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Benson, lawmakers visit Department of State offices in Saginaw, Flint
July 14, 2021
Residents can now schedule visits during expanded hours
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and three state representatives visited Department of State offices in Saginaw and Flint and spoke with staff and residents about the department's new efficient and convenient services. Benson was joined by Rep. Amos O'Neal (D-Saginaw) in Saginaw and Reps. John Cherry (D-Flint) and Cynthia Neeley (D-Flint) in Flint.
As the visits occurred, the department also opened up thousands of additional opportunities for in-person service, as residents can now schedule visits during expanded office hours that start next week.
"The department is offering more efficient, convenient service than ever before in history, and I'm committed to making government work better for all Michiganders," Benson said. "We will continue working with partners in the legislature to expand the services available without visiting an office at all, and the Michiganders who were at our offices today said they had easily scheduled their visits or arrived unannounced for quick, same-day service."
"I am glad Secretary Benson took time to visit branch offices in Genesee County," said state Rep. John Cherry (D-Flint). "While I know the work to improve the customer experience and add capacity after decades of disinvestment is difficult, I am happy that through compromise and negotiation the Michigan House of Representatives was able to help collaborate on the implementation of a convenient process for customers to conduct their business, whether that is an online transaction, a scheduled visit or walk-up service. We now need to ensure that the department receives adequate funding to fully address the backlog of services that built up during the pandemic."
"Working together to address the backlog that was created once the grace period for expiration dates ended remains a top priority," said state Rep. Cynthia Neeley (D-Flint). "As Secretary Benson continues her work to modernize the department and make it easier and more convenient to conduct business in the branches, these visits will provide an excellent chance to see first-hand what is working and hear what needs to improve with input from the people who work there and experience it every day."
"I applaud the efforts being made to ensure speedy, reliable service for customers despite decades of disinvestment by legislative leaders, but without fully funding the department, the work to improve the customer experience cannot be fully realized," said state Rep. Amos O'Neal (D-Saginaw). "If we're going to ensure employees can truly keep up with the demand for appointments, the Legislature must provide the funding needed to truly optimize and expand the model we collaborated on creating. I enjoyed visiting the Saginaw branch and learning what we need to do to support them best."
From July 19 through Sept 30, all Department of State offices will stay open until 6 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays, and open at 8 a.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Residents who want to schedule visits at these times are now able to do so starting at 2 p.m. every Wednesday, when the extra hours for the entire following week will become available.
Visits can be scheduled online at Michigan.gov/SOS, by phone at 888-MICH-SOS or in-person with the assistance of branch staff.