Go to official State of Michigan sites, not unaffiliated pay sites
Secretary of State Ruth Johnson reminds Michigan residents that when they go online for Secretary of State business they double-check the website they’re doing business with before they get taken for a ride by a motor-vehicle look-alike site.
“When you need answers or have driver or vehicle business to do in Michigan, watch out for sites that aren’t official state of Michigan sites that pop up in a web search,” Johnson said. “Those unofficial sites may charge you unnecessary fees and provide inaccurate information. Keep it real. Deal directly with the Secretary of State’s Office.”
Johnson said her office regularly receives complaints from customers who believed they visited an official Secretary of State website to complete a transaction and paid a fee, only to later find that the money did not go to the state, and they did not get the services they thought they were buying.
Unfortunately, these customers used an online search engine that listed sites not affiliated with the state of Michigan when they were looking for driver’s license and vehicle license plate renewal options or other Secretary of State services. These sites charge for information or services that are normally available at no cost on the official department website.
The unofficial sites, which may end in “.org” or “.com”, often give the initial impression of being a motor-vehicle agency website, but, if you look closer, the sites may have a notification they are not affiliated with a government agency. Some sites sell “guides” to people about how to obtain a driver’s license that may be nothing more than electronic versions of free literature that motorists can get online or at any Secretary of State office.
Official Secretary of State online services can be accessed by going to Michigan.gov/sos or ExpressSOS.com, which redirect users to the Michigan.gov site. State of Michigan web pages all have Michigan.gov in the address or state.mi.us for some services.