Michigan motorists would be able to renew their driver’s license every eight years, rather than four, under legislation introduced in Lansing.
If approved, Michigan would join about a dozen other states and the District of Columbia, which currently allow motorists to go eight years before renewing their driver’s license.
State Rep. Robert L. Kosowski, who sponsored the bill, said it would spare Michigan’s more than seven million licensed drivers from having to pay an $18 standard renewal fee every four years.
“Secretary of State employees are always saying they’re too busy, so this should eliminate some of that,’’ said Kosowski, D-Westland. “The real thing is it will give residents a financial break. Eighteen dollars is not a lot of money, but then again, it’s a lot of money.’’
Michigan drivers are allowed to renew a standard driver’s license online or by mail every four years. State law now requires motorists to renew their driver’s license in person at a Secretary of State office once every eight years. Licenses currently expire on the birthday of the applicant in the fourth year after the license is issued.
The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. A similar measure introduced by Kosowski in the previous legislative session didn’t advance.
Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson has not weighed in on the measure. “We’re reviewing the bill and don’t have a position on it at this time,’’ spokesman Fred Woodhams said. “It’s important to note that every other cycle, people can renew by mail or on-line, so they don’t need to come to a Secretary of State office.’’
Georgia last year began offering the eight-year license; Nevada is transitioning to licenses that are valid for eight years instead of four. Other states that allow renewals every eight years include Arkansas, Florida and New York.
South Carolina allows renewals every 10 years; drivers 65 and older have to renew their license every five years.