Secretary of State improving technology for customers

SOS Custoemr using TechnologyJUNE 2, 2017

New mainframe, Electronic Lien
& Title systems on the way

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. – As more and more customers take advantage of alternative ways to do business with the Secretary of State such as online services at ExpressSOS.com, the department is moving forward with several technology-driven improvements to provide faster and more convenient service.

“Michigan residents are realizing there are better ways to renew their tabs or change their address than by waiting in our busy offices,” Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said. “Technology is enabling us to make it easier for you as our customers.”

Johnson said her team has new projects in the works as well as further development of existing programs. These include:

  • Implementation of Electronic Lien and Title (ELT) system – The ELT system was created by the Legislature in 2014 and is now being implemented. By replacing paper documents with an electronic record, ELT makes lien and title information more secure, which provides additional protection to consumers and lenders and thwarts fraud, such as when unscrupulous individuals falsify titles or lien termination statements. Among the advantages of the new system are a reduction in the possibility of title fraud and lower title and lien processing costs for financial institutions and the State of Michigan. It also means greater convenience for vehicle owners, who will enjoy faster title-related transactions, less paperwork and, in most cases, no need for a trip to a Secretary of State office. The department is in the beginning phases of development with the selected vendor.
     
  • Expansion of MI-TIME Line – Plans subject to budget approval are for the popular wait management system, which lets customers make appointments or get in line online at michigan.gov/mitimeline by phone or app and then conveniently arrive at the branch office right before their turn, to expand to 13 more Secretary of State offices in the coming months. Currently available in 30 of the busiest branch offices, MI-TIME Line receives frequent praise like this recent comment from a customer in Troy: “Using the MI-TIME Line allowed for the fastest and most efficient visit to the SOS I have ever experienced. I will absolutely use this method in the future and recommend it to others.” Department staff is working to increase customer awareness of MI-TIME Line, improve the accuracy of wait time estimates and simplify different aspects of the user experience. Nearly 4.5 million customers have used the system since it launched in 2014.
     
  • Addition of more Self-Service Stations – The department will be installing an additional 20 Self-Service Stations for plate renewals across the state, including a second kiosk in some SUPER!Centers that have very high usage on the existing kiosk. The timesaving machines allow customers to renew their plates and print out their tabs to take with them in less than two minutes. There are currently 78 Self-Service Stations in operation across the state, which handle a total of more than 800,000 transactions a year.
     
  • Modernization of MDOS mainframe computer system – FAST Enterprises, a vendor with an excellent track record on similar modernization projects in other states, has begun work on replacing the department’s decades-old Legacy computer system with a modern system that will improve service for customers, including more online transaction options. FAST has successfully launched nine motor vehicle systems in seven states, delivering on time and on budget in each project.

Johnson said her office will also continue to market and promote the many online transactions customers can complete without having to visit a Secretary of State office. “Just hop online, not in line, to ExpressSOS.com, now with Print 'n Go. It's painless,” she said. The site allows customers to renew plates, renew and replace driver’s licenses and state IDs, change their address and order duplicate registrations and titles. People can also sign up on Michigan’s organ donor registry, among other options. Through the first four months of 2017, there were 699,041 transactions at ExpressSOS.com, an increase of 49 percent from the same period last year.

More information about office hours, locations and services can be found at michigan.gov/sos

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For media questions, please call Fred Woodhams at 517-373-2520.

Customers may call the Department of State Information Center to
speak to a customer-service representative at 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424).