The Department of State is the oldest department within Michigan state government and is administered by the secretary of state. Elected to a four-year term with a maximum of two terms, the secretary of state is a member of the executive branch and has constitutional as well as statutory duties. Secretary Johnson’s initiatives include improving customer service and convenience, consumer protection and ensuring integrity in elections.
The secretary of state is the chief motor vehicle administrator and chief election officer for the state’s 10 million residents and is a voting member of several state boards and commissions, including the State Administrative Board, the Governor’s Traffic Safety Advisory Commission and the Michigan Truck Safety Commission. In the event of concurrent vacancies in the office of governor and lieutenant governor, including absence from the state, the secretary of state serves as governor.
Michigan is one of two states where the secretary of state has authority over election processes as well as vehicle registrations and the licensing of drivers. Other duties include administration of driver education and traffic safety programs; document certification as Keeper of the Great Seal which provides the highest level of document certification in the state; and management of the notary public program. The department also maintains the state’s official repository of records, including state and local government records, state statutes and commercial financing statements. Additionally, the department administers the state’s organ donor registry.
The Department of State’s organizational structure includes the Bureau of Elections and three administrations, Customer Service, Department Services and Legal Services.
The Customer Service Administration (CSA) includes the Bureau of Branch Office Services, the Bureau of Driver and Vehicle Programs, the Office of Customer Services, the Department of State Information Center and the Office of Program Support and Development. The Bureau of Branch Office Services operates a network of 131 branch offices providing driver’s licensing, vehicle titling and registration and voter registration. The Bureau of Driver and Vehicle Programs manages and oversees driver and vehicle records; traffic safety initiatives; automotive business licensing and regulation; and driver licensing, assessment and education. The Office of Customer Services oversees Uniform Commercial Code services and serves International Registration Plan vehicle owners. The Department of State Information Center provides information about programs and services.
- Director: Michael Wartella
The Department Services Administration (DSA) provides coordination and support to the department for administration, finance, technology, project management, human resources, employee development, information security and occupancy management.
- Director: Rose Jarois
The Legal Services Administration (LSA) provides legal counsel to the secretary of state, and includes the Administrative Hearings Section and the Office of Investigative Services. The Administrative Hearing Section contains hearing officers who hold hearings on driver’s license appeals as well as administrative hearings for business licenses and certifications, and administers the Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device program. The Office of Investigative Services is made up of the Business Compliance and Regulation Division that covers automotive business licensing and compliance, the Regulatory Monitoring Division that investigates licensed and registered automotive related businesses and other vehicle-related regulatory issues, and the Enforcement Division, that contains the Fraud Investigation Section, Investigative Analytics Section and the Branch Review and Special Programs Section.
- Director: Bill Kordenbrock
The Bureau of Elections is responsible for overseeing elections in Michigan and relevant programs, including the campaign-finance and lobbyist disclosure. The bureau oversees the coordination of 83 county clerks, county canvassing boards, election commissions, 280 city clerks, and 1,240 township clerks. The elections director serves as secretary to the Board of State Canvassers, a constitutional body responsible for canvassing petitions to place statewide ballot questions before voters and for canvassing nominating petitions and election results for all statewide offices, certain congressional and legislative offices and all judicial offices.
- Director: Sally Williams
- Hours: Monday - Friday,
8:00 am - 5:00 pm ET
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 800-292-5973