By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub
Posted Nov. 27, 2019
Say goodbye to the old, unreliable relics of the past usually located near the entrance of your local Secretary of State office.
Secretary Jocelyn Benson said she is replacing “unreliable, hard-to-use kiosks across the state with new, user-friendly self-service stations.”
Benson said she is also increasing the number of stations by more than 60 percent.
Following a one-month pilot phase completed this involving a dozen new self-service stations and thousands of customer transactions, the project will expand to replace all 93 existing kiosks by the end of January and add 57 more, for a total of 150, by the end of April.
Additional stations are also being discussed.
In addition to Secretary of State branch offices, many of the new stations will be in grocery stores such as Kroger and Meijer.
“We’ve already seen a significant increase in customers using the new machines,” Benson said. “During the pilot phase, the number of transactions increased significantly on three-quarters of the new machines compared to the same period the previous year. In some locations, the increase has been as much as 57 percent.”
Like the previous kiosks, self-service stations will offer renewals for automobiles, motorcycles and watercraft.
The stations can print auto and motorcycle tabs. Watercraft tabs will be mailed to customers.
The new stations will add numerous driver-related transactions once the Michigan Department of State completes the second portion of its computer system upgrade in March 2021.
The Department of State is partnering with vendor Intellectual Technology Inc. (ITI) on the new stations, which are being provided at no cost to the state, according to Benson.
Customers will pay a technology service fee of $3.95 for every vehicle renewed at a self-service station. Transactions normally take less than two minutes.
Many of the new machines will accept cash — previously not an option at the old kiosks. The new stations also accept American Express credit cards, in addition to the Discover, MasterCard and Visa credit and debit cards the previous kiosks accepted.
Residents don’t need to have their renewal packet with them to renew their registration at a self-service station. Eligible vehicles can be renewed with only the plate number and the last four digits of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
Many stations are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For an up-to-date listing of locations with the new self-service stations, visit Michigan.gov/SOSSelfService.