How to Survive the DMV

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The DMV is boring, time-consuming, and inconvenient in every way. Leaving the DMV without accomplishing what you wanted is one of the most frustrating experiences on this planet. Here are a few steps you can take to make the DMV trip as painless as possible:

See if You Can Skip the Trip

Many DMV services are now available online. Before you head in, look through your state DMV website to see what can be done from home. Renewing your license plates and your ID are a couple of things that can now be done through the DMV’s website.

Bring Necessary Paperwork and Then Some

The DMV website has lists of all the documents you need to process what you’re trying to do. But, there are exceptions to every rule, and sometimes you might need to supply additional documents based on your individual situation. We suggest bringing all the documents relevant to you and your situation when you go to visit. This includes tickets, ID cards, insurance forms, etc. There’s no harm in having an extra form of ID when you visit, and it could save you a lot of time in the long run.

Research the Surrounding DMVs

You don’t have to visit the DMV that’s closest to you; you can visit any DMV in the state you reside in. If you live in a big city, the DMV that’s closest to you probably has long wait times from open to close. Instead of waiting in line for two hours, try driving 30 minutes outside the city to a smaller DMV with less of a wait.

Go Before They Open

The DMV usually opens at 9 am. If you get there at 9 am, you may already face a 45-minute wait, even if most of these people arrived just a few minutes before you. Try arriving 15 minutes before opening, and you could end up saving yourself from having to wait at all.

Avoid Peak Times

The wait times at the DMV peak on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.

Daily Peaks: 11am-4pm are the busiest hours for the DMV, as people try to go during lunch or after work. Beating the lunch rush can save you a lot of time.

Weekly Peaks: The beginning and very end of the week are the busiest days for the DMV. Wednesdays and Thursdays are usually the slowest days of the week.

Monthly Peak: The beginning and end of the month are the busiest time of the month for the DMV because this is when car and ID expiration occurs. Keep an eye on your expiration dates and plan ahead. If you can visit during the middle of the month, you’ll reduce your wait time and not have to deal with last-minute stress.

Bring Something To Work On

Bringing something that you can work on eases the pain of a DMV visit. If you walk out of there with a new registration and a couple of other things checked off your to-do list, your afternoon will definitely not be wasted. Make the most of your time so you can when you finally escape the DMV.

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