Whitmer signs bills to extend driver’s license expiration dates

New extensions are retroactive to April 1 and continue through Aug. 1
 (Michigan Secretary of State Photo)
(Michigan Secretary of State Photo) (WLUC)
Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 5:19 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - Michigan residents won’t have to worry about expiring driver’s licenses, state ID cards and vehicle registrations for a little longer.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed three bills on Thursday extending the expiration dates to help the Secretary of State’s Office deal with a massive backlog of transactions. The extensions last for up to 120 days retroactive to April 1 and continuing through Aug. 1.

Any late fees or fines accrued on licenses, ID cards and registrations during that time would be waived.

“The pandemic was tough on all of us, and these bills put Michigan drivers first by giving Michiganders the flexibility they need to renew their drivers license and IDs,” Whitmer said. “It is crucial that we continue to offer services at our Secretary of State that fit the needs of all residents as we move forward.”

Republicans introduced Senate Bills 507, 508 and 509 as a reaction to the backlog of transactions at the 170 Michigan Secretary of State branch offices across the state.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced a permanent continuation of an appointment only business model for her offices. Lawmakers have been pushing Benson to offer walk-in service to everyone again.

She said the offices welcome walk-in service already. People can receive immediate service when an employee is available and a greeter will help schedule an appointment to return when necessary.

“We are glad to be entering a new era of services at our offices that are more efficient and convenient than ever before,” Benson said.

Most vehicle registration and driver’s license renewals can be completed online or using a Secretary of State kiosk in grocery stores around Michigan. But residents still need to visit a branch office for an updated ID photo and eye test periodically or to pay for the renewal in cash.

Some transactions related to vehicles also must be completed in person.

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