A Day at the DMV

The thrill of victory…the agony of the DMV.

For the first time in 5 years, I had to get a new driver’s license. Being out of practice at this activity, I got to the DMV office right when it opened – a colossal error! With this being the best day of the week on my schedule to get the driver’s license renewed, when I arrived at 8:00 a.m., there were already close to 100 people in line; unfortunately, my schedule wouldn’t let me leave.

If patience is a virtue, then there were hundreds of very virtuous people experiencing the DMV today.

But why the wait?

Too few employees for the number of customers. Too few offices for a city the population of Charlotte, NC. Too many steps in the process. Patrons not educated on the best day-of-week or time-of-day, how they needed to prepare for the visit to the office. I could go on and on.

I stood outside for nearly 2.5 hours, entering the office just before 10:30 a.m. When my number was finally called 30 minutes later, it took about 4-5 minutes to do the test. Then I had to wait again for my picture. I left the office at 11:15 a.m. So I had over 3 hours of wait time for about 7 minutes of activity.

What’s worse is that I was just renewing. There were 30+ people who entered the office before me who were getting a permit or a new license, at least 25 of which were still there when I left.

We can all learn from our experiences – good and bad. Learn from my experience to reduce steps in a process, staff appropriately, educate customers in advance, and create fast-track processes for people with minor needs.

Learn from my nearly half-day at the DMV.

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