COVID-19

SOS offices expanding hours to deal with backlog

The pandemic left a lot of work to be done at Secretary of State offices. They're still trying to catch up.

The coronavirus pandemic brought work at Secretary of State offices to a screeching halt.

Soon after the pandemic began, Governor Gretchen Whitmer put a temporary halt on deadlines for people to renew drivers licenses and vehicle registrations. That ended in September, but by then SOS offices had a massive backlog of work.

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The backlog was made all the worse by restrictions on in-person services and the offices’ move to prescheduled appointments rather than walk-in services.

Now, SOS Jocelyn Benson has announced plans to expand service hours to deal with the excess workload.

Beginning July 19, SOS offices will open an hour earlier on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and stay open an hour later on Mondays and Thursdays. Typical office hours are 9am to 5pm on weekdays.

“This will expedite the process of working through the renewal backlog that I mentioned earlier by providing in-person services to an additional 120,000 Michigan residents between now and the end of the fiscal year,” said Benson.

Benson also asked the legislature to help wipe out the backlog by using federal coronavirus funds to hire more employees. However, the legislature went on break last week without approving the expenditure.

You can read more on MLive.

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