Service grinds to halt at Secretary of State offices - so does drivers' patience

Image 1 of 2

Michigan's Secretary of State system was beset with issues after a system upgrade earlier this month that was supposed to make everything better in the long run.

The issues and wait times were especially bad on Wednesday, when customers told us the text notification system was not accurately predicting wait times. We were told the self-service kiosks were also down - and many waited 3 or 4 hours for routine services. 

"I came here at 2:30 and was told it was a three to four-hour wait," one woman at the Secretary of State branch in Novi told us. 

"I got in line about 2 o'clock and they said the estimated wait time was 220 minutes," Alex Tartaglia told us. "I asked for a status update at 5 o'clock, they said your updated wait time was now five minutes. I work in Wixom so luckily I was close enough. I asked for a little bit of extra time because I was in traffic, it said 12 minutes which was fine. I get to the door, (and there was a) 160-minute update."

"I know people in there are getting pretty frustrated," said Sandra Adams-Dupuis. "I'm surprised no one's starting going to crazy yet."

We went to the office across town in Southfield and found customers frustrated with the same problem.

"She says she's doing the best she can, I understand that, but still, 11 a.m. and I still haven't been seen?" said Velvet Bryant. 

FOX 2: "And they're about to close soon."

"Yes, and I'm closing with it because I'm gone," she said.

The exercises in patience come as branch staffers get used to a new vehicle records system.

Newly-elected Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson campaigned on cutting wait times at SOS locations promising to work to establish a "30-minute guarantee." Benson's communications director called the wait times "completely unacceptable" and says they are working to address the underlying issues causing those long delays.

"What kind of a state runs like this? “said one woman. 

And the Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson communications director went on to say the new vehicle records system will provide a better customer experience after staffers get used to it.

They're also reminding customers that a lot of transactions can be done online at