Read this before you go into any DMV office.
1. The wait times annoy us, too.
There's a really big misconception that people who work at the DMV want our customers to wait super long. What people don't understand, though, is that long wait times affect us too. The longer our customers have to wait, the more upset they are when they get to us. So obviously we don't want you waiting long either.
2. No, we’re not purposely being rude.
One of the biggest stereotypes about DMV workers is that we are all rude, and hate our job. It might seem that way sometimes, but 100% of the time it's because we're so worn out from people being rude to us all day. We have one of the only customer service jobs where the customer isn't always right. We have a lot of rules and regulations, that can not be broken, and it's a lot to keep up with, and a lot to have to explain to every person who comes up to our counter.
3. We don’t make the rules.
There are a lot of rules to follow when you work at the DMV. There are also a lot of rules to follow when you are a customer. We understand that the requirements for getting a driver's license or ID may be extensive, but there's nothing we can do about it. I think a lot of people think that DMV workers purposely turn people away, but I promise you we are just doing our job.
4. We literally can not “bend the rules”.
When I worked in fast food, being nice could get you a lot of things. Maybe a free drink, maybe a discount, maybe even free food. It does not work that way at the DMV. With all of the state and federal laws, we cannot make any exceptions for anybody, no matter what. It does not matter how nice you are, or how bad your situation may be, you have to follow the same exact rules that everyone else does. So no, I can't “just do it this one time“, because I will lose my job.
5. Yes, you REALLY have to wait.
I cannot count on both hands the number of times per day that someone asked me “do I really have to wait?" Yes. You do. Just like everyone else.
6. READ THE PAMPHLETS YOU GET IN THE MAIL.
I cannot stress this one enough. It would save everyone so much time and stress if everyone just read the pamphlets they were sent in the mail. If we're sending it to you, it's important. I can't tell you how many times somebody has come up to my counter with the incorrect documents, while the pamphlet that we sent them explaining what they need is still in the envelope.
7. We don’t control what’s on the website.
Our website is confusing. So if you have a question, call the 1-800 number. Coming into the office and asking a clerk about something that's on the website will do you no good because chances are, we have no idea what's on the website.
8. We get yelled at A LOT.
Working at a job that has so many rules and regulations, we are bound to get people who don't want to follow them. Some people, though, decide that it's the individual worker's fault that there are so many rules, and take it out on us.
9. We don’t know why your plate is so expensive.
Every state bases plate fees off of something different. And a big surprise, the clerk renewing your plate has no control over it. We hear people complain about the price of their renewal every single day, which is fine. What isn't fine, though, is taking it out on the person doing your transaction.
10. There is no “slow day”.
If you're waiting three hours in an office, there's a pretty big chance that that office doesn't have a “slow day". And when you ask us what day our “slow day" is, even if we have one, we're not allowed to tell you that. Because even if there is a day that tends to be a little bit slower, that doesn't guarantee that it's going to be slow when you come in.
11. We understand that you have to bring your kids, but please control them.
Listen, we get it, nobody is going to pay for a babysitter to sit at the DMV all day. And we also understand that kids are restless, and are going to be loud. But nothing bothers us more than when we are trying to do our jobs, and we constantly have kids knocking stuff off of our counters, or pulling cords out of our computer, or moving our equipment. Just please try to control them when you're at the counter.
12. The renewal notice is a courtesy.
If you don't get your renewal notice for your plate or your license/ID in the mail, you still have to pay the late fee. In most states, your plate and your license/ID both expire on your birthday, so you should know that you have to renew it. And telling us that you didn't get the renewal notice in the mail will not make us waive your late fee.
13. No, you can not have a return pass.
A return pass is something that we give people who do not have enough documents, but waited for the number to be called. So if we process your transaction, you cannot have a return pass for a transaction that you didn't come in to do today. And you cannot have a return pass because you've been there for an hour but have to leave. If you don't wait for your number, and if you are not there to do the transaction that you want to pass for, you cannot have a return pass.