Driver’s license, state ID extension bills sent to governor

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Ruth Johnson’s legislation as part of a 3-bill package to extend the expiration dates of Michigan driver’s licenses, personal identification cards and vehicle registrations is on its way to the governor’s desk after being finalized by the Legislature on Thursday.

“People should not pay the price for the secretary of state’s failures; she needs to fix the system so that people can get service in a timely manner,” said Johnson, who also previously served as secretary of state until 2019. “These bills will ensure Michigan drivers are not punished with a $200 ticket or a late fee simply because they couldn’t get an appointment at a secretary of state office before their license or registration expired.”

Johnson’s bill, Senate Bill 508, would extend the expiration of enhanced licenses and state ID cards by up to 120 days, starting with those that expired on April 1. The extension would be available for items that expire through Aug. 1. SB 507 would make the same extension to driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations, and SB 509 would apply the extension to standard state ID cards.

“The secretary of state created this problem when she decided to end same-day services and go to an appointment-only system,” said Johnson, R-Holly. “She needs to fix it. In the meantime, these reforms will protect Michigan families by extending the expiration date for driver’s licenses, state IDs and vehicle registrations.”

Under SBs 507 and 508, late fees would be waived until all secretary of state branch offices offer adequate same-day, walk-in services with no appointment required — for transactions completed that day — each day branch offices are open.

Many transactions still need to be done in-person at a branch office, including getting a new driver’s license or state ID, renewing a license or ID when a new photo or eye test is needed, or paying cash for services when customers do not have a credit card or checking account.

The fines for driving on an expired license or registration often exceed $200. While some law enforcement officers are aware of the secretary of state issues and have shown leniency, many residents still face tickets.

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