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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Rachel Pott
Rachel Pott
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I am a marketing major about to start my second year at Northern Michigan University, however, this will be my third year in college. I previously attended a small community college...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

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Secretary of State gives residents faster options

A new online service called provides Michigan residents with an easier, no-wait tool to access the Secretary of State (SOS).

According to the Michigan Department of State website, the new online tool allows residents to process common transactions from the comfort of their home.

These include renewing and replacing driver’s licenses or other IDs, ordering multiple copies of titles and registrations, as well as changing addresses.

“We’ve had over 166,000 transactions online since the site was opened a month and a half ago,” Fred Woodhams, SOS representative said.

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Due to staff reductions, the SOS was looking for a way to help continue to put customer service first.

With the introduction of the website, Michigan residents should find shorter lines in the SOS branches, but not a cut back in hours or locations.

The goal is to benefit both customers who can use the online system for the more common transactions, and also those who still have to go to the offices in person.

“The website will help both [customers] have a pleasant experience. Customers with more complicated transactions can have more one on one time with the persons working,” Woodhams said. is open to anyone who would be eligible to complete these transactions by mail.

It is designed to allow residents to complete these transactions from the comfort of their homes or local libraries.

Residents simply put in their information into the site and their current registrations with the department should be available online said Woodhams.

The SOS chose to seek alternative means for processing residents’ transactions to help cut down on commonly long lines in the local branches.

The services chosen to be put online were the most common and routine in nature.

With the live online registration, law enforcement’s records are updated immediately with the new information from the website.

“I feel like if it works, it will make life a lot easier for people,” Jessica Branson, a senior zoology major said. “It’s so much more convenient than trying to find time between classes to go to the Secretary of State.”

With the combination of the online site, registration by mail, and self-service stations, the SOS is hoping to give residents other options to complete their transactions besides waiting in line in the local branches.

The site has received a lot of positive feedback.

Although the SOS is always looking at ways to expand, they currently have no other plans for the immediate future said Woodhams.

For more information about the new site, visit it online or contact the local Marquette County PLUS Branch at (888) 767-6424.

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