SOS Benson speaks on services offered and branch operations

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DETROIT (WLNS) — Today, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson held a press conference on advances towards the department’s service-driven model.

Benson additionally presented two developments in the model:

  • From July 19 to Sept 30, all offices will stay open until 6 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays, and open at 8 a.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 
    • Current office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
    • Residents who want to schedule visits at these times can do so online, by phone or in person starting at 2 p.m. on Wednesdays, when the extra hours for the entire following week will become available.
  • Most driver’s licenses and state IDs with an expiration on or after July 1 can now be renewed without an office visit, thanks to a technology upgrade. 
    • More than 1,600 Michiganders have already utilized the upgrade and renewed their license or ID online or through a self-service station now that in-person visits for new photos are only required every 12 years instead of every eight.
    • Residents who recently received a renewal mailer saying they need to renew in person are encouraged to first try renewing online or at a self-service station, as mailers sent before July couldn’t reflect the change until it took effect.

Right now anyone can access in-person services at our 130 branch offices by walking up, calling ahead or going online to schedule a visit, and no matter what they choose every Michigander is now provided accurate information on when they will be served and the certainty that their office visit will take on average just 20 minutes. This operating model moves the department forward, and I want to thank members of the Michigan House of Representatives who worked with us to craft bipartisan legislation in support of it and our post-pandemic plan to continue providing convenient and efficient in-person services for all Michiganders.”

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson

In June, Benson announced the office would 350,000 additional appointment slots for branch offices.

The announcement comes after Benson testified before the state House of Representatives Oversight Committee last month, defending her decision to move all branches to an appointment-only system.

There have been complaints that the system takes months to get an appointment.

She says the appointment-only system actually allows branches to serve 10% more people each month and pointed out that next-day appointments are released each day. The Secretary of State’s Office has also moved a number of services online or to self-serve kiosks, or made transactions possible by mail.

You can watch that announcement in the video below.

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