Be Prepared for Your Visit to the DMV

By: Nadia Ibanez August 4, 2012
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Whether you’re visiting the Department of Motor Vehicles, or DMV, for the first time to take your permit or driver’s license test, or have to visit the office to take care of routine vehicle registration or renewals, it can be a bit overwhelming.

Walking into your local DMV office, you’re faced with hoards of residents all trying to get paperwork or information, as well as DMV employees who are eager to assist you.

If you are planning to visit one of the motor vehicle agency locations around you, there are a few things that you can prepare for now so that you’re not caught empty handed or without what you need.

Top Reasons to Visit the DMV

Your DMV and individual branch locations offer a wealth of knowledge and various services. Some of the top reasons to visit one of your closest DMV locations include:

  • Taking a learner's permit test or a driver's license test.
  • Renewing or replacing your driver's license.
  • Applying and paying for a vehicle registration or registration renewal.
  • Title transfers.
  • Obtaining a copy of your driving record.

Basic Information you Must Know Before Visiting the Local DMV

Finding the time to visit the DMV takes planning and some people will set aside a whole afternoon or morning for the visit. Make sure to have all of the proper paperwork for whatever you’re trying to accomplish so that you don’t have to make repeat visits.

While these documents are available at each office, sometimes it’s more time effective to fill out the forms before your appointment. Visit your state’s DMV website or call the office and ask about downloading forms before you arrive.

Some states have changed the DMV’s operating hours so it’s also extremely important to find out what times and days your local office is open. You can also find the operating hours online, as well as additional information you may need about:

  • Vehicle registration.
  • License testing hours.
  • Necessary forms for all DMV operations.
  • Replacing lost driver licenses and other documents.
  • Downloading a driver handbook.

Have the Right Payment on Hand

DMV offices differ from state to state when it comes to acceptable forms of payment. One state will accept credit cards, cash or money order, while another state will only accept cash or check.

Make sure you are well aware of your DMV office’s acceptable forms of payment before you drop by. Call your local DMV office or visit the DMV’s website for information about how to pay at the DMV.

Have you ever had a nightmare trip to the DMV because you weren't prepared? Share with us in the comments below!

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