We Won! City Hall DMV Office Remains Open!

This post is to save information on the issue for future reference on county offices.

Thank you to everyone who already signed the petition and wrote letters.  5th Ward Committeeman Rasheen Aldridge and I changed the January 21st event to a 5th & 7th Wards Downtown Happy Hour/Meeting at 314 The City Bar, Downtown and the January 28th Letter Writing Party was changed to a 7th Ward Seed Swap Happy Hour at Nadine’s. 
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dmv32-4 pm Sunday, January 21st, 2018
Downtown Save City Hall
DMV Letter Writing Happy Hour #1
314 City Bar, 1137 Washington

RSVP by 10 pm January 20th, 2018

Sponsored by 5th Ward Committeeman Rasheen Aldridge7th Ward Committeewoman Marie Ceselski7th Ward Independent Democrats

Contact: *Marie Ceselski 314-630-7599 ward7stl@aol.com

Attendance Prizes
Cash Bar

Please join us to write letters to State officials in support of retaining the State of Missouri Motor Vehicle License Fee Office at City Hall.

Stationary, pens, and postage will be provided. But bring your own if you’d like. 

In lieu of a handwritten letter, if you’d like to write and print a letter in advance to bring with you, see addresses of State officials below.

There is also Save City Hall DMV Letter Writing Happy Hour on Janaury 28th.

If you can’t make it to any of the Letter Writing Happy Hours, there is also an online form to use.


The St. Louis City Collector of Revenue has run the DMV License Office at City Hall for 17 years without issue. Now the State says the office hours are a problem. City Hall is only open 8 am to 5 pm Monday-Friday, no evening or Saturday hours.

Collector of Revenue Gregory F.X. Daly’s DMV License office serves 60,000 customers a year. They are obviously doing something very, very right.

Last month, the State awarded the DMV contract to someone in Florida for an office location yet to be announced. Wherever it is, it will not be as convenient as the City Hall office. This is a fact.

Customers rave about the services and convenience of Collector Daly’s DMV License Office. A fair number of customers are from St. Louis County.

Eliminating the City Hall DMV License Office inconveniences people who need a copy of their Missouri Birth Certificate to do business with DMV.

  • You must bring a certified copy of your Birth Certificate to renew/update a Driver’s License or obtain/upate a Non-Driver Photo ID. The City Hall DMV and Recorder of Deeds Birth Records Department are both conveniently located on the same floor at City Hall. Everywhere else in the State, you have to go to two buildings.

Eliminating the City Hall DMV License Office inconveniences people who need a copy of their St. Louis City Issued Marriage License to do business with DMV.

  • If you marry and want to take you spouse’s surname or hyphenate surnames, you must bring a certified copy of your Marriage License to DMV. The City Hall DMV License Office and Recorder of Deeds Marriage License Department are both conveniently located on the same floor at City Hall. Everywhere else in the State, you have to go to two buildings.

Eliminating the City Hall DMV License Office eliminates an important resource for charities assisting people who are unhoused.

  • You need a Photo ID to apply for job training, jobs, housing, aid, and to vote. St. Louis Area Charities partner only with the City Hall DMV to provide Photo IDs to the unhoused. This partnership is unique and only possible because the City Hall DMV and Recorder of Deeds Birth Records Department are located in the same building.

Eliminating the City Hall DMV License Office will suppress voting in the City of St. Louis.

  • The State now requires a Photo ID to vote. Instead of making it easy to get, moving the City Hall DMV away from the Birth Certificates needed to obtain the Photo ID makes it more difficult.

Eliminating the City Hall DMV License Office inconveniences people without internet access who need a Copy of their Property Tax Receipt to renew license plates.

  • The City Hall DMV and Collector of Revenue are both conveniently located on the same floor at City Hall. Everywhere else in the State, you have to go to two buildings.

Eliminating the City Hall DMV License Office inconveniences people who need a Personal Property Tax Waiver to renew license plates.

  • The City Hall DMV and Assessor are both conveniently located on the same floor at City Hall. Everywhere else in the State, you have to go to two buildings.

Eliminating the City Hall DMV License Office inconveniences people who pay Personal Property Tax in person before they renew license plates.

  • The City Hall DMV and Collector of Revenue are both conveniently located on the same floor at City Hall. Everywhere else in the State, you have to go to two buildings.

Instead of eliminating convenience, the State should be looking at how to replicate the convenience of St. Louis City Hall services- DMV License, Birth Certificate, Property Tax Waiver, and Property Tax Payment services all on the same floor, same building.



About The Letters

At Sunday’s Save City Hall Letter Writing Happy Hour. we’ll be writing to four State Officials. In lieu of a handwritten letter, if you’d like to write and print a letter in advance to bring with you, here are the names and addresses:

Hon. Eric Greitens
Governor of the State of Missouri
201 West Capitol Avenue, Room 216
Jefferson City, MO  65101

Joel Walters, Director
Department of Revenue
Harry S. Truman State Office Building
301 West High Street, Room 670
Jefferson City, MO  65101

Tracy McGinnis
Commissioner’s Office
Office of Administration
State Capitol Building, Room 125
P.O. Box 809
Jefferson City, MO  65102

Carla Duppong
Division of Purchasing
Harry S. Truman State Office Building
301 West High Street, Room 630

Jefferson City, MO  65101

Again, if you can’t make it to any of the Letter Writing Happy Hours,there is also an online form to use.

*Disclaimer: Marie Ceselski, a host of this event, is a City employee in the Recorder of Deeds Office. She is hosting the event as the elected 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman, not as a City employee. She does not represent the Recorder of Deeds or City of St. Louis on this or any other matter.
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— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman

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What’s Wrong* With St. Louis

This is what’s wrong* with St. Louis.

I am supposed to be at a party right now. Instead, I am writing about why I am not there.

We received an electronic invitation to an annual holiday party. One of the hosts is known for his political incorrectness, an equal opportunity offender. This year’s invitation, however, crossed the line and then some.

It started out as the “It’ll Be A Riot” Cocktail Party with admonishment “Pants Up, Don’t Loot.”

Weeks later, the invitation was revised. It got worse, horribly worse.

xmasinvite2014

Those Reply Options include: Torch & Pitchfork, Looking For Riot Gear, No Time To Burn.

For me, far more offensive than the invitation was what came with it.

  • The comments made in reply to the invite are all positive. Invitees think it’s hilarious. This is what’s wrong with St. Louis: People of White Privilege who remain emotionally insulated from the injustice all around them. People unfamiliar with what a majority of the citizens in St. Louis City face each day because of the color of their skin. Or worse, people who do know what is going on, but remain silent.
  • A staffer for a local elected official, someone who represents the official at events on occasion, gave a Yes RSVP to the event. This is what’s wrong with St. Louis: People who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk; People who only give witness to justice and peace when they are on the clock. 

This is what’s wrong* with St. Louis.

City Halls, County Courthouses, these are the remaining people’s houses. Forget about the U.S. Capitol and State Capitol. Congress and Missouri Legislature are hopeless. Local. Local is where it is at. Local is where you can still make change. Our cities and counties still belong to us and not the lobbyists.

But Police in riot gear now keep people out of their house of government in St. Louis City and all should be troubled by this.

It’s not the first time this year that St. Louis City Hall has been put on Lockdown before protestors arrived at the steps.

This is what’s wrong with St. Louis: Fear of inconvenience has become grounds to prevent the people from entering the people’s house.

Does the City of St. Louis have a responsibility to secure lives and property inside City Hall? Yes. It can require you to go through a security system and ensure you are not bringing weapons or anything else that it deems might cause harm to persons or property. It can also require you to get a permit to hold an event in the building.

The City can and should remove you if you prevent others from conducting their license, tax, recording, or other business at City Hall. It can and should remove you if you block exits for escape in the event of a fire. It can and should remove you for using foul language.

The City can and should arrest you for damaging property or harming others. It can and should arrest you for laying a finger on another person without their consent.

The City can also require you to sign in and out of a building. It can require you to wear a shirt and shoes in the building. It can require you to refrain from activity that common courtesy would otherwise prevent you from doing had we not failed to teach you manners.

I have zero problem with any of that.

Is an escape from the Justice Center, across the street from City Hall, legitimate grounds to Lockdown City Hall? Absolutely.

Is the potential inconvenience of a protest legitimate grounds to Lockdown City Hall? No. I do not think it is. Prior restraint censorship in the people’s house should require a heavy litmus test. And I hope that this issue is debated in this Spring’s 7th Ward alderman race, the other alderman races, and by the Board President candidates.

This is what’s wrong* with St. Louis.

St. Louis American, 12/12/1024

Dotson said he was unsure whether it has been the police commanders on the scene that have ordered the building closed or whether it has been the mayor’s office.

That’s a very, very scary statement coming from Police Chief Sam Dotson. We must not allow the police to shut down the people’s house without consent of the duly elected Mayor.

We need to know what’s going on here. Mayor Francis G. Slay is City Hall’s landlord. Mayors for decades have griped about what powers they did not have. But there is one thing we know for sure, the Mayor is the landlord of city buildings. The Mayor makes decisions on when to close for inclement weather and should be the only person with the ability to put City Hall on Lockdown.

This is what’s wrong with St. Louis. Pass the buck. No one takes responsibility for an unpopular decision or a mistake. It’s another issue for the upcoming Spring election: Who should make the decision and be accountable for the decision to prevent the people from their house of government?

*This is by no means a complete list. And, for the record, what’s right about St. Louis, which I tweet about every day, far exceeds what’s wrong about her.

-Marie Ceselski