the proper funds are deposited with the state,” he said. “We do a field audit of the tag agents once a year and do a desk audit on them twice a month.