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Benson, area officials launch newest Secretary of State mobile office serving Great Lakes Bay
July 25, 2023
Celebration at Flint senior center highlights Michigan Department of State's innovative outreach to aging residents
FLINT, Mich. – Today, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson launched the newest mobile Secretary of State office at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Flint. Benson was joined by Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley, Sen. John Cherry, Rep. Cynthia Neeley, Rep. Jasper Martus and other local officials in celebrating the Great Lakes Bay mobile office, which will serve Flint, Saginaw, Bay City, Midland, and other communities in the region.
This is the fourth mobile office to hit the road in Michigan, joining a fleet that currently serves Southeast Michigan, Mid-Michigan, and West Michigan. It will bring Secretary of State services to senior centers, foster care facilities, rural areas, and other communities with limited mobility or poor internet access. Today’s ceremony at Hasselbring Senior Center showcased the services the mobile offices are providing to older Michiganders so they can continue to drive safely, exercise their voting rights, and remain active members of their communities.
“Michigan seniors play vital, positive roles in our communities and it’s important for state government to serve them in a way that best meets their needs,” Secretary Benson said. “Convenient access to Secretary of State transactions like voter registration, driver’s license renewal, vehicle title transfers, and accurate information about upcoming elections helps keep aging Michiganders safely mobile, active, and engaged. I’m proud to launch this vital resource in the Great Lakes Bay region today to support local seniors and other residents in communities of need.”
“This is a great initiative for Flint residents with State of Michigan resources,” said Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley. “Secretary Benson is doing a fantastic job, reaching out and making sure Flint residents have equal opportunity to access services with the Secretary of State.”
"We are thrilled to welcome the Secretary of State Mobile Office to Flint, bringing accessibility and convenience right to our community's doorstep," said State Senator John Cherry (D-Flint). “This mobile unit reflects Michigan’s commitment to providing efficient and resident-centric services, ensuring folks can access vital resources easily and save time."
“I am so excited to learn that the Secretary of State mobile unit is coming to our area,” said Beverly Lewis, executive director of Hasselbring Senior Center. “There are so many people, especially our seniors and those without transportation, who have challenges getting to the local agencies to handle their business. This service will benefit them greatly. Thank you, Michigan Secretary of State!”
According to May 2023 Michigan Department of State data, nearly 25% of Michigan’s 7.34 million licensed drivers are aged 65 or older. Approximately 383,000 of those drivers are aged 80 or older. Mobile office visits to senior living communities around Michigan help make sure aging drivers are equipped with what they need to drive safely for as long as they are able. Many Michigan seniors without strong networks of family or friends to rely on can feel isolated and lonely. Bringing a mobile office directly to older Michiganders helps ensure they can stay active in their communities and in our democratic process.
The mobile offices have visited 80 Michigan senior centers since Secretary Benson re-launched the program the fall of 2021.
“The mobile Secretary of State office that came to our community was highly talked about by our residents,” said Adrienne Fritzler, general manager of Genesee Gardens, which hosted a mobile office earlier this year. “They loved the convenience of not having to go in person to an office and are looking forward to them coming back in the near future.”
Secretary of State mobile offices travel to community organizations and set up operations in the lobbies and shared spaces of their facilities. Residents can apply for and renew their driver’s license or state ID, update their address, register to vote, transfer vehicle titles, and more. More than 8,000 Secretary of State transactions have been conducted at the mobile offices in the last two years.
Secretary Benson plans to launch three additional mobile offices in Michigan this year that will serve Northern Michigan, the Upper Peninsula, and metro Detroit.
Senior centers, senior living communities, and other organizations interested in bringing a mobile office to their community can submit a request at Michigan.gov/SOSMobile.
Secretary Benson cuts the ceremonial ribbon to launch the new Secretary of State mobile office for the Great Lakes Bay region. From left to right: Michigan Department of State Senior Advisor Heaster Wheeler, Sen. John Cherry, Hasselbring Senior Center Executive Director Beverly Lewis, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley, Rep. Cynthia Neeley, Rep. Jasper Martus.
Secretary Benson hugs Beverly Lewis, executive director of Hasselbring Senior Center, which hosted the mobile office launch event.
Secretary Benson celebrates the newest mobile office hitting the road today in Flint to serve the people of Michigan.