It appeared as though a rabbit hole actually turned into a black hole.
At least Alice landed on her feet. Those who were seeking to make an appointment with the Secretary of State to conduct business without a computer, however, found little light.
Last week, a description was here about a gentleman that stopped by our office that wanted to do his civic duty as he was asked by the state’s office to have a new photo for his driver’s license.
The hang up? He didn’t have a computer, and needed to use a phone.
He tried. The police tried. I tried. After various amounts of time, we all hung up.
Last weekend after reading this column, a reader texted about going through the labyrinth of options on the state phone line to create a real black hole. After pressing the options, you are told create an account before you can create an appointment with the Secretary of State’s office.
Anyone’s patience should have not only worn thin, but the frustration and anger likely went from simmer to boil.
The same reader also indicated they sent a check for new registration tags for their respective car two months ago. On Sunday, the check was uncashed.
As an aside, like the reader that texted, I was caught in the same circumstance. I mailed in the payment and forms for tags in early May. Fortunately, when we reached out to the Secretary of State about our reader’s appointment problem, we also asked about that little personal problem, too. We were told by an SOS spokesperson that those of us that had a registration expire between Feb. 1 and June 30 has until July 31 to have the renewal processed, and we shouldn’t be ticketed for it by the police.
Then again, that also means the reader nor myself should be driving out of state because those law enforcement officers aren’t likely to be under the same executive orders as our state’s officers. Sorry, son, we can’t take tours of colleges just yet even if they allowed it, and we probably should take a road trip, either.
Both the reader and I found that our checks were cashed this week, so maybe those registration tags are on their way.
Back to our readers without computers.
Once it was figured out that perhaps the phone message isn’t the way to go, it meant maybe there are organizations or people within our community that can help our friends and neighbors out without a computer. I failed to help serve the reader with the initial problem with a simple solution that was right there.
Maybe other folks in our community can lend a hand.
We reached out to our local senior centers. Vickie Collins, the director of the Ludington Area Senior Center, said if a senior who falls into this area where they don’t have a computer and they need some help, her office could help.
Collins told me that they can’t meet individuals face-to-face right now, but if they’re comfortable, they would be able to assist in scheduling an appointment on the SOS website. If the public has reservations about doing that, Collins said she doesn’t like to take people’s personal information over the phone, either. The senior center’s phone number is 231-845-6841.
But what if these folks without a computer are a veteran? We reached out to Jim Wincek, the director of the Mason County Department of Veteran Affairs, and explained the situation to him. Wincek said if there is a veteran who is in the situation where they don’t have access to a computer and they need to set an appointment up with the Secretary of State, they can give him a call. His phone number is 231-583-2028.
Finally, a call was placed to the SOS phone number to set an appointment, 888-767-6424, and it appears the options have changed. Using last week’s shortcut after listening to the 12 minutes of message to get those additional prompts, the message stated the second prompt did not go to the proper place.
If you call the number, your adventure may be different than previous calls.
Maybe you’ll land on your feet rather than sinking into a place without light.