SOS Express News from Secretary of State Ruth Johnson

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Donate Life!

SOS holds girl needing kidney

Secretary Johnson holds Amelia Hale, a 3-year-old awaiting a kidney transplant, while her mom Jessica tells the family's story.

Secretary Johnson, partners promote saving lives through organ donation

Reminding residents of the more than 3,500 people in Michigan awaiting a potentially life-saving organ transplant, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson recognized April as Donate Life Month during a visit to St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit on April 12 (Watch WDIV TV-4's report).

“Through the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, one person has the potential to save or transform the lives of 75 people,” Johnson said. “Today we remember those who gave the gift of life, sight and mobility and recognize those who have received those same gifts. I encourage everyone to take a moment and join the registry to give others a second chance at life and sight.”

Johnson was joined by Dorrie Dils, CEO for Gift of Life Michigan, the state’s organ and tissue recovery program; Diana Kern, executive director for Eversight Michigan, the state’s cornea and eye tissue recovery program; transplant surgeon Dr. Kevin Grady, those waiting for an organ, and family members whose loved ones donated organs to save the lives of strangers.

She presented a Shining Star Award to Patty Jo Herndon, president and CEO of the Michigan Donor Family Council, president-elect of the Gift of Life Michigan Foundation and a board member at Eversight Michigan. She became involved in the cause after the death of her sister in 1997.

Johnson also announced the winner of the statewide Transplant Center Challenge, a competition between each of Michigan’s nine transplant centers to see who could add the most new donors to the Michigan Organ Donor Registry over the past year. The winner, St. John’s, signed up 840 donors, topping second place Detroit Medical Center with 826 signups. Together the centers added more than 2,700 names to the registry.

Anyone can join the Michigan Organ Donor Registry by visiting or any Secretary of State office. Those who sign up receive a heart emblem for their driver’s license that indicates their decision to be an organ donor. A new card with a permanent heart emblem is issued at renewal time.

SOS official site

Avoid unofficial SOS websites

Don't be fooled by unofficial Secretary of State websites, which often contain inaccurate information, charge you convenience fees for transactions and try to reroute you to their advertisers' sites.

If a website has DMV in the URL, steer clear. Go to for official information from the Michigan Secretary of State.

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Vote on May 2

Local elections will be held in 61 Michigan counties on May 2 and Secretary of State Ruth Johnson encourages you to get out and vote.

Check this official list to see if your community is among the jurisdictions that will be having an election.

At the Michigan Voter Information Center (, you can find out if you're registered, get a sample ballot or a map to your polling place and much more.


MI-TIME Line expands to six more offices

Six additional Secretary of State offices now offer the innovative MI-TIME Line service that allows customers to use their phones or computers to make appointments or hold their place in line.

The system is now in 30 offices statewide, including the newest locations in Saginaw (Bay Road), Ann Arbor, Oak Park, Sterling Heights, Portage and Muskegon.

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MI offers Peace of Mind Registry

Someday, an illness or injury may leave you unable to make important health care decisions for yourself. 

To prepare for that possibility, you will want to write your wishes in an advance directive. An advance directive registry can help ensure your wishes are honored in the future. 

Register now