LANSING (WWJ) – Michigan’s Secretary of State is making a bold move to cut down on the long lines at branch offices. Ruth Johnson says motorists will now be able to renew their tabs online all the way up to, and on the day of, their birthday.

Johnson tells WWJ Newsradio 950 hopes it will lighten the pain for those who must go the branch office.

“After the 4th of July we had in Southfield a three-and-a-half-hour wait,” said Johnson. “And a great deal of these are people who are people who are getting their tabs, because we have nine million tabs in Michigan, and that really is the bulk of the people that come to the Secretary of State’s office.”

Johnson said this new plan is designed to help those who procrastinate. or simply forget. Right now, only about a quarter of Michigan motorists renew their plates online.

“What happens is people put their mailing that we send to them on their china cabinet, on the counter and then often find it and it’s too late send it through the mail. So, out of nine million tabs, six-and-a-half million are purchased right at the branch office.”

Vehicle owners can renew online at up through the last minute of their birthday. Upon completion of the transaction, they will be able to print off a temporary registration document to keep in their vehicle as proof until they receive their tabs and registration in the mail, usually within a week to 10 days.

Those with questions can call the Department of State Information Center to speak to a customer-service representative at (888) SOS-MICH (767-6424).


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