Benson lays out changes to SoS online, kiosk options

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS/WOOD) — Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson on Thursday announced changes she says will make it easier for Michigan residents to make transactions with the state, including new options at self-service kiosks and online that were implemented amid the pandemic.

Michiganders can now renew their standard and enhanced driver’s licenses and state identification cards virtually at self-service kiosks after the Michigan Department of State completed a recent technology upgrade. You can also use the kiosks to request or replace a temporary print-out license and sign up for the state’s organ donor registry.

The new online options include renewing or replacing an enhanced driver’s license if no new photo is required, viewing the mailing status of a requested driver’s license, pre-applying for an original driver’s license requesting a driving record, paying reinstatement fees and invoices, applying to be a notary and adding a motorcycle endorsement to a driver’s license.

According to Michigan.gov, more than 6,000 people renewed or replaced their IDs at a self-service station after the technology upgrade and more than 5,300 enhanced driver’s license and ID transactions were completed online.

There are 146 self-service kiosks around the state and the Secretary of State’s Office plans to add more, including at certain Meijer and Kroger stores. So far, the machines have English, Spanish, Arabic and Vietnamese language options. They accept credit cards and some take cash.

The Secretary of State’s Office also simplified the graduated driver licensing process. The department says this can reduce customer visits to branch offices amid the pandemic. Student drivers are being issued a picture license card for a level one license. Individuals carrying this type of license don’t need to return to a secretary of state’s office for other levels of licenses. An operator’s license will be mailed to drivers once they turn 18.

According to Michigan.gov, the three Grand Rapids-area offices were consolidated into two so employees can help the community with high levels of customer traffic. Currently, there are seven self-service kiosks in the Grand Rapids-area and two more are planned to come.

Benson said that with more people scheduling appointments online and a dedicated call center staff, her officers should be able to serve more people.

“We are increasing our branch appointments by at least 10% in the coming months that means we will be able to serve at least 35,000 more people every month,” Benson said.

Benson also announced a new legislative agenda that, if approved by the Republican-led Legislature, would allow remote driver’s license testing, stop making veterans retest for civilian commercial driver’s licenses and allow license picture uploads.

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