Michigan Secretary of State Looking to Modernize System
Imagine if you could take a selfie, apply for your drivers license renewal on your phone, and upload your photo. That’s just an example of how Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is thinking about modernizing our Secretary of State drivers license division. She’s looking a several different ideas for their customer service division that is going to require help from the legislature.
Benson introduced a “Service-Driven Legislative Agenda” in an April 29 press conference, calling on lawmakers to implement customer service reform. Benson said the changes would modernize the department’s services and compliment its new initiatives, such as renewing licenses online and booking appointments rather than customers taking a number and waiting to be served.
Currently Federal law requires transactions and photos to be in person, Benson says state law can be changed which could change that to allow photos to be submitted remotely. She’s also looking at doing drivers tests remotely, and other options that could streamline military service members access to a drivers license after leaving the military.
Benson is hoping lawmakers will join her in passing these reforms that in the long run will improve customer convenience and satisfaction. Benson said “since moving a majority of the departments customer service operations online, more than 60% of transactions are now conducted outside of branch offices.”
The Secretary of State is also considering the Branch office of the future. This new way of thinking would bring pop up offices in cafes, grocery stores, banks, workplaces and at events. The long term goal is to be more virtual with interactions then in person. This would require investment in services, personnel and technology to move on from the old way of doing things.
Secretary of State Benson has some great ideas to make life easier for us and them, now we’ll see what the legislature thinks.
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