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Tips For A Stress Free Trip To The Secretary of State

Over the course of its existence, visiting the Secretary of State(SOS) or Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has become synonymous with being about as much fun as a root canal. And in a way, it makes sense. Hours spent sitting in line, waiting to renew your license, get your tab or title a vehicle, only to hope you have everything you need when you get to the front of the line… who in their right mind would actually look forward to it?  But recent changes to the State of Michigan’s Secretary of State offer better solutions to help avoid long lines and endless hours sitting at one of their locations and as a dealership who has to frequent the DMV often, we’re letting you in on the tips and tricks we know that can get the job done faster, foregoing the long wait times.


Schedule An Appointment

Don’t want to sit for hours needlessly at the Secretary of State? The great news is, you don’t need to! With a little bit of planning ahead, you can skip the long lines and frustration by scheduling an appointment online. You can make an appointment by visiting the SOS website here and choose a location, enter your cell phone number and then click on Appointments: Click here to book an Appointment for a future time or date, and then select a date and time. Be warned though, the soonest option is often at least two weeks out. So planning ahead is the *key* to making this option work.


Get In Line Virtually

Similar to booking an appointment ahead of time, getting in line virtually can save you hours spent sitting at an actual Secretary of State office by going online here, choosing a location, entering your cell phone number and then selecting All Services: Join line now. This will prompt a text to your phone letting you know you have joined the line and how many people are currently in front of you. For some locations, joining the line virtually can also be achieved by visiting the same link above to find out what number to text directly to get in line. Updates on your place in line will continue to be sent to you throughout the day, including when you are nearing the front of the line and should start heading to the location. And if life should happen and you no can no longer make it to the Secretary of State like you had planned, you can text ‘L’ to leave the line and try again on a different day.


Go Online

Not everything can be done online but for the items that can be completed from the comfort of your own home, visiting can be a huge timesaver and save you from the frustration of visiting an SOS office when you really don’t need to at all. Services you can complete online for individuals include renew a standard driver’s license or state ID card, replace a standard license or ID card, join the Organ Donor Registry or change your address. Business services that are offered online include vehicle dealers, repair facilities and mechanics, driver education providers and instructors and International Registration Plan (IRP).


Visit A Kiosk

If you only need to renew your license tab, visiting a kiosk is an easy solution for those who might have waited too long to do it online and receive it in the mail in time. By visiting a kiosk location, you can utilize a self-service station to input your information, pay at the machine and be on your way with your new tab! It is important to note that payment must be with a valid Visa, MasterCard or Discover credit or debit card and will incur a nominal processing fee. Self-Service Stations cannot be used to renew Gross Vehicle Weight tabs and chip card processing rules limit kiosk transactions to a maximum of $500.


Be Prepared

Above all else, the Boy Scout motto to ‘be prepared’ rings true when visiting the Secretary of State. No matter what method you utilize to get the job done, if you don’t have all of the necessary documents to complete your transaction, you’re going to not only be frustrated but leave without accomplishing your objective. If you aren’t sure what items will be required, start by visiting their website to find out before you leave and then check in at desk 1 to verify you have everything.



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