SOS embraces 'no-wait Secretary of State' and online services

DETROIT — Secretary of State Ruth Johnson announced today that the 500,000th transaction was successfully completed on the department’s new online services portal at

“This means that nearly a half-million people didn’t have to get into their car, drive to one of our branch offices, park, take a number and wait in line,” Johnson said. “Best of all, these transactions were completed at the convenience of our customers, at all times of the day and night, on weekends and even on Christmas day when customers performed 921 transactions using our online, no-wait Secretary of State.”

Johnson made the announcement at the Secretary of State’s booth at the North American International Auto Show while joined by Bob Shuman, president of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association. She called it a fitting backdrop because of the show’s celebration of progress, ingenuity and technology in Detroit and Michigan. This year, Secretary of State employees are highlighting the online services and providing visitors with computer access to explore

Other services at this year’s auto show include a full-service mobile office to assist visitors with their Secretary of State needs. And, for the first time, organ donation advocates will be on hand to answer visitors’ questions about organ donation and sign them up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. users can renew or replace standard state driver’s licenses and ID cards, change their address if they move, order license plate tabs right up through midnight of their birthday and order duplicate registrations and titles – all online.

Johnson said expanding online services was critical because Secretary of State staffing levels today are below 2002 levels, which has contributed to unacceptable wait times in the branch offices. Every year, more than 10 million people visit their local Secretary of State office. Of the 9 million license plate/tab renewals processed in 2010, 6.5 million were processed in the branch offices, she


Public response has been encouraging, Johnson said. She read an email from software developer Kyle Tinker of Livonia who wrote: “THANK YOU! This is an AWESOME and very welcomed change and it’s good to see government serving the people.”

Customer tweets and Facebook postings since the online services launched include:

  • “Best (and quickest) trip to SoS ever!”
  • “No line at Secretary of State! First miracle of Christmas season!”
  • “I did my new license tabs on the Internet and was amazed how quickly they came in the mail ... felt like one-day service.”
  • “Thank you @MichSos for not making me stand in line.”
  • “Just used Secretary of State Express to renew plates in less than five minutes. AMAZING!”

A low-cost advertising campaign to promote has included billboards, Internet ads and a radio commercial.

For more information about office locations and additional services, visit Sign up for the official Secretary of State Twitter feed at and Facebook updates at

Customers also may call the Department of State Information Center to speak to a customer-service representative at 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424).