There were two DMV locations in particular in Westchester where you had to plan to spend at LEAST 2 hours taking care of business. The line just to get an alpha-numeric code that would determine where you were in the queue could take a half hour. Then there could be upwards of an hour wait to get to a window, and then of course the actual work to take care of your business could take 15 minutes or more. Also, the personnel were not very pleasant. In addition to the experience inside the DMV, there was the parking fiasco. Both DMV locations I used had limited metered parking and street parking was almost non-existent. So you’d waste time driving around trying to find parking.
That was then.
This is now.
I have had reason to use the Department of Motor Vehicles facilities twice since I’ve moved to Orange County, NY. Both times my experience was totally different.
The first time I visited the DMV in Goshen, NY (which is no longer there due to Hurricane Irene). There was plentiful, free parking, and no line to get that special alpha numeric code. You just went to a machine, pressed a button next to the reason for your visit, and a receipt with your code would shoot out. Then you just waited to be called, and the wait that first time was no longer than 20 or 25 minutes. Once at the window, the transaction only took about 5 minutes, and I was out. I included that visit in a blog about things I really liked about my new area.
Then Hurricane Irene came along and the DMV was shut down. I had another reason to visit an office today, and I needed to drive to a DMV location in Middletown, which was about 35 minutes from my home. Believe it or not, I was home about 1 hour and 20 minutes after I left. Doing the math, that means 70 minutes in driving time which leaves about 10 minutes for transaction time. Could that BE?
Yes it could! I found the DMV, parked in the free lot, walked in, went to the ticket machine, took my seat, waited about 10 minutes, my number was called, the DMV employee who assisted me sped through the paperwork, typed about 200 words per minute (ok, maybe not that fast), printed out my registration, talked to me for a few seconds, and approximately 2 minutes after I went to the counter, I was finished!
So next time you go to the Department of Motor Vehicles and have a lousy time, or hear a story from someone who has a horrible story, just remember – it’s not “the DMV.” It’s the employees or processes in that particular DMV office that are an issue. If the two I went to could operate so seamlessly and quickly, there’s no reason they can’t all work that well!