8 Ways to Improve the Experience of Waiting in Line at the DMV

A compendium of suggestions to temporarily relieve the bleak hell of bureaucracy.

Photo by Jack Alexander


Cats, dogs, and possibly more exotic creatures such as wallabies or baby lions. I would expect dogs to be the most frequent choice, as cats have been known to demonstrate antisocial behavior on occasion and it isn’t widely known how wallabies will interact with people. Anything is worth a shot though.


It is actually painful that no Department of Motor Vehicles in modern history has deployed this cheap method of mood control. Banks, doctors offices, and insurance agencies have been offering candy to eager patrons for decades. It is the natural companion to long waits and lots of paperwork. Shame on you DPS for not figuring this one out on your own.


One experiences a brief, joyous revival each time they leave the DMV when they step outside and experience color again. The lack of coloration within this desolate grey purgatory is detestable, and don’t even bother showing up in clothing with bright tones because the room will make quick work of expunging them from existence.


People can learn to love bingo if it means they have a chance at winning a large stuffed animal or a gift card while they wait in line to get their license renewed.


Why breakfast? Not only is it the happiest meal of the day, but it provides a wavering inkling of hope that the DMV won’t consume your entire schedule and you might have time to do something enjoyable after “breakfast”. On the house of course.


It doesn’t have to be good. It just has to be upbeat and feature songs that are not overly repetitive, considering that one may listen to an entire set many times over.


No hardcore journalism. People don’t want to hear about tough issues as they bask in the flickering bulbs of government limbo.


If the therapy dogs just aren’t enough, a professional should be on staff at all times to hear your concerns about dying alone in a sea of lost faces and uncomfortable government-issued chairs.

In sum, the innocent citizens who are victimized daily by long waits at the Department of Motor Vehicles deserve better. The ideas chronicled above may sound revolutionary, but if the people of these United States stand tall, form a coalition, and rally together, it may be possible to fill DMV lobbies everywhere with minuscule bowls of average-tasting hard candy.

This article also appears in Thought Catalog.