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Secretary of State expands online and in-person services

Expanded SOS in-person and online services
Expanded SOS in-person and online services
Published: Dec. 14, 2021 at 2:45 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - Secretary of State (SOS) Jocelyn Benson said a dramatic expansion of online services coupled with an improved system for office visits has made for better service at the Department of State this year.

“Now, Michiganders can access our services more efficiently and conveniently than ever before. They can walk up to an office or schedule their visit ahead of time, or use one of our self-service stations or online options,” said Benson. “I am proud of the hundreds of state workers who have stepped up to ensure that even in challenging times we can make government work for everyone.”

Benson said Michiganders conduct 60 percent of all transactions without visiting an office, up from just 28 percent in 2018. Her administration prompted the shift by carrying out technology upgrades in 2019 and 2021. The SOS installed more than 150 new self-service stations, many at grocery stores open nights and weekends, through a public-private partnership that cost zero taxpayer dollars.

Additionally, Benson did away with the “take-a-ticket-and-wait” system at offices that had resulted in hours-long wait times at many offices. Now, the average office visit takes just 20 minutes or less, the SOS said in a press release.

“The ‘take-a-ticket-and-wait’ system we inherited was clearly failing the people of Michigan,” said Benson. “Now, the resident feedback speaks for itself, and Michiganders regularly tell us they are able to access our offices when it’s convenient for them, be seen right away and get multiple transactions done so they are out the door in under ten minutes.”

The SOS said that even when residents visit an office without scheduling ahead, most are served immediately. Those who arrive when offices are busy are assisted in scheduling a return visit convenient for them, usually for the same day or next day.

Benson also announced that the department is in the process of filling more than 50 vacancies and urged residents with strong customer service skills to apply. She is also seeking a state appropriation to fund six additional mobile offices that will bring Secretary of State services directly to seniors, rural residents, and other people who have internet and mobility limitations.

Online services, a self-service-station locator and more information is available at Michigan.gov/SOS. Office visits can be scheduled at the same site or by calling 888-SOS-MICH during business hours.

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