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Michigan Secretary of State wants to speed up service at branch offices

the interior of a Michigan Secretary of State office
steve carmody
Michigan Radio

Michigan’s Secretary of State says it’s time to modernize her department’s 131 branch offices.

Jocelyn Benson spent the past few months visiting each office in all of Michigan’s 83 counties. 

She says she didn’t like what she saw.

“Too often people need to wait in line too long to have their business done with the Secretary of State’s office,” Benson told reporters at a news conference in Detroit Thursday. “It is unacceptable and it needs to change.”

Benson wants to restructure the offices to reduce wait times for things like renewing driver’s licenses or plates to less than 30 minutes.

Benson’s proposal calls for:

  • Upgrade online services and communications
  • Provide targeted support to the highest volume customers
  • Revamp self-service kiosks to ensure reliable service
  • Review internal policies and pursue legislative reforms
  • Create a culture of support for staff
  • Improve the physical environment of offices
  • Expand features that work and restructure those that don’t
  • Look for opportunities to continuously streamline operations
  • Encourage customer and employee feedback

"Our branch offices will be welcoming, warm inclusive environments that celebrate local communities while providing efficient service in an organized setting,” says Benson.
Benson hopes to pay for the improvements by eliminating less efficient practices in the Secretary of State’s office.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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