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    New SOS computers continue tech emphasis

    January 9, 2001

     

    Secretary of State Candice S. Miller today announced the Department of State will begin installing a state-of-the-art computer system in branch offices on Thursday that represents years of planning and development to restructure and enhance branch office technology.

     

    The new system is the latest effort by Secretary Miller to apply technology to the department's business operation and crowns seven years of proactive work to upgrade branch office services.

     

    "We've come a long way since I assumed office and found branch offices with neither fax nor copy machines," Secretary Miller said today.  "The new branch office computer system is an initiative that provides our branch office staff with the necessary tools to meet the demands of the 21st century and reflects my commitment to using technology to provide the best service possible to Secretary of State customers."

     

    Secretary Miller said the department has always taken a progressive stance in using technology, which has led to a number of innovative customer service initiatives.  The Secretary of State's Office was the first state agency in Michigan to embrace the concepts of "e-commerce," allowing customers to do business electronically with state government by making license plate and watercraft registration renewals possible by touch-tone telephone and Internet.

     

    Other initiatives launched by the department include organ donor registration, the Qualified Voter File, on-line forms for filing automotive consumer complaints, on-line filing and review of Campaign Finance Act reports, and the Citizen's Guide to Voting Systems.

     

    The new branch office computer system is the latest innovation in a prestigious record of accomplishments.  It will be installed in only a few branch offices at a time to minimize disruption of customer service.  Designated branches will close for one day, to provide time for equipment installation and computer training of branch office staff.

     

    Secretary Miller reminded residents that in addition to renewing vehicle and watercraft registrations in person, customers can renew by mail, fax, touch-tone telephone or Internet.  When renewing by alternate methods, customers have the added option of paying by credit card.  Easy to follow instructions are enclosed with the renewal notice.

     

    "I'd encourage anyone renewing their registration to take advantage of one of these four alternate methods and save themselves a trip to the branch office," added Secretary Miller.

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