Secretary Johnson: Extensive computer upgrade project to bring more online services

Customer and Automotive Records System LogoOCTOBER 8, 2018

Plate orders, business licensing among new options

Secretary of State customers will have even more ways to avoid an office visit when the first phase of the Customer and Automotive Records System project launches in February, introducing new, secure online services and improving office visits for everyone, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said.

Ordering or replacing specialty license plates, ordering duplicate plate tabs and renewing snowmobile registrations will be possible for the first time by smartphone, tablet or computer. Existing online services, such as convenient license plate tab renewals, also will be made more customer-friendly on a modern platform that will work for customers each time they use it.

Many of the business and professional licensing transactions the Secretary of State’s Office conducts with auto dealers, repair facilities, mechanics and other providers also will be available online for the first time. Additionally, Self-Service Stations will offer convenient watercraft registration renewals like they already do for license plate tab renewals.

“For too long, Secretary of State service upgrades have been hampered by an antiquated system that badly needs to be replaced,” Johnson said. “That ends this coming February. I’m pleased to say that our extensive computer upgrade project is on time and on budget, and will revolutionize Secretary of State customer service.”

Johnson said her office’s partnership with the information technology contractor FAST Enterprises, with assistance from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, has worked well. FAST has launched 15 motor-vehicle systems in 11 states and is the only company nationally that has successfully completed legacy system modernization projects for motor-vehicle agencies in more than one state or Canadian province.

“As secretary of state, I brought in FAST in 2016 as the new IT contractor on this job because they had a proven track record of successfully delivering large projects on time and on budget in every state they’ve worked in,” Johnson said. “FAST employees got right to work and have worked alongside Secretary of State staff since 2017.”

After the implementation of the vehicle phase in February, the project team will focus on the second half of the project, which will securely modernize the state’s driver records system. That phase is estimated to take another two years. Upon completion of the project, Michigan’s tens of millions of driver and vehicle records will have been combined into one integrated customer records system that updates in real time, replacing multiple, separate systems that don’t effectively transfer customer-record updates among themselves. The legacy mainframe-based system in use today dates to the late 1960s.

All of the information in the new system will be quickly accessible by office staff members with a single search, making calls to customer service and visits to one of our 131 Secretary of State offices faster and more efficient. Even correspondence that has been sent to each customer will be part of their record so customer-support staff can quickly review previous transactions to better assist customers.

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