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During the upgrade to the CARS platform, Secretary of State branch offices, online services and
auto business transactions will be taken offline and unavailable from 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, until
9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19. Self-service kiosks will be taken offline in phases beginning Friday,
Feb. 8. (See the schedule.) The seven Super Centers usually open Saturday will be closed
Saturday, Feb. 16, for the system-wide conversion. All branches will be closed on Presidents
Day (Monday, Feb. 18).
For a few weeks following the launch, as staff gets accustomed to the new computer system and
adjusts to a different process for handling transactions, service in offices may take longer.
Customers are encouraged to use CARS e-Services at ExpressSOS.com or to complete their
transactions outside this timeframe.
Late fees will be waived for transactions with expiration dates between Feb. 11 and March 2.
“We sincerely appreciate customers’ patience and understanding as our department modernizes
its computer system,” Benson said.
CARS will bring a number of improvements:
Convenient, new online services will be offered at ExpressSOS.com that include the
option to order a license plate, renew a snowmobile registration and order a Recreation
Passport and replacement tab for a plate. Many transactions for auto dealers, repair
facilities, mechanics and driver education instructors and providers will be possible
• Existing online services will be more user-friendly with an intuitive interface and real-
time updates that will allow many vehicle-related transactions the old system would
reject as unavailable (because of data update issues).
• Advanced security features will prompt online customers to create a user ID and
password using MILogin, which also can be used to access other state government
• Self-service kiosks now will offer watercraft registration renewals, in addition to the
current license plate tab renewals.
• Branch office technology will be greatly improved. All of the information in CARS will
be quickly accessible by a branch office staff member with a single search, and they can
review the transaction history to better assist customers.
• Programming legislative changes that affect the department will be a faster, less resource-
intensive process with modern technology.
• The department will be able to move toward electronic records and eliminating
paperwork for customers.