DMV Wait Times: Longest and Shortest

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCConnecticut.com

    Most of us consider going to the local Department of Motor Vehicles branch a necessary evil.

    You can check online to see how long the lines are, but the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters have crunched the numbers to see historically where, and what day, your waits are the shortest.

    This is some fascinating data on DMV wait times. We ran the numbers from 2013, and keep in mind, they only represent how long it takes you to get in line and up to the counter, not the time to complete your transaction.

    A trip to Danbury’s DMV branch will give you the shortest wait time – about 15 minutes – while over in the Hardware City of New Britain, you will wait an average wait three times longer – about 45 minutes.

    “Going to the DMV is always going to be an awful experience, no matter what,” said Grace Marie of Meriden.

    The DMV calculates average wait times at its branches though its electronic cueing system, which, on a constant basis measures the wait time for the last 10 people who grab a ticket, take a seat and wait to get called up to a service counter.

    The top three fastest branches in terms of average waits for the last six months of last year were:

    • Danbury: 15 minutes
    • Old Saybrook: 20 minutes
    • Norwich: 21 minutes

    These are the DMV branches with the longest average wait times:

    • Waterbury: 37 minutes
    • Bridgeport: 43 minutes
    • New Britain: 45 minutes

    As of last fall, the New Britain DMV had the longest wait time of any branch in the state.

    Which days should you go to the DMV? Wednesdays had the fastest lines, an average time of 25 minutes. Tuesdays, the first day of the week the DMV branches are open, had the longest waits, at an average of 38 minutes.

    The DMV is in the process of modernizing its computer system, which will enable people to conduct a number of DMV transactions online instead of in line and also potentially reduce wait times for people who do show up at a branch.

    “My goal is to get to the point where you don’t have to come to DMV anymore than you absolutely have to,” said state DMV Commissioner Melody Currey.

    But this modernization is a massive undertaking. The DMV estimates it is moving 40 million pieces of data into its new system.