Michigan’s Secretary of State (SOS) Jocelyn Benson announced procedures on March 30 for producers who have urgent needs from the SOS, including issuance of seasonal restricted CDL licenses and special registrations, including farm plates for transporting farm supplies, livestock, feed and other products necessary for supporting critical infrastructure.
As a result of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order, all local SOS are closed on a temporary basis for walk-in customer service.
“While our online services remain available at Michigan.gov/SOS, we recognize that in some cases in- person services are required for critical infrastructure workers to sustain life in our society,” Benson said in a statement. “We are committed to providing emergency in-person services to members of your industry and need your assistance to do so.”
According to Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB) Legislative Counsel Andrew Vermeesch, the SOS is asking Michigan professional and trade associations, such as Michigan Farm Bureau, to compile specific member requests for emergency service requests and transactions supporting critical infrastructure activities designated under Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-21.
“Since critical infrastructure includes many elements of the food and agricultural supply chain, SOS is asking that specific service requests that can’t be conducted online, be submitted through trade organizations for verification and processing,” Vermeesch said.
Under the procedure, Vermeesch said organizations are being asked to confirm that any requestor is doing work to sustain life or to support other work or workers sustaining life as outlined in the governor’s order, and detailed further in a memo by the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
Assuming the individual meets those criteria, Vermeesch said farmers are then asked to complete an SOS Emergency Services Request by doing the following:
- Download this Excel formto streamline the processing flow of service requests. If you have trouble downloading it, email Andrew Vermeesch to request the form.
- Fill out the information in the EXCEL form as completely as possible. In the case of license requests, the information entered should be that of the person who needs to be licensed, but include the farm name and contact information, in the event additional information is needed. Farmers are strongly encouraged to batch their services requests onto one form.
- Send the completed form to Andrew Vermeeschwho will review and then forward the requests to the designated point person at the Secretary of State’s office.
- SOS will directly contact those requesting services to facilitate the process for approvals and emergency appointments to schedule the transaction.
According to Benson, the SOS is working to extend credential expirations and that online services remain available.
“We have waived all late fees since March 13, and we have notified the Michigan State Police of our limited operations and asked them to notify local law enforcement agencies statewide and to exercise discretion when interacting with someone with an expired credentials,” Benson concluded.
Michigan Farm Bureau and Michigan Farm News are committed to providing its members and readers with the latest news and information on the COVID-19 pandemic. For news, updates and resources, visit https://www.michfb.com/MI/Coronavirus/. The page will be updated daily as more information becomes available.