Proposed legislation would increase standard Michigan license, ID renewal period to 5 years

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Posted at 9:57 AM, Sep 17, 2020

(WXYZ) — New proposed legislation would temporarily allow the secretary of state to provide extra one-year renewals for expiring driver's licenses and personal identification cards without a branch visit.

The legislation, introduced by state Sens. Ruth Johnson and Betty Jean Alexander, would help deal with the backlog caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It would also permanently increase the standard renewal period from four years to five years.

“Moving to a five-year schedule for driver’s licenses and state ID cards would decrease in-person branch office traffic for renewals by up to 20%,” Johnson said in a press release “Instead of going in every eight years, people would go in every 10 years to get an eye exam and a new photo — similar to a U.S. passport.”

The bills would increase renewal fees proportionally. For example, driver’s license renewals would be $22.50 every five years instead of $18 every four years.

“We must do what we can to ease the burden on Michigan families and the hardworking Secretary of State Office employees throughout our state,” Alexander said. “By working together, we can help reduce the backlog of renewals created by the COVID-19 outbreak and make sure the secretary of state has the necessary resources to provide vital services.”

Under the bills, the new five-year schedule would start for driver’s licenses and state ID cards issued Jan. 1, 2022 and later. Until Dec. 31, 2021, the bills would allow the secretary of state to provide an extra one-year renewal to individuals who would otherwise have to come into a branch because they are currently completing their second four-year renewal.

SBs 1111 and 1112 have been referred to the Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for consideration.

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