DMV Appointments in California
Let’s face it – waiting at a DMV office can be a downright drag. It can seem like ages until the clerks finally call your ticket number, and even then, you may still have to wait a considerable amount of time before you’re finally out and about.
Luckily, the California DMV offers an alternative to those who can’t stand waiting for an excruciatingly long time: setting appointments online or by phone.
The California DMV offers an online DMV Appointment System for scheduling various traffic-related services. Booking an appointment ensures that you’ll spend less time waiting for your turn, and more time toward getting your potentially tedious automobile-related chores out of the way.
Using the CA DMV Appointment System
The online system can be used to book appointments for the following tasks:
- Taking a behind-the-wheel test to obtain a Class C (automobile) or motorcycle license
- Apply for, replace, or renew a California driver’s license, identification card, or learner’s permit
- Register or title a vehicle
- Order special/replacement license plates
- Request driving or registration records
- Make an office visit appointment to hash out any potential disputes/issues
You can also schedule appointments by calling the DMV’s automated call service at (800) 777-0133, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
When’s the Best Time to go to the DMV?
Sometimes, wait-times can be 30 minutes or longer, even with an appointment. If you just don’t have the time or patience, you can nix the appointment and opt to walk in during a slow period. If you want to get in and out of the DMV in the shortest time possible, go:
- Bright and early when the DMV opens
- Before the lunch hour, before noon
- During the middle of the week (Tuesday-Thursday)
- During the middle of the month
You’ll usually encounter the longest wait times:
- During the lunch hour, usually at noon
- On the first and last day of the office’s workweek (commonly Monday and Friday)
- During the first and last week of the month
- On the day before or just following a holiday
If you want an accurate measure of wait-times at your local DMV office, each branch office offers a handy, real time ticker on their location’s page that lets you know the current, approximate wait-times for those with and without appointments.
Of course, if coming to the DMV in person isn’t required, it’s recommended that you stay at home or work instead. The California DMV conveniently offers a number of its services online, so you don’t have to spend an entire lunch break waiting to renew your vehicle registration.