Bills to Allow for Extended License Expirations During COVID-19 Crisis
LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield) and Rep. Mike Mueller (R-Fenton Township) introduced legislation to grant the Secretary of State the option of extending the expiration dates of Michigan driver’s licenses and state ID cards during a state of emergency.
“This pandemic has been disruptive in many ways. Drivers who cannot renew their licenses inside shuttered Secretary of State branch offices should be granted some relief, and I’m pleased to partner with Secretary of State Benson and Rep. Mueller to provide a needed solution to a problem many Michiganders will face,” Sen. Moss said. “This legislation also ensures that there is no question about the license renewal process during a future emergency that may shut down branch offices.”
Senate Bills 902-904 and House Bills 5755-5757 would allow the Secretary of State to extend license expiration dates 60 days after the end of a state of emergency, along with licenses that expired within a week of the beginning of a state of emergency.
The bills would also grant the secretary the authority to waive any penalties associated with an expired license.
“I am proud to work with Senator Moss and Secretary of State Benson to provide much-needed relief for drivers whose licenses have expired during the State of Emergency. Drivers should never have to worry about late fees and penalties during any emergency situation moving forward,” Rep. Mueller stated.
All 131 Secretary of State branch offices closed on March 24 after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued her first stay-home order due to the COVID-19 outbreak. While in-person and mail renewals remain on hold, residents can still renew their licenses, state ID cards and vehicle registrations online at Michigan.gov/SOS.
“This legislation would enable the quick action needed during emergencies to reduce uncertainty for law enforcement, critical infrastructure workers, and all Michiganders,” said Secretary of State Benson.
For the current state of emergency, Michigan drivers and holders of state IDs are safe from any expired driving penalties. Gov. Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-47 on April 13, which temporarily extends the expiration of driver’s licenses, state ID cards and vehicle registrations — that occur during the state of emergency — until June 30, 2020.
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