New York vs. San Francisco: No contest when it comes to the DMV

1 minute, 21 seconds Read

Here’s another point for New York City in the “San Francisco vs. New York” debate. The Department of Motor Vehicles in New York is approximately 5x better than San Francisco’s. 

Given, I’ve only been to the New York DMV once, but that one experience was enough to declare it the clear winner (by KO).

I’ve had the run-ins with San Francisco’s DMV more than a handful of times and it’s miserable. Here’s why San Francisco’s DMV is terrible / New York’s is better in comparison:

  • Online Appointments: I was shocked that I could actually reserve an appointment for the next day in New York. Unlike San Francisco where finding a DMV opening a week out is considered a blessing.
  • Waiting: if you don’t have an appointment, the wait is much much much shorter in New York. By a long shot.
  • Service: Neither is winning any points for friendliness but New York “wins” this round solely because the staff was more neutral bordering on “kinda nice” instead of San Francisco’s attitude of seemingly perpetual impatience and annoyance.

All in all, getting a New York ID was painless. I made an appointment with New York’s midtown DMV the day before. That day, I walked in and was greeted and prepped by workers making sure I had the required documents.

I filled out a form and waited for my number to come up. I paid for my ID, had my photo taken, waited some more before having my application finaled. I wasn’t paying attention to the time but it didn’t feel any longer than 30 minutes. I love it; New York City just works.

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