MI SOS Supports Electronic Vehicle Title Transfer Legislation

Lansing, MI - Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson testified Tuesday, October 3, 2023 before the Senate Transportation & Infrastructure Committee to urge legislators to pass SB 533, a bill that would permit the electronic transfer of titles or interest in vehicles.

“Since taking office as Secretary of State, I have made it a priority to provide residents with convenient options that allow them to complete their transactions without needing to visit a branch office," Secretary Benson said. “The Michigan Department of State has made great strides toward that goal. If passed, this bill would improve our department’s ability to serve the people of Michigan by giving them a faster online option for transferring their vehicle titles.”

  • Senate Bill 533 would permit the Michigan Department of State (MDOS) to establish a secure electronic system to bring private sellers and buyers together online to conduct their transaction, saving them time and a branch visit.
  • The bill would also allow MDOS to issue buyers an electronic title instead of a paper one, like the department does today through the Electronic Lien and Title (ELT) system.

In March 2021, Michigan joined over a dozen other states in allowing for the electronic exchange of lien and title information with lienholders in place of a paper certificate of title, when a vehicle purchase is financed, increasing both security and efficiency of MDOS transactions.

In the last fiscal year ending Sept. 30, staff in Secretary of State offices across the state completed more than 930,000 of these private party title transfers for residents.

Secretary Benson updated the committee on other customer service improvements made by the department under her leadership. Since January 2019, MDOS has:

  • Doubled the number of services available online
  • Tripled the number of services available at self-service stations—and offered them in multiple languages
  • Increased the amount of transactions customers complete without an office visit from 28% to 60%

“By letting people conduct their business with our department outside of the branch, we have eliminated hours-long waits,” Benson said. “Secretary of State customers have taken notice. Google reviews, which used to average 2.5 stars out of 5, now average over 4 stars.”

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