CATOOSA, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation’s Catoosa Tag Office is temporarily relocating to the former JW Sam Elementary School building, 701 W. Rollins St., and will reopen to tribal citizens at that new location starting Wednesday, January 19.

The Cherokee Nation tag office in Catoosa had leased the Tulsa Welcome Center from the state to operate and issue tribal citizen car tags since 2014.

But the Governor’s office sent the tribe a letter Dec. 30, 2021 in which state officials cited “seeking other options” for the use of its travel center.

“We agreed to take on the responsibility of operating and leasing the state-owned welcome center as the state was having difficulty finding the funds to keep the doors open,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr said. “We’re disappointed the lease is not being renewed, but will not let this decision by the state affect our operations or services that our tribal citizens have come to rely on. The Cherokee Nation owns the JW Sam building and will utilize that space until our new tag office in Catoosa is complete.”

The Cherokee Nation broke ground on a new tag office in Catoosa in 2020. It is under construction and is expected to be complete later this year.

On average, the Catoosa tag office processes more than 3,000 motor vehicle tags for citizens each month.

“This was an unforeseen circumstance and we apologize to our loyal patrons for any inconvenience, but we are getting set up and relocated as quickly as possible with as little disruption as possible,” said Sharon Swepston, Cherokee Nation’s tax administrator.

The Cherokee Nation provides all motor vehicle tags including commercial vehicles, farm trucks, military service, personalized and specialty tags, physically disabled, as well as RV and travel trailers.

The Cherokee Nation also operates car tag offices in Tahlequah, Jay, Sallisaw, Adair and Collinsville.