Senate: Let drivers renew license in person less frequently

Published: Dec. 10, 2020 at 6:51 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan drivers could renew their licenses more frequently online or by mail instead of having to go to a secretary of state branch office under bipartisan legislation that has received unanimous Senate approval.

Residents now can renew their driver’s license or state ID card by mail or the internet once, for a four-year term, but must go in person every eight years to get a new photograph. The bills passed Thursday would allow for an in-person renewal once every 12 years.

Republican State Sen. Ruth Johnson of Holly, a former Michigan secretary of state, said the change would improve safety and convenience for people. More appointments would be available for professional licenses if fewer are used for driver’s license renewals.

“People are having trouble getting an appointment to transfer the title of a car they want to buy or sell,” said Johnson. “They can’t get scheduled to take an examination for a commercial driver’s license or chauffer’s license — or a mechanic certification — that they need to do their job.”

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.