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Michigan bill would bring DMV services to the branch

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A new bill before the Michigan Legislature could help shorten lines for driver's license services and increase foot traffic at credit unions across the state.

House Bill No. 5171 would allow credit unions and banks in Michigan to offer driver’s license renewals instead of requiring a visit to the secretary of state’s office. SOS is the Michigan department that handles services such as driver’s licenses and state ID cards, vehicle title and registration, voter registration and more.

Twenty-two members of the Michigan House are signed on as co-sponsors and the bill has been referred to the House Committee on Transportation. Participation would be voluntary and open to credit unions with either state or federal charters, as well as banks, savings and loans and other financial institutions.

Credit unions and banks participating would require a bond or errors and omissions insurance “in an amount that the secretary of state prescribes to cover the safe handling of money under this act,” according to the bill.

Matt Maddock, a Republican member of the House who introduced the bill, said in a Facebook post that the law could save more than $150 million a year in lost wait times by shifting traffic away from Michigan’s 131 SOS offices.

There were more than 1,100 credit union branches across the state at the end of June, and more than half of all Michiganders belong to a credit union.

The bill must still be passed by the House and Senate before the governor can sign it into law. If the measure does move forward, Michigan wouldn’t be the first to offer this sort of service. Last year, Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union in Rocky Hill, Conn., set up two DMV Express centers inside its branches as a way to boost its visibility. It's one of many ways CUs are attempting to broaden the number of consumers they reach, even if that means doing so in the manner of a partnership that doesn't include any high-pressure sales pitch for membership.

Representatives from the Michigan Credit Union League said the bill did not originate with the trade group. MCUL is reviewing the legislation.

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