Warm Weather Brings ‘Waiting Season' to DMV Branches

It’s “waiting season” at the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles as the warm weather rolls into the state.

“You have boats, you have trailers, you have camp trailers, you have motorcycles,” Bill Seymour, of the DMV, said.

Just six months ago, the agency told the public that once they take a ticket at the DMV, the average wait times at some branches had been cut in half to 40 minutes.

Jeff Barske, who went to the DMV’s Old Saybrook branch last Wednesday, said his wait was much longer than that.

All Barske wanted to do was register his new RV but the Old Saybrook branch told him it would take him three hours and 46 minutes at 10:30 a.m., in the middle of the work week, at what is statistically one of the faster DMV branches in the state.

“If this is better, this is not, this is not good enough,” Barske said.

The DMV explains that every year around this time it expects scattered but significant upticks in customers due to a surge in people registering vehicles for the summertime.

There is also the split between the DMV and AAA offices in Fairfield and New Haven counties that happened earlier this year. Customers who used to get drivers licenses at those locations are going elsewhere, to DMV offices and other AAA offices in northern Connecticut.

Meanwhile, the DMV is rolling out other time-saving measures. Starting next month, it will slowly roll out a new way of issuing drivers’ licenses. Instead of waiting hours for a new photo license, customers will get a paper license and then receive a photo license in the mail. The agency won’t commit to this bringing a ton of relief this summer, however.

The DMV said to avoid long waits this summer, arrive at a branch before it opens, don’t go on Tuesdays or Saturdays — which are traditionally the DMV’s busiest days — and, if possible, use online services that will keep people from having to come to a branch. The agency also suggests avoiding branches on or near the coast this time of the year, since they are most often the ones dealing with higher volumes of customers.

In addition, residents can check wait times at their local branch online, or on the DMV app or on the website.

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