Lansing, MI — January 4, 2021
With 2020 in the rearview mirror we learned a lot from the year of the pandemic. One thing that almost every Michigan resident found out is, it’s difficult to run a State when departments are short-staffed with a limited number of workers due to COVID restrictions.
With State workers doing the best they can, frustrations still boiled over occasionally. Thanks to those dedicated men and women who persevered through to help us with the government services we depend on so much.
Here is some good news. Even under the best of circumstances, visiting a Secretary of State office can mean waiting in line for extended periods at peak times of the month. Jocelyn Benson, Michigan Secretary of State, is moving quickly to add more services online and to extend their self-service kiosks network to locations other than State Offices.
Here is the text of the recent press release from the department.
More SOS online, self-service station options coming for customers this spring
Michiganders will soon have more ways to do business with the Secretary of State, including renewing their standard and enhanced driver’s licenses and state identification cards at self-service stations and online. They will also be able to go online to request their own driving records and, when eligible, add a motorcycle endorsement to their license.
“This spring, customers will be able to do even more of their business with us at our self-service stations and from their homes,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “This is another way we are continuously improving the customer experience at the Department of State.”
The new options will be available in March of 2021 thanks to a long-desired technology rehaul of the driver-record database. That new system will be securely merged with the upgraded vehicle record database that Secretary Benson implemented shortly after she was sworn into office in 2019. Work to rehaul the driver database has been in process since then.
The changes will also enable customers to use the more than 130 self-service stations the department has in branch offices and other locations statewide, including select Meijer, Kroger, and local grocery stores, to request an ID replacement, and add their name to the state’s organ donor registry. Transactions on the machines are currently offered in English, Spanish, Arabic, and Vietnamese. All accept credit card payments and some accept cash.
New procedures will also be implemented:
- An electronic lien and title program will begin, making lien and title information available online for lienholders in lieu of a paper certificate of title.
- The graduated driver licensing process will be simplified to reduce customer visits to the branch.
- Mechanic testing registration will be available online only to mechanics with a Michigan driver’s license or state ID. Also, while the new system is installed, from January 15 to March 15, online registration for mechanic tests will not be available at all, and mechanics will need to make appointments at their branch offices to register for a test.
Additional details and customer conveniences made possible by the technology rehaul will be announced closer to the launch. Visit Michigan.gov/SOS to access online services and to find a self-service station near you.