Most of the time when you visit the DMV you simply walk through the front door and wait in line to speak with an official. But for some types of assistance you must schedule DMV office appointments in advance. This quick overview will show you when, where, and why to schedule these appointments.
The most common reason is because it is required in some states that you schedule a driver’s test in advance. During these tests a DMV official sits in the car with the driver and provides instruction and evaluation first hand. This is a fairly time and labor intensive process, and there are only so many qualified driving officials available. In order to ensure that resources are proportioned fairly, drivers are required to schedule a DMV office appointment before taking the test. This is not the case in all states, however. Be sure to look up what rules apply where you live.
That is up to the discretion of the DMV office, but in most cases the answer is no. It is tempting to try and schedule a driver’s license renewal or title transfer and bypass the lines, but in the interest of fairness this is rarely an option. You can avoid lengthy wait times by getting to the office as early as possible, planning your trip for the middle of the month, and showing up with all the necessary forms and documents already in hand.
You typically have three options – by phone, online, or in person. Start by doing an online search with the keywords “DMV” plus the location where you live. This should direct you to contact information for the nearest DMV offices. In some places the DMV uses a centralized appointment setting system, and in other places you must contact the specific office you plan to visit. No matter how you plan to make contact, have your learner’s permit information on hand. You will likely need to provide the number.
If your intention is to take the driver’s test and get your license, you’re probably eager to get going. Make sure you have met all the qualifications first. In most places you will need to have earned a learner’s permit in advance. You may also be required to wait a certain length of time after earning your learner’s permit, have completed a certified driver’s education course, or have driven a set number of hours under supervision. If you have not met these criteria you will not be permitted to take the driver’s test.
You should also wait until you have complete confidence you can pass the test. If you fail you will have wasted time and money and may have to wait a specific period of time before retaking it. The driver’s test is a comprehensive evaluation of your skills, and it’s administered in a high-pressure setting. Lots of new drivers experience test-anxiety on top of their beginner’s driving skills. Do not make a DMV office appointment until you feel very capable behind the wheel.