Secretary of State
FEBRUARY 7, 2019
Offices, kiosks, online services switching to modern system
during temporary closure to better serve customers
During a Presidents Day weekend closure, the Michigan Department of State will replace the outdated vehicle records system it has used for decades with a modern computer system to better serve customers.
The Customer and Automotive Records System (CARS) will enhance services for Michigan residents by adding new online options, improving existing online and kiosk services, and giving staff a more efficient tool to look up vehicle information and process transactions. CARS updates records in real time and replaces antiquated 1960s legacy mainframe technology that has impeded the department’s ability to optimally serve customers.
“This is a vital project for our department and its millions of customers and the first step in implementing our 30-minute guarantee,” Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said. “When fully implemented, the new system will transform our technology, making our work more efficient and our service to customers better than before.”
During the upgrade to the CARS platform, Secretary of State branch offices, online services and auto business transactions will be taken offline and unavailable from 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, until 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19. Self-service kiosks will be taken offline in phases beginning Friday, Feb. 8. The seven Super Centers usually open Saturday will be closed Saturday, Feb. 16, for the system-wide conversion. All branches will be closed on Presidents Day (Monday, Feb. 18).
For a few weeks following the launch, as staff gets accustomed to the new computer system and adjusts to a different process for handling transactions, service in offices may take longer. Customers are encouraged to use CARS e-Services at ExpressSOS.com or to complete their transactions outside this timeframe.
Late fees will be waived for transactions with expiration dates between Feb. 11 and March 2.
“We sincerely appreciate customers’ patience and understanding as our department modernizes its computer system,” Benson said.
CARS will bring a number of improvements:
Upon completion of the vehicle records phase of the project, the driver records system will be replaced over the next two years, securely combining tens of millions of driver and vehicle records into one integrated customer record system.
For media questions, please call
Communications Director Shawn Starkey at 517-335-3264.
We welcome questions and comments at the Contact the Secretary of State page.
Customers may call the Department of State Information Center to
speak to a customer-service representative at 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424).
NOTE TO EDITORS: CARS Project logo for download and use