I have this theory that the DMV is really the tenth circle of hell. I have never gotten out of there in less than three hours. While I wait in those plush plastic chairs, I spend all of my time perseverating over the essential document list in my head, terrified I forgot something that wasn’t listed in the first place. And I’ve always felt there was room for improvement with their customer service.
My most recent trip went differently though.
It started pretty rough, with a line out of the door just to receive a ticket to then continue waiting. But it got better, as soon as the woman with the forms cart approached me. She was all smiles and patience, despite several unkind patrons before me. She checked my document and sent me inside to wait further for my ticket, after an hour of already waiting outside. 30 minutes later, another very nice woman handed me my ticket. An hour and ten minutes later, my number was called. Hallelujah!
The woman at the window was also very courteous and helpful. I told her I would have to come back soon to apply for my REAL ID, and she told me to come in the afternoons, especially on Saturdays. She said it was even better than waiting for an appointment. And by golly, she was right! By the time I walked out of the DMV, there was not a single person in line. I felt like an idiot. I could have bypassed a three hour excursion, if I had simply arrived a couple of hours later.
So this got me thinking, what are some other tips for handling the DMV.
- Make an Appointment: If you’re one of those lucky unicorns who can actually get an appointment at the DMV, get it! I unfortunately have never been one of those people.
- Best Time: Find the best time to visit your DMV. First thing in the morning may not be optimal.
- Bring a Friend: This could actually be fun, if you had a battle buddy. See if you can bribe anyone with lunch if they hang out with you at the DMV. This is pretty much never an option for me, but the people who brought a buddy were definitely the happiest.
- Headphones & Phone or Tablet: I wish I had had headphones, so I could have listened to music or watched a movie.
- Snacks & Water: Bring food and water. I definitely get hungry and thirsty within a three hour time frame.
- Novel/Sketch Pad/Puzzle Book: Having something to do with my hands really helped. I didn’t want to drain my phone battery, and looking at a screen can make me tired. Having a book was essential to not going stir crazy.
- Enjoy the Time: This may sound crazy, but as much as I hated standing in line for almost two hours, it was really nice to be kid free. So I tried to see it as me time, and this helped me not be as frustrated with the wait.