SOS Express News from Secretary of State Ruth Johnson

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Look twice, save a life

SOS riding motorcycle

SOS, safety advocates celebrate motorcycle safety and veterans

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson was joined by motorcycle safety advocates and enthusiasts at the ABC Harley-Davidson dealership in Waterford on May 2 and Vehicle City Harley-Davidson in Flint on May 9 to promote May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

“Riding a motorcycle is a thrilling experience,” said Johnson, who first learned to ride a motorcycle as a young teen. “But it’s important to understand the risks and how to safely manage them. Take a motorcycle safety course, get your endorsement, wear the proper gear, and know what your skill level and limits are before you ride.”

There are approximately 489,000 Michigan residents with a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license. The endorsement is required to ride legally on public roads and motorcyclists who ride without the endorsement risk having their bike ticketed and towed.

Johnson said motorists also have a responsibility to share the road safely with motorcyclists. Motorists are reminded to:

  • Be extra cautious on weekends, when more motorcyclists take to the road.
  • Provide motorcyclists adequate room to maneuver. Follow at least three to four seconds behind them.
  • Look carefully for motorcycles, especially at intersections or when making a left turn, two of the most common locations for vehicle-motorcycle crashes.
  • Allow extra maneuvering room in areas with potholes, pavement transitions and railroad crossings. Motorcyclists may need to slow down, stop or adjust their lane position.
  • Never try to share a lane with a motorcycle. Motorcycles have the same right to lanes as any other vehicle.
  • If a motorcycle is nearby, check your mirrors carefully before changing lanes. Motorcycles may be in your blind spots or difficult to see because of their smaller size.

Watch a video message from Secretary Johnson

Kimballs Shining Star

West Branch family given Shining Star Award for organ donation efforts

Secretary Johnson recently presented Ward and Lydia Kimball of West Branch with a Shining Star Award to recognize their exemplary work in promoting organ and tissue donor awareness.

“After the tragedy of losing a child, the Kimball family has persevered to save others’ lives,” Johnson said. “Their commitment to organ, tissue and eye donation is admirable and well-deserving of this award.” 

The Kimballs lost their 18-year-old son Evan in 2015 after a car accident. He had chosen to be an organ and tissue donor prior to his death, and his donation saved the lives of five people. His parents wanted to honor their son — whose baseball jersey number was 4 — by signing up 4,444 new donors to the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, and have since worked with Gift of Life Michigan to sign up nearly 1,600 people.

If you are not yet registered, please join the registry today by visiting Signing up only takes a couple of minutes but can give many people a second chance at life.

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SOS now has a Tip Line to report fraud

To assist Michigan consumers with reporting potential fraud, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said a telephone Tip Line is now available for use by anyone who witnesses or experiences potential fraud involving Michigan Department of State programs or documents.

The Tip Line allows callers to report suspicious or suspected fraudulent activity. Anyone with knowledge of fraud is encouraged to call 844-372-8356 to report suspected violations. The number is toll-free. 

Tips can also be emailed to to communicate with the Secretary of State’s Office of Investigative Services

senior ID

In some situations, state IDs are free

Standard state ID cards in Michigan are $10. They are free to applicants age 65 or older, to those who are legally blind, or to those whose license has been revoked, suspended or denied due to a physical or mental disability that affects their ability to drive. 

The fee can also be waived for individuals who present other good cause for a fee waiver.

motorcycle training class

Needed: Coaches for motorcycle training 

Michigan's motorcycle training program is looking for more rider coaches. The average pay for this position in Michigan is nearly $28/hour. 

If you are an experienced rider, possess good riding and communication skills, and enjoy working with people, please send an email to

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Explore MI with the Recreation Passport

Access to all state parks and boat launches across the Great Lakes State for just $11? 

Learn more about Michigan's Recreation Passport.