How Long is the Wait at the DMV with an Appointment

To take care of your vehicle documents, like a driver’s license, vehicle registration, and various issues with your vehicle, you’ll have to go to the local DMV office. Of course, they will help you and may provide the best solutions to the problems you have.

When working with your local DMV, you may have two options: an appointment or no appointment—even though some states do not require you to make an appointment first. If you make an appointment, you may wonder how long you need to wait at the DMV. To know information about it, let’s dive into our post below!

Waiting DMV Appointment

How Long Do You Have to Wait at the DMV with an Appointment?

The waiting time at the DMV with an appointment will depend on where you live. In the DMV offices in some states, you may need to wait for at least 30 minutes or longer, even with an appointment.

In other states, like Florida (Pinellas County), you shouldn’t make an appointment to see a DMV clerk; otherwise, it will only take about 20 minutes. That’s a reasonable amount of time to look over your vehicle documents without an appointment. At Pinellas County DMV, the list of applicant names automatically appears above the waiting area. When your number is called, it will show the booth designation, so you can know which division you have to go to.

If you live in California, you may have to make an appointment first to see a DMV clerk. In fact, the California DMV offers an alternative to those of you who cannot stand waiting for a long time by setting an appointment online or making a phone call. If not, be ready to wait hours at the DMV.

Why Make an Appointment at the DMV?

If your local DMV offers an online appointment system, making an appointment beforehand to see a DMV clerk is a must. With an appointment, you may spend less time waiting for your turn and you will quickly complete all series of procedures and administration regarding your vehicle documents.

In addition, making an appointment may also prevent you from going back and forth to the DMV office—just because you do not know what requirements you need to bring when processing your vehicle documents. So, with an appointment, you can accomplish what you need in one trip.

In some states, however, making an appointment is only required for driving tests and it is not at DMV, but only at specific testing locations. For all other administrative businesses regarding your vehicle documents, it is generally performed in the order of arrival.

In the California DMV office, for example, the online appointment systems are used to book the following businesses:

  • Obtaining a Class C (automobile) or motorcycle license by taking a behind-the-wheel test
  • Applying for, replacing, or renewing a California driver’s license, learner’s permit, or identification card
  • Registering or titling a vehicle
  • Making an order for special or replacement license plates
  • Requesting driving or registration records
  • Making an office visit appointment to discuss any potential issues.

So, if you accidentally need to work with the DMV, you may need to know first whether or not the online appointment system is available at your local DMV in your state. If so, you may need to see a DMV officer with an appointment to spend less time there.

Factors That Create Long Waits at the DMV with an Appointment

Even though you’ve made an appointment first to see a DMV officer first, waiting for your turn for a long time you might also experience. The case is not that the DMV’s service is bad, but there are a number of factors that can cause you to wait too long even with an appointment.

Here are several common factors that create long waits at the DMV office with an appointment:

  • The day you arrive
    Weekends or days surrounding weekends and holidays could be the busiest days.
  • Time of the day you arrive
    The lunch hour is the time you should avoid going to the DMV office.
  • The kind of transaction you are making
    Some transactions, like a new car registration, a new driver’s license, and a new picture on the license, will take longer for the process to complete.
  • There may be potential issues with your transaction
    Some potential issues with your transaction, like personal data errors, payment errors, etc., could also be the reason why you spend more time at the DMV office even with an appointment.

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