Wahpeton DMV Closes Because of "Mismanagement" - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Wahpeton DMV Closes Because of "Mismanagement"

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Got expired tabs? If you live in the southern valley, you might want to cross your fingers that you don't get pulled over. Renewing them anytime soon might be tough. Valley News Live got an email from the North Dakota Department of Transportation Monday night saying that the DMV office in Wahpeton had been closed until further notice. After investigating, we've learned the results of an audit prompted this shut down.

Alex Christiansen drove 40 miles to run an errand.

"I thought on the way, I'd come pick up my tabs," says Alex.

But when he got to the DMV office in Wahpeton, a sign told him his trip wasn't worth it.

Alex says, "I was like, 'What's going on here?'"

A single sheet of paper hangs on the door telling people the office has closed down.

Alex says, "I got to be very careful now, because I ain't got no updated tabs."

Another big inconvenience that happened to Alex is that he tried to be proactive and call ahead, but the phone just keeps ringing.

Tracey Jacobson says, "It's really odd."

Tracey was sitting outside the office all day for a vendor show.

"All I've been seeing is people coming up to the door trying to open it," says Tracey.

Throughout the day, she says between 50-100 people came and went.

Tracey says, "I don't see anybody getting really mad, just disgusted, like, 'Now what am I going to do?'"

The DOT office in Bismarck says after an audit, the branch was shut down and the contract with the branch manager has ended because of "mismanagement of items in the contract". They're working on finding a new independent contractor, which could take weeks or months. Until then, people who need tabs will have to go elsewhere. And if you've got expired tabs like Alex...

"I have to be very careful when I go home now," says Alex.

Former contractor and branch manager Cathy Muehler of Wahpeton said Tuesday afternoon that the shutdown has to do with "mismanagement of funds and reporting issues". Later Tuesday night, she contacted Valley News Live again saying her statement was meant to be examples of what the mismanagement could have been.

As for the handful of employees at the office, it's unclear if they will have a job when this is sorted out. The new contractor can hire them, but is not obligated to.

If people need tabs while the office is closed down, the DOT says people will either have to drive to Fargo or Lisbon, which are the closest offices to Wahpeton, or go online until the problem is sorted out. However, some people don't have access to the internet or have the ability to drive that far. The DOT says these people should call the main office in Bismarck.

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