Tips, Tricks & Trends

Hate Waiting In Line at the DMV? Here Is the Best Day To Go

The Department of Motor Vehicles is probably one of the most hated places in the country. There are long wait times, crabby employees, and ridiculous fees to pay when you finally get called to come up to the counter, but the whole experience could be a little better if you happen to go on the right day and time.

The weekends aren’t the best time to go

Most DMV offices are closed on the weekends, but some of them are actually open on the weekends, mainly Saturdays. And while that might be the only day that you can visit the DMV due to work restrictions, avoid the weekend days if you can help it. It might be a drag having to take time off of work to get your license or car registration renewed, but if you go on the right day, then you’ll be glad you took the time.

The line outside the DMV office in South Los Angeles is long on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012. The California Department of Motor Vehicles experienced a statewide computer outage Tuesday morning, disrupting many in–office services to customers. (Photo by Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Avoid going on your lunch hour

If you can’t go to the DMV on the weekend and don’t have the time to take off of work, then you may be tempted to go during your lunch hour. The only problem is that everyone’s lunch hour is around the same time, which means that you’ll most likely run into some crazy wait times. If possible, avoid going on your lunch hour as well.

Woman and daughter enter the Denver DMV to get a driver's license
Woman and daughter enter the Denver DMV to get a driver’s license | Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images

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Avoid the days around the holidays

While it might sound like a good idea to visit the DMV before or after a holiday, keep in mind that everyone else will think it’s a good idea too. Unless your area has many different DMV locations, your local one will most likely be filled with those that procrastinated and waited until right before their vacation time to get their license renewed. Don’t be like them, and pick a day during a normal week instead.

When is the best day to visit the DMV?

The best days to visit the DMV are the middle of the week (Wednesday or Thursday) and in the middle of the month. Since most vehicle registrations expire at the end of the month, you can expect that there will be long lines during the first and last weeks. Therefore, save yourself the headache and shoot for a couple of weeks middle of the month and preferably in the middle of those weeks.

STANTON, CA., JANUARY 2, 2015: Hundreds of people without legal status line-up inside the Department Of Motor Vehicles office in Stanton, California for an opportunity to get their drivers licenses January 2, 2015. The new law allowing illegal immigrants to obtain a license is causing long lines like these that means at least a two-hour wait for those without an appointment (^^^ / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images ). (Photo by Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

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Always make an appointment

As always, make an appointment ahead of time if you can. While no one can ever promise that you’ll be in and out in 15 minutes with an appointment scheduled, it’s typically better than not having one as it’s sure to cut down your visiting time.

If you’re unable to make an appointment and need to go on a whim, then it’s recommended that you visit the DMV on a day with bad weather or on a day of a major sporting event. Since everyone will be most likely staying at home and glued to their televisions during either of those times, that should work in your favor.