SoS office: Most don’t need to come in for services

Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — After waiting weeks or months for an in-person appointment at a Michigan Secretary of State’s Office, many people realized they didn’t have to come in after all or could’ve booked an appointment the day before.

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and her team have made some big changes over the last year, undergoing a major technology upgrade in March to make more online services available.

“We want everyone to not just assume that they have to come in because our goal is to make your visits to our branch offices as infrequent and as efficient as possible,” SoS Director of Communications Jake Rollow said.

The new online options include renewing or replacing an enhanced driver’s license if no new photo is required. These services can also be done at a self-service kiosk.

“About 60% of our transactions are now carried out online, by mail or by one of our self-service stations. But there are still some transactions that the law still requires you to come in for,” Rollow said.

All in-person visits to an SoS branch are by appointment-only, with spots filling up weeks to months in advance.

For those needing to get in right away, every location offers next-day appointments.

“What I do when all my friends call me because I work for the Secretary of State and they can’t figure it out is I remind them about next-day appointments,” Rollow said.

Successfully booking a next-day appointment requires a bit of preparation and strategy as those spots fill quickly.

To snag a next-day spot, go to the online booking page at 8 a.m. or noon, the two times each day new appointments are released for the following day.

Be ready with all your information as the appointments are taken within 15 to 20 minutes, with many people losing their spot before getting a chance to complete the form.

“Almost always what I hear back from people is that they don’t get it the first time they tried, but they get it the second time they tried once they figured out the website and all their information,” Rowell said.

Rowell said their team is currently working to increase the number of appointments available by 10%, allowing them to serve 35,000 more people every month.

For those who have trouble booking online appointments, there’s a call center to help. The number to call is 888-SOS-Mich.

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