COVID-19

SOS offices to stick with appointments even after pandemic

Changes made to the Secretary of State's office in the midst of the pandemic will be made permanent.

At least one good thing will have come out of the COVID-19 pandemic: Michigan’s Secretary of State offices have changed how they do business.

Gone are the days of taking a number and waiting hours for your turn in order to get a driver’s license or renew your plates. In an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus, SOS offices moved to an appointment model, with people entering the office only when it was their turn.

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Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said during a Thursday press conference that her offices will keep operating that way even after the pandemic has ended.

“We’re going to listen to the people on this,” she said. “It’s clear they do not want us to go backwards to the old way of doing things where on any given day, you could spend hours waiting for a basic transaction in any given branch office.”

According to Benson, SOS offices across the state handle about 350,000 appointments per month. They hope to increase that amount, though she wants funding from the state legislature to modernize facilities.

In addition, Benson wants people to be able to take their own driver’s license photos at home using a cell phone or camera.

“While federal law requires in-person transactions and photos for enhanced driver’s licenses and IDs, state law could be changed to allow standard driver license and ID photos to be submitted remotely, enabling customers to renew from their cell phones,” reads a summary of the proposal.

That too would require approval from the legislature.

You can read more on Michigan Radio.

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