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    Wisconsin C-store Offers License Plate Renewal Service

    Owner notes service is not a big moneymaker, but is convenient for customers.

    MADISON, Wis.--A convenience store, located in Madison, Wis. is now offering license plate renewal services, reported Madison, Wis.-based The Capital Times .

    Dick Blatter, owner of D.B.'s Service Center, a Phillips 66 service station, began offering the service earlier this month. So far, he has not had much business, but he's still putting the signs up, and the DMV is starting to post the information, according to the report.

    "We are kind of happy to try it out," Blatter told The Capital Times . "The nice part is, if they get busy with some harder requests, you can just run in to us. I have been told it has been well-received in other areas."

    The fee is $6.50, and Blatter's station keeps $3 of that. The rest goes to the DMV and a very small part to Wisconsin License Centers, a company based in Balsam, Wis. that developed the software to link the stores with the DMV system.

    "It's not going to be a big moneymaker," Blatter said in the report. "I did it for my customers. They can pay by check or cash. We don't make enough money on it to let people use credit cards. The fee would be more than I get.”

    According to Blatter, it took time to get adjusted to the process. "You have to get bonded, and there is paperwork and requirements. They do an inspection, and people are trained," he told The Capital Times .

    Reggie Paradowski, a motor vehicle program specialist for the state Department of Transportation, told the newspaper that the department started a pilot program in May 2004 and then opened it up to interested stores. They currently are processing about 3,000 license plate renewals per month, according to Paradowski.

    Two vendors -- National Financial Corp. and Trivin -- offer software that links the stores to the DMV system. In addition, Wisconsin License Centers rounds up businesses interested in providing the service, Paradowski said in the report.

    Convenience stores such as Blatter's only provide license plate renewal services for automobiles, light trucks and motorcycles. Some other types of license centers -- such as government offices -- also provide titles.

    The maximum service fee is $10, which is split between the store and the vendor of the store's choosing. The DMV service centers charge a $3 fee, according to the report.

    "It is an electronic fund transfer, so we get the money due us, which is $55 for autos now," Paradowski told The Capital Times . "The customer leaves with the sticker for the license plate and a certificate of registration."

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