Okay, let's be real here. No one, absolutely no one, likes to go to the DMV. No one likes to spend time in a room, with a bunch of strangers and just wait for someone to call your number, especially since they don't go in order at all. '
Their equipment is outdated, their people can be less than friendly, and sometimes the wait time is so bad that it becomes standing room only. Oh it can't be worse right? Now you need to come back again because of one stupid thing that you couldn't get done there!
Okay, maybe I let out some feelings there but my point still holds true! For whatever reason you need to go to the DMV, there is a frustrating truth that you can end up spending a ridiculous amount of time at the DMV.
However, there are some things that can help you save hours, if not multiple trips to the DMV, and can be done very simply with ease. So in this article, I am going to go over some ways you can save a lot of time and energy going to the DMV.
My name is Joseph Mandracchia, I have been working full-time with the gig economy since 2018 and have completed over tens of thousands of orders and deliveries across several different platforms and pay models, as well as other forms of income.
It is my hope to impart some of my knowledge and experience unto you to help you make the most money in your side hustle and help you on your journey to achieve financial independence so you can choose to live your life in anyway you would find valuable to you.
Disclaimer: I am not a financial, tax or legal advisor of any kind. I am not giving you financial, tax or legal advice. I am simply expressing what I have done to overcome in this area and hoping you can find a take away for yourself within this article.
Why Would a Gig Driver Need to Know This?
One of the challenges that a gig driver will inevitably experience is the DMV, for all the reasons that a normal person would have to go to the DMV, but now since you have to get a "new" car when yours goes the junkyard, you are going to have to be there more frequently.
Also, if you are anything like me and like to just get your crap done and get back to work, saving time is going to be essential. Let's be honest though, everyone needs to know this. Please don't be one of those people that spend more hours than necessary in the DMV.
Prepare Your Paperwork Properly
When you have to go to the DMV, you are going to be required to have certain paper work for certain tasks. It will all need to be filled out and ready to go by the time you are called to the DMV employees desk.
Paperwork can include an electric bill with your mailing address, your lease agreement if you have one, birth certificate as well as many other forms of identification that they may need from you.
Now one thing I do want to mention is this, certain forms that sites may say they need, may not necessarily be absolutely required, or you can just say you lost it someplace or during a move.
For example, some people say bring your social security card and if you go and don't have one, they will have you fill out a form and you're good. However, this may not be the case for all states and you may need further identification.
Make an Appointment
I am sure you have had at least one parent family member tell you to make an appointment before you go to the DMV. When I heard that from my family, I brushed it off and ended up, spending more time than I needed to.
However, this can be a great way to save yourself a lot of time waiting on a line made on a first come, first serve basis.
Studies have shown that people who go to the DMV with an appointment spend, on average, about 19 minutes waiting as opposed to multiple hours, if not the whole day waiting by just showing up.
Save yourself some time and find your states DMV website and make an appointment before you go.
Make Sure You Go to the Right DMV
So in most cases, the DMV would be the one stop to make to get your drivers license, and in some states this is still true, however there are states that have been making moves towards separating tasks from the main DMV.
For Example, in South Florida where I just moved to, they have one DMV for Driver's licenses, registry changes among other things. Then they have a completely separate DMV for registrations, titles and license plates, or as they call here: tags.
Now that might just be a Florida thing, but I wouldn't be surprised if that changed in other states as well, especially after the pandemic where crowded spaces will be frowned upon for the near future.
Consult Your Local Network
One of the most valuable things about networking is that you can find out a lot about your local area that you would likely not be able to find online. That also includes things like finding a DMV that is on top of their stuff.
In most cases, there is more than one DMV in your area, and some of them are better than others when it comes to productivity, being less crowded and/or getting people in and out the door.
In my experience, the person in your network that would know this would be the member of law enforcement, a local who has been around for quite a number of years now or an older person with a positive outlook on life who is willing to tell their "secrets".
Careful with that last one, you might end up getting yourself an earful of stories about how his or her experiences were like if he didn't listen to you. Just keep nodding, try to pick out the important details and apply what you learned them.
Be Nice to the DMV Staff
There is an old saying that goes "you catch more flies with honey than vinegar" and this applies when dealing with any worker in the service industry and the staff you meet at the DMV is no exception.
You will want to be in the good graces of the DMV staff that is present because they literally will be the main determining factor of how long you will be waiting there. Especially if you happen to make a minor mistake in your paperwork or forget something.
Let's be real as well, what good is it going to do to be a jerk to a staff member in any situation. They can't rush the process and honestly, it is only going to make you look bad if you try something stupid. Not to mention, they probably want to be there less than you do.
The Early Bird Gets In and Out Fast
As you can imagine, the DMV is not exactly a run on your lunch break kind of ordeal for how long it can be and most people would have the same idea anyway. However, there is an ideal time of the day to go and that would be before they open.
You end up on the line quickly, you get a number before they can even boot-up their systems and most people would probably still be on their way. Don't go too early because that would be loitering and would defeat the purpose, but I say 15-30 minutes is healthy.
I know it is early and you would probably have to schedule a day to go, but there is a truth to the old saying "if you want a result that no one has gotten, you will have to do something others are not willing to do".
The Mid-Month Special
Studies have shown that the first and last week of every month are the worst weeks to go to the DMV since most people are going because their licenses or registrations are expiring early, therefore they either get it resolved first thing during the month, or at the last minute.
So getting your DMV stuff done during the middle of the month, being the second or third week under normal circumstances, would be the most ideal time of the month to get there.
Happy Wednesday Everyone!
Speaking of not going during the beginning or the end of the month, another thing to talk about is the best time of the week to go to the DMV. Most people would say Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, although I think Wednesday is the best hands down.
In most cases, any of those 3 days would be fine, but I don't think this applies to 3 day weekends as much, and how people tend to either be totally on top of their stuff (first thing Monday) or wait until the last minute (Friday when I have a chance).
However, for most holidays where the DMV are closed, which includes bank holidays, those people would go on the following Tuesday, or the Thursday before (in some cases, the Tuesday after.
Yes, those bank holidays can come on a Tuesday or Thursday, making Wednesday busier, or even fall on a Wednesday making it not possible, however that just simply isn't the case most holiday weeks.
So make sure to plan to go to the DMV on a Wednesday.
Provide the Right Payment Method
While the DMV is progressing in its processing and making sure its crowds are going down, the one thing that not all DMV's are working on is making sure they are accepting all payment methods commonly available.
Some places don't take anything but cash, some places will take cash but not have proper change, some will not take a check unless it is made out to a specific business name with no variations, and if you are lucky, they can take card, but not a card in any name but yours.
Some DMV's take a combination of these payment methods, but surprisingly will not take all forms of common payment. So make sure to do some research or even call them, and make sure you are paying the right way.
Otherwise, you will need to go to the bank, run back and if they are having a bad day and wish to take it out on you, they will have you wait on line all over again.
If You Don't Have To Go, Don't
Now that I am done bashing on what they are not progressing on, let's talk about the concept of not having to go to the DMV because of how they actually are progressing.
Like I said before, DMV's are streamlining tasks such as Driver's license and ID services, Title services, and Vehicle Registration Services through alternative means, and one of those ways is through online portals.
So if you are in a technologically progressive state, you may be able to get everything you need done online in a few minutes rather than a full trip to the DMV and waste a part of your already busy day.
So I implore you to do a bit of digging to see if you can get your stuff done online, and spend your time doing whatever you feel is right.
Well While I am here, Might as Well...
The last thing I will say is if you do need to go to the DMV, don't take multiple trips if you don't have to and try to get everything you need done in a single trip. Now while that may seem obvious, I recommend taking it a step further.
Check to see if something is expiring, like a license or a registration, and get that renewed while you are there and save yourself another trip to the DMV in the near future.
Not all of the tips and tricks I talked about are fool-proof but they do work a large amount of the time and have saved me some time where I could have been waiting for hours.
Also, some of these tips are based on my experiences in New York and Florida, and may not apply where you live so please take these tip with a grain of salt. However, I hope that these tips apply to you and help you save time the next time you have to go to the dreaded DMV.
With that said, thank you so much for taking the time to read this article! I hope you found some value in what you read here and will apply this information in your life and success in your side hustle!