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Visiting the DMV will never be as wonderful as eating an ice cream sundae or taking a cruise to The Bahamas, but there are ways to make this dreaded chore slightly more pleasurable. Here are some tips and tricks to make your trip to the DMV as efficient and painless as possible.

Gather The Necessary Paperwork

Imagine you’ve waited in line for forty minutes, and you’re finally able to speak to someone at the DMV, but WAIT you’re missing a photo ID and you’ve got to turn around and come back later. ”Nothing I can do,” the clerk says.

What documents you will need to bring with you to the DMV vary depending on the purpose of your visit and which DMV you choose to visit. For most DMV visits, you can expect to bring with you various forms of identification (photo I.Ds e.g. your Driver’s License or Permit, your passport, your Social Security Card) and proof of your address (a utility bill, a credit card or bank statement). Sometimes, DMVs might even require you bring two or three forms of your identification or proof of address. You may also need to bring your vehicle’s title, a bill of sale or an odometer reading. Fortunately, most DMVs list what documents you will need on their websites. Before your dreaded trip, visit your local DMV’s website to ensure you have all the necessary paperwork and documents.

Think of it this way: you can never be too prepared. Do the research beforehand and save yourself the inconvenience later.


Oregon Live

Bring Cash

Most places accept credit cards these days, but just in case bring cash with you.

Check The Wait Time Online

While you may not be able to call your DMV to check on the wait times, some DMV websites allow you to check online for the wait times, and you can find out the wait times for various transportation offices (DMV, RMV, DOT, etc) here. You may never be able to avoid a wait time at the DMV, but you can at least prepare yourself for what is to come. If your local DMV doesn’t have this amazing online feature, the website may still mention the best times for short waits. During a typical workday, there are generally shorter wait times early in the morning between 8-11 am or after the lunch rush around 2-4pm.

Eat Before You Go 

The wait will always be worse if you are hungry. Even after making the most effort to avoid a long wait time, you can never be sure what you’re likely to find at the DMV. Before your visit to the DMV, have a good meal. Bring a snack with you just in case as well.

New York Times

Bring Something Productive or Fun To Do While You Wait

The worst thing about waiting in line is the sensation that you’re wasting your time. To avoid this feeling of frustration, plan tasks to do during your DMV visit. Respond to those e-mails you’ve been delaying, read a book, work on a crossword puzzle, listen to an interesting podcast or equip your phone with a new fun game. The more you keep yourself preoccupied at the DMV, the more likely the time is to pass quickly.

L.A. Times

Keep A Cool Head

You can prepare for your DMV visit all you want, but in the end you can never know what kind of unexpected frustrations you may encounter there. Try to remember that the person at the DMV counter is just trying to do his job. You risk making your situation worse if you let your frustration out on the people who work at the DMV. When you arrive at the counter, speak clearly and politely. Remember it will all work out…eventually.

Know of other tricks to make a DMV trip more pleasant? Share below.