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Licenses in Aisle 5: MN DMV Tries Out Novel Location

By: Bridget Clerkin September 26, 2016
DMV offices could start popping up in your local mall.

Business and government don’t always mix well. In fact, the frequent friction between the two has, in many ways, formed our modern major political parties.

Leave it to Minnesota, then—a state famous for its unflappable friendliness—to find a way to unite the two, in a location only fitting of the land that houses the nation’s largest shopping mall.

The North Star State’s newest Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) office in Saint Paul has popped up on the second floor of a Sears department store—adjacent to the mattresses and kitchenware of which the store is more typically associated.

While the setting may be unique, there’s nothing unusual about the services offered by the government agency. Customers can renew or replace their licenses, among a number of other popular transactions. The accessibility of hot seasonal sales is just a bonus.

It remains unclear why or how the planning came about, and data on how popular the location has become is lacking. But what’s clear is that Minnesota is thinking out of the box (and inside the box store) when it comes to the DVS, attempting, perhaps, to meet customers where they live—or, at least, where they’re more willing to visit.

If the model proves successful, it could even open doors for more state DMVs to follow suit. It might not help bring Democrats and Republicans together, but it could certainly help make the Mall of America great again.

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