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Secretary of State offices to reopen Monday with changes in place

Secretary of State offices resume processing transactions after network issues
Posted at 6:56 PM, May 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-30 09:33:18-04

(WXYZ) — Secretary of State branch offices will reopen June 1 by appointment only for essential transactions not available online, but it won’t be business as usual.

The new system requires appointments and it means the days of sitting in the waiting area for hours are over but it could take longer than you think to get an appointment.

Anthony Bartolotta recently bought a dream car, a 2005 white Corvette, but all he can do is look at it.

He needs to transfer the title and apply for plates, so when he heard the Secretary of State office was opening after a 2 month closure, he called right away! He checked available appointments for 4 locations.

“The soonest they can get me in was in Pontiac, was June 30th at 2:10pm,” says Bartolotta.

“It’s probably a ten minute process and I’ve got to wait a month minimum,” he says.

During the Stay Home Order 60 percent of the staff was laid off according to Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson so the mail in and online services weren’t fulfilled as quickly as normal. Thursday she announced all 131 offices would re-open for in person services starting Monday.

“We are just really excited to be back to work,” says Benson.

“We’ve had our employees come in a week ahead of time to ensure they are fully sanitized with separation plates in place, with masks and gloves and PPE provided,” says Benson.

Beginning the week of June 1, all 131 branch offices in Michigan will be open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for appointment only services for transactions including:

  • Driver licenses and state ID transactions that must be done in person
  • Title transfers
  • Operator, CDL, chauffeur, mechanic and motorcycle testing
  • Seasonal commercial vehicle renewal

All Branch doors will remain locked, except to allow customers in at their scheduled appointment time. Everyone is asked to wear masks, maintain social distancing and to cancel their appointment if they are sick.

The Secretary of State has new color-coded mailings that will be going out for specific renewal notices - encouraging people to mail it in if possible or to complete it online.

Anyone scheduling an appointment or receiving an appointment reminder will also be instructed on how to safely attend their appointment by:

  • Arriving at the appointment alone
  • Wearing a mask or homemade face covering over their mouth and nose
  • Waiting in their vehicle or outside prior to the appointment time and maintaining six feet of distance when announcing themselves and their appointment to staff at the doors
  • Following directions on where to stand during the transaction — only stepping forward toward the clerk when providing or retrieving documents
  • Canceling their appointment if they develop symptoms of COVID-19 or come into contact with someone who has COVID-19 within 14 days of the appointment
  • Adhering to CDC guidelines [lnks.gd] when in public

Benson says a group of appointments are reserved specifically for 24 hour in advanced booking. So if you do want to book a month or more in advance, keep checking the SOS website for those last minute appointment to be released.

The deadline for getting your REALID for domestic flights was originally scheduled for October of this year, it has been extended a full year to October 2021.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

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