The Michigan Department of State hopes to shorten time it takes to renew your driver’s license or state ID starting in March by upgrading its online offerings and self-service stations.
It may cost you a few dollars more. But if you hate long waits, it might be worth it.
The upgrade, the department said, will expand the capability of the 135 automated, self-service stations at its offices and certain Kroger and Meijer stores statewide to include driver’s license and state ID transactions.
“We have continuously expanded and improved customer options and service, even during the pandemic,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “This upgrade will truly make our operations better than ever.”
At the same time, the department also is warning that if you use traditional services by mail, allow extra time to get plates, tabs, licenses and IDs. The U.S. Postal Service, the department said, “is experiencing delays at some facilities.”
And for one week, the upgrade services will be briefly disrupted for the change. Branch appointments, online and self-service station transactions will be unavailable from 5 p.m. March 11 to 9 a.m. March 16 while the system is brought online.
All of the machines accept credit and debit cards and some accept cash. Expect to pay a $3.95 service fee, however, for the convenience, and a 2.3 percent processing fee if paying by credit or debit card.
In addition to delivering instructions in English, the stations also will offer them in Spanish, Arabic and Vietnamese.
Officials said the project enhances a decades-old system and puts tens of millions of driver and vehicle records on one system. Other new services include:
- Viewing the status of the requested driver’s license or state ID.
- And adding a motorcycle endorsement to an eligible driver’s license.
- Requesting and obtain your driving record.
More stations are planned, in branch offices and other locations.
The department also is simplifying the graduated driver licensing process to reduce customer visits to branch offices.