Everyone knows that the DMV can be a pain to deal with. So many different things are handled by the DMV office. That means a lot of people go there looking for help. More and more tasks are being added to the DMV online but not everyone knows what can be done and how to do those things online. That means people are still going to the DMV to get these tasks done. Learning how to survive the DMV is more about learning how to deal with the long wait times and frustrated people.
Figure out how to survive the DMV before you head out to get your learner’s permit, driver’s license or any other DMV task.
How to Survive the DMV | Online Tasks
Before you go to the DMV for anything, check first to see if you can get your task done online. Registration, license, and ID card renewals, address changes, and so much more can usually be done online. There are also things you can do before you head to the DMV like filling out a driver’s license application. You can even make an appointment online.
How to Survive the DMV | Appointments
Making an appointment is a great way to save some time. When you make an appointment, you still may have a wait but you will skip the long line of people who don’t have an appointment. You can make appointments up to 90 days in advance and should make an appointment as soon as you know you will need one. Think ahead and make an appointment as close to 90 days in advance as possible.
How to Survive the DMV | Anywhere in the State
If you have a task to do at the DMV but the locations near you don’t have available appointments, check further away. The only thing you need to be sure of is that the DMV you visit is within your state. You could even turn your appointment on a road trip or vacation. While the DMV isn’t a popular vacation destination, it could be an excuse to travel. After your appointment, you can explore the area and have a great time.
How to Survive the DMV | Wait Until Late
Taking a test or behind the wheel license test can’t be done after a certain time. However, you can go later if there is something else you need to do. DMV employees will stay after hours to take care of anyone who is in line, inside, before they close the doors. Check the closing time of your local office and then go a half hour before closing. Behind the wheel tests are by appointment only and written tests end at 4:30 PM in California.
How to Survive the DMV | Be Prepared
DMV online has all of the information you need to know about every task they help with. This means that you can come prepared. Bringing in all of the proper paperwork, ready to go is a great way to save some time. Not only will you be happy you did but the DMV employee who helps you will be happy too.
How to Survive the DMV | Bring Provisions
Today, we have technology that can help us pass the time. However, batteries don’t last all day. Be sure to bring a portable charger for your devices. You can play games, watch videos, text friends, whatever you want. You may also want to bring water and snacks to help keep you going while at the DMV.
How to Survive the DMV | Payment Options
The California DMV accepts cash, money orders, checks, and ATM/debit cards. The DMV doesn’t accept credit cards. It is important that you are not only aware of the fees you may have to pay as well as how you can pay. You don’t want to wait all day just to get shot down at the window. That will not only be frustrating but you will have to start all over again another day.
How to Survive the DMV | Stay Calm
DMV employees are the keyholders to whatever task you’re trying to do. The last thing you want to do is get on their bad side. Stay calm, don’t yell, calmly explain any frustrations you may have and only if you have to. DMV employees don’t want to deal with an attitude just as badly as you don’t want to sit waiting all day. Basically, we are all dealing with situations we don’t want to deal with. Being kind could you get further through the process than you screaming, yelling, or giving some sort of attitude.
How to Survive the DMV | Wait Times
If you didn’t get an appointment and still need to go to the DMV, check the wait times. You can find updated wait times online. You could also potentially start doing this a week before you plan to go. If you check the wait times Monday through Friday the week before you go, you could get a better idea of what to expect. While the wait times won’t be the same week after week, you should be able to get in the ballpark. Then, when it’s your day to go, you already know what to expect. You could even check on the day you plan to go and wait for it to get its lowest.
How to Survive the DMV | Do NOT Procrastinate
This is the most important tip. Do not procrastinate. If you know you need to go to the DMV, start planning as soon as you can. Pick the closest date to today’s date and go. This is just in case anything goes wrong. Imagine if you had to renew your license and needed to take a photo. If you show up on the day your license expires, and something goes wrong, you will not be able to drive your car the next day.