(The Center Square) – One positive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic for Michiganders is they shouldn’t have to wait hours standing in line to make a minor change at the Secretary of State’s office.
Michiganders can renew their standard and enhanced driver’s licenses and state identification cards online and at self-service stations.
“We have launched a new, service-driven era of operations that provides customers many more ways to conveniently conduct their business with us,” Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said in a statement. “This is a major step forward as we continue to improve our service for all Michiganders.”
New online services include:
- Renew or replace an enhanced driver’s license or state ID if no new photo is required
- View the mailing status of the requested driver’s license or state ID
- Pre-apply for an original driver’s license
- Request and obtain a driving record
- Pay reinstatement fees and invoices
New transactions offered at self-service stations include:
- Renew a standard or enhanced driver’s license or state ID if no new photo is required
- Request a replacement and print out a temporary license or ID
- Add a motorcycle endorsement to an eligible driver’s license
- Sign up on the state’s organ donor registry
Between March 16 and the end of the month, thousands of residents who would have previously needed an office visit took advantage of the new conveniences.
More than 6,000 people renewed or replaced their driver’s license or ID at a self-service station, and Michiganders completed online more than 5,300 enhanced driver’s license or ID transactions.
The department has 146 self-service stations, with more coming statewide, including select Meijer and Kroger grocery stores. Transactions on the machines are offered in English, Spanish, Arabic, and Vietnamese. All accept credit cards, and some accept cash.
The upgraded technology combines tens of millions of driver and vehicle records into one integrated customer record system and ends reliance on a 1960s-era legacy system. The new system was launched with support from the Department of Technology, Management and Budget, and FAST Enterprises.
Other improvements include:
- An electronic lien and title program, making lien and title information available online for lienholders instead of a paper certificate of title if their financial institution participates in the program.
- The graduated driver licensing process has been simplified to reduce customer visits to branch offices. Student drivers are now issued a photo license hard card for a GDL Level 1 license instead of a paper license. They don’t need to return to the branch office for their Level 2 or Level 3 licenses, and their operator’s license will be mailed to them upon turning 18.
For transactions requiring a branch office visit, the department offers appointments that can be booked up to six months in advance. Next-day appointments are released at 8 a.m. and noon Monday through Friday that customers can book for the next weekday.