Secretary Land puts more services right at Michigan's fingertips

Image: Our Customers are number 1

AUGUST 24, 2006

Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land today unveiled an innovative customer service plan that targets ways to save customers' time, heighten safety and put technology to work for Michigan residents.

"Michigan residents should be able to conduct business with the state just as easily and securely as they can shop, look for jobs and browse home listings online," Land said. "This customer service initiative helps make that a reality by expanding the services offered online and making them more available in your community.

"I want the Department of State to use the latest, most innovative technology available to make dealing with the state as convenient and timely as possible. I look forward to working with the Legislature and stakeholders to have my plan enacted."
Land's plan includes:

  • Increase the number of PLUS offices and SUPER!Centers, which feature expanded on-site services and more convenient hours, throughout the state.
  • Placing the department's ATM-style Self-Service Stations in government or business centers for greater customer convenience. The machines, which let customers renew their license plate tabs with the swipe of any major credit card, are now in PLUS offices and SUPER!Centers. Since inception, there have been over 55,000 of these do-it-yourself transactions.
  • Protecting young drivers by providing parents with information about their teen's driving record. Under the plan, parents could enroll in a subscription service to be notified of driving-related convictions.
  • Modernizing the department's business procedures. Land is promoting a single record account for each customer, which gives branch office employees an overall view of their clients' needs with one query and enables them to be more proactive in offering excellent customer service.
  • Helping seniors by creating an online "physicians' toolbox" that gives doctors the ability to submit secure medical information in a timely manner. Land's initiative eliminates hassles for seniors and physicians while ensuring that the department gets the critical information it needs. Elderly drivers also benefit because disability-parking placards can be sent directly to their homes, avoiding a visit to a branch office.
  • Creating an online "consumers' guide" by posting serious regulatory or licensing violations by mechanics and auto-repair facilities as well as driver-training instructors and schools.
  • Heightening border security while crossing over to Canada. Land pioneered the concept of a dual-purpose driver's license that is usable as a passport when Michigan residents travel to Canada or Mexico to comply with new federal laws.
  • Improving safety for motorcyclists by expanding the number of training facilities and requiring people to have a motorcycle endorsement on their driver's license before being allowed to register a motorcycle. Crash data for the last five years indicates that roughly half of all motorcycle crashes involved no other vehicles, which supports a need for more training.
    Letting people conduct even more business online, such as address changes, obtaining driving records, and automatically renewing vehicle tags.

Many of the initiatives build on previous customer service improvements put into effect since Land became Michigan's secretary of state in 2003. For example, the department has created PLUS offices and SUPER!Centers, and made it easier to find abandoned vehicles, renew license tabs online and shorten branch office visits by taking advantage of the magnetic strip on the back of driver's licenses to avoid hand-entering information.

Land's complete plan as well as her proposals for election and campaign finance reform are available online at the Department of State's Web site at