sun and news 4-10-2021

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The Sun and News, Saturday, April 10, 2021/ Page 9

More secretary of state transactions now available online


Michiganders can now
renew their standard and
enhanced driver’s licenses
and state identification cards
online and at self-service sta-
tions after the Michigan
Department of State success-
fully completed a massive
technology upgrade.
“We have launched a new,
service-driven era of opera-
tions that provides customers
many more ways to conve-
niently conduct their busi-
ness with us,” Secretary of
State Jocelyn Benson said in
an April 7 press release.
“This is a major step forward
as we continue to improve
our service for all
Michiganders.”
New online services
include the opportunity to:


-Renew or replace an
enhanced driver’s license or
state ID if no new photo is
required.
-View the mailing status
of the requested driver’s
license or state ID.
-Pre-apply for an original
driver’s license.
-Request and obtain a
driving record.
-Add a motorcycle
endorsement to an eligible
driver’s license.
-Pay reinstatement fees
and invoices.
-Apply to be a notary pub-
lic.
-Access streamlined busi-
ness services.
New transactions offered
at self-service stations
include:
-Renewing a standard or
enhanced driver’s license or
state ID if no new photo is
required.
-Requesting a replacement


and print out a temporary
license or ID.
-Adding a motorcycle
endorsement to an eligible
driver’s license.
-Signing up on the state’s
organ donor registry.

Between March 16 – when
the upgrade was completed


  • and the end of the month,
    thousands of residents who
    would have previously need-
    ed an office visit took advan-
    tage of the new convenienc-
    es, Benson said. More than
    6,000 people renewed or
    replaced their driver’s licens-
    es or IDs at a self-service
    station, and more than 5,
    enhanced driver’s license or
    ID transactions were com-
    pleted online.
    The department has 146
    self-service stations, and
    more planned, in various
    branch offices and other
    locations statewide, includ-
    ing select Meijer and Kroger
    grocery stores. Transactions
    on the machines are current-
    ly offered in English,
    Spanish, Arabic and
    Vietnamese. All accept credit
    cards, and some accept cash.
    The upgraded technology
    now supporting the depart-
    ment securely combines tens
    of millions of driver and
    vehicle records into one inte-
    grated customer record sys-
    tem and ends the depart-
    ment’s reliance on a legacy
    system from the 1960s. The
    new system was launched
    with support from the
    Department of Technology,
    Management and Budget
    and FAST Enterprises.
    In addition to the new ser-
    vices online and at self-ser-
    vice stations, the department


has also instituted the fol-
lowing improvements:

-An electronic lien and
title program, making lien
and title information avail-
able online for lienholders in
lieu of a paper certificate of
title if their financial institu-
tion participates in the pro-
gram.

The graduated driver
licensing process has been
simplified to reduce custom-
er visits to branch offices.
Student drivers are now
issued a photo license hard
card for a GDL Level 1
license, instead of a paper
license. They don’t need to
return to the branch office
for their Level 2 or Level 3
licenses, and their operator’s
license will be mailed to
them upon turning 18.
-The three Grand Rapids-
area offices will be consoli-
dated into two offices, so that
staff can serve at locations
with higher levels of custom-
er traffic. The Division
Avenue office, which saw
the fewest customers of the
three offices, will not reopen.
Seven self-service stations
have been placed in the area,
with two more planned.
-Four Upper Peninsula
branch offices within the
Central time zone (Bessemer,
Iron River, Iron Mountain
and Menominee) have shift-
ed their hours to 8 a.m.-
p.m., Central time, to match
the operating hours of the
rest of the department’s
branch offices, which are
open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern
time.
-For transactions that do
require a branch office visit,

the department offers
appointments that can be
booked up to six months in
advance. Next-day appoint-

ments are released at 8 a.m.
and noon Monday through
Friday that customers can
book for the next weekday.

Access to online services,
self-service station locations
and appointments can be
found at Michigan.gov/SOS.

Lee students find challenge, fun in new classroom addition


Students who have to
stay inside for recess for var-
ious reasons don’t always
have a lot of options for
things to do.
But with the help of a
grant through the Barry
Community Foundation’s
Wilson H. Craig Fund, Lee
Elementary School second
grade teacher Nathan Fischer
has added an exciting and
challenging option.
Fischer received $641 to


help purchase a large,
two-sided, mobile white-
board. The board can be
transported in and out of
classrooms for students.
Along with the magnetic
board, Fischer purchased
several items to use with the
board to create marble runs.
Students can change, rear-
range and expand the runs
over and over again. They
build, race and learn – all
while playing.

“They have been a huge
hit. Students collaborate,
design, and problem solve as
they build different runs,”
Fischer said, adding that the
board offers lessons in engi-
neering, math and art while
students play.
Students say they aren’t
always successful on their
first try, but that’s what
makes the challenge excit-
ing.
“It’s really cool,” sec-

ond-grader Ian Hall-
Humphrey said. “We made a
super-cool track the other
day, but it took us about 50
million tries before we got it
to work right.”
Classmate Nate Boersma
said it’s fun to build different
marble runs.
“I love it all,” he said.
Second-grader Myah
Rosales said it’s important
not to give up.
“You just have to keep

trying and changing things
where you need to and make
it work,” she said. “I like
seeing how big we can make
the run.”
Fischer said he sees stu-
dents having a lot of fun with
the marble track, but also
sees them problem-solving,
working out engineering
issues, and being creative.
Students also use Magna-
Tiles to create three-dimen-
sional shapes attached to the

whiteboard.
“The whiteboard has pro-
vided hours of enjoyment
and learning for students
while they play during inside
recess,” Fischer said. “I like
seeing them work together to
plan out and build the tracks
and then work together to fix
things that don’t work the
first time. It gives them
encouragement to keep try-
Nathan Boersma works on building a marble run on the magnetic white board. ing.”

Two second-grade students work together to piece together a marble run. (Photos
provided)
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