The Best and Worst Times to Visit the DMV

By: Staff Writer August 4, 2012
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If you're like most, you place a visit to your Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office on par with dental visits and colostomy examinations. Yet, it's one of life's realities that must be done.

To ease the inconvenience, many DMV locations now offer online services for everything from duplicate driver licenses to vehicle registration renewals.

Still, there are certain situations in which you must appear in person. Fortunately, with a little advanced planning on your behalf, you can minimize the time involved by visiting when DMV offices are at their slowest.

Shortest Wait Time for a Branch Offices

  • Before the lunch hour, usually before noon. Otherwise, if you wait until the lunch hour you will join everyone else who thought it would be a good time to visit.
  • During the middle of the week, Tuesday through Thursday.
  • During the middle of the month.

Longest Wait Times for DMV Locations

  • During the lunch hour, starting at noon and lasting usually until about 2 p.m.
  • On the first and last day of the week that the DMV office is open; Monday and Friday for most offices.
  • During the first or last week of the month. This is because expiring registrations and licenses usually occur on the last day of the month.
  • On the day before or just following a holiday.

Check Motor Vehicle Agency Website

Depending on your DMV's website, you may find a page listing approximate wait times for specific offices. Nevada, for instance, updates wait times for six DMV offices every 90 seconds.

Arrive at Your DMV Office Prepared

To limit your time at a branch office, arrive prepared. Download and complete all forms prior to arriving. And educate yourself on what's needed to complete your transaction.

If, for instance, you're visiting to renew your driver's license, have all necessary documents – completed application, proper identification – along with proper payment. Your transaction will not be completed if you're missing a needed document, thus wasting your time and effort.

Have you discovered a best time to visit your DMV office?

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