Livingston County needs another Secretary of State branch, and we need it now

The Secretary of State PLUS branch in Genoa Township.

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My youngest child will most likely be getting her driver’s license in July 2020. I think I’m going to head over to the Secretary of State office right now and get in line.

Livingston County, as you know, only has one Secretary of State office, and that ain’t cutting it anymore. We need another branch, and we need it now.

This point was driven home to me recently when I waited in line for more than an hour at the Livingston County SOS branch, located on Grand River Avenue in Genoa Township, midway between Brighton and Howell. I was there for a relatively easy transaction that needed to be done in person, but I still had to wait more than an hour.

I was in line 20 minutes before the branch opened in the morning, and once they opened the doors, I still had to wait another 50 minutes or so to make it to the front of the line.

And the stupid thing is, I’m actually one of the lucky ones. I know there are plenty of you people out there who have had to wait two hours or more at the Livingston County Secretary of State office.

That’s ridiculous, and it needs to change. Livingston County needs another Secretary of State office.

Until 2011, we actually DID have two SOS branches in the county (one in Howell and one in Brighton), but they decided to close them down so that they could open a Secretary of State PLUS branch in Genoa Township.

They told us this would be more efficient. They told us this would be better. They told us the lines would be shorter.

They lied.

So the state needs to make it a priority to reopen a branch office in the Brighton area. We can keep the big one we have in Genoa Township, but we need another one in Brighton. They made a mistake in 2011, and they need to fix it.

I know, I know – they’ve made great strides in recent years to move more of the Secretary of State operations online. That’s great, and I try to do as much SOS business as I can online. But there are still some things that need to be done in person, and it’s absolutely ridiculous that you need to take a half-day or more out of your schedule when that happens.

Livingston County has nearly 200,000 residents now, and when you factor in all the folks from Oakland, Washtenaw and Genesee counties who probably come here, it’s ridiculous that we only have one Secretary of State branch.

I think the people who work in our SOS office are terrific – the long lines aren’t their fault – but we need another branch and we need it now.

If you agree, take a second and drop a note to Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. Just click HERE to send her a note. Tell her that Livingston County is too big for just one branch office.

In the meantime, I’m taking a number.

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About Buddy Moorehouse 226 Articles
Longtime Livingston County journalist Buddy Moorehouse is director of communications at the Michigan Association of Public School Academies.


  1. I’m not following? Seems you are way behind the times and tech? I have never had a problem getting service At the Howell SOS – you just have to make your appointment online with your cell number. They keep you updated via SMS on arrival times, You check in by phone when you are on site and move to the front of the line as called on the board. Your article sounds like you don’t have the latest information or you need to beef up on the latest tech? Maybe not worry so much about your upcoming teen driver and do some real research an prep? Maximize the tech your teen is likely comfortable with? Deploy your assets and save taxpayer monies…. this branch is ultra efficient when you plan ahead. I don’t need to fund another. I work 20 minutes away in Brighton and get text messages telling me when to leave my location based on lines and my pre arranged placement in them but yes, you need a smartphone to maximize services. Your article is seriously misinformed or placed for some other political purpose that is misinformed and does a disservice to less informed.

    • OK for me. But seniors citizens, those without Internet skills or access, and those who can’t afford a smartphone are supposed to do what, exactly?

  2. So why were these “concerns” not raised while republicans controlled the Secretary of State office for nearly 25 years???
    Hard to take anyone seriously who has the job of destroying public education..

  3. I can relate. Last year went to that branch to renew my hazmat license, that Monday they told me the computers were down, try back Wednesday they said. Wednesday same thing. Went to Ann Arbor no problem. Jac C.

  4. Just a Republican partisan trying to blame new SOS for the sins (mistakes) of a party that has been in full rigged control of Michigan government for 25 years or more.
    Last I heard Buddy and cronies had pretty much full control.

    Suggest you go to Belize and ask Dick Chrysler why his “fixes” simply corrupted Livingston and Michigan.

    You know it’s true.

  5. The biggest secret is that we DO have another one hidden nearby:

    Secretary of State
    672 N Milford Rd,
    Highland, MI 48357

    It’s only 15 minutes away, and it saves us from the FOUR HOUR wait at Genoa Twp that is the average now.

    If they fully staffed GenoaTwp, that would help also. Last three times I went, they always had less than 50% of the windows open. If they were fully 100% staffed, with an extra person on duty helping sort incoming people, they’d be able to help much quicker.

    • I have waited over 2 hours in Milford. May be the problem is not the office or the staff, but red tape paper work?

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