Every Michigan driver will be acquainted with the SOS office and its many processes at some point in their lives. Though it may seem daunting at first, trips to the SOS office get easier with more experience and research. The best way to visit the SOS is to have all your documents and information prepared beforehand. Applying for drivers licenses, renewing vehicle registration, lifting license suspension, and even registering as an organ donor are all services handled by the SOS office.
Locating Your Nearest Michigan SOS Branch
SOS office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays for most branches. Wednesdays have varying hours depending on location. Special “Super Center” branches are also open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. You can use the branch office locator to find the one closest and most convenient to your location. Prior to your visit, it is important to contact the branch to inquire about the specific service you require, as not every location caters to all services. Use the phone numbers listed on the branch locator to ensure they provide the services you require.
Making an Appointment for Driving Skills Test
The driving skills test in Michigan is provided not by the SOS office, but by state-approved third party institutions. Consult the approved provider list to find your local test center to make an appointment. Make sure you have received a temporary permit from an SOS office prior to taking your driving test. Be aware that policies and fees vary for each test center, so it is wise to inquire about initial and re-test fees during your phone call. In regards to other traffic-related services, the SOS unfortunately does not take any appointments for advance scheduling, so all drivers visiting SOS offices must wait patiently to be served. The best way to save time is to visit during non-peak hours when it is unlikely that many other people will already be waiting.
Accessing SOS Forms
Drivers showing up at SOS branch offices without any prepared paperwork can end up wasting a large portion of their day. Thankfully, all of the SOS offices’ forms can be found on their website, so you have everything you need to get the proper forms ready ahead of time. You should take time to find out exactly which forms are required for your particular needs. If you print out the ones you need and fill them out in advance, your time spent at an SOS branch office will be cut significantly. This also gives you the chance to look up any specific information you need to include, such as specifics about your vehicle or your own personal records. Read about the most common applications in Forms.
Michigan Point System
Most states use a driving point system to penalize unsafe drivers and keep reckless people off of the roads. Each traffic violation has a distinct point value, and remains active for two years after the date of conviction. Common violation examples include four points for racing, three points for careless driving, and two points for driving 10 MPH above the speed limit (and more depending on how fast you go). There is a basic driver improvement course available if you wish to voluntarily reduce your points, but this may only be used once. Steep fines will be incurred starting from the seventh point you acquire, so it is financially wise to keep your points in check. For detailed information on the point system, consult the Michigan driver manual.
Getting a Copy of Your Driving Record
It’s easy to forget your past traffic violations and the penalties they carry, especially if years have gone by. Your driving record keeps track of all resolved and outstanding convictions, offenses, accidents, points, and suspensions. Requesting a copy of your driving record is the best way to stay up to date on the current status of your license. Keep in mind that insurance companies and employers can view your record, which can potentially affect cost of premiums and employment, so keep a clean driving record at all costs.