New York State DMV

(Now Closed)
Government Building
Chelsea, New York
150 Tips and reviews
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  • Concert Ticket Agency
    Concert Ticket AgencyOctober 8, 2012
    Prepare as much online before you arrive. While you're waiting in line, plot a plan of an excellent night out at nearby Irving Plaza, Eugene O'Neill theater or Highline ballroom! You deserve it.
  • Aimee G.
    Aimee GoretskiSeptember 19, 2013
    In at noon, out at 12:27!! Thanks to the tips--did my paperwork ahead of time, brought all my points and did EDL--worth the extra $$. Everyone was very pleasant and helpful.
  • Judy O.
    Judy O'KeefeMay 17, 2013
    DMV's best kept secret for new license: Bring 2 extra points of ID (paystub, coned bill, etc)& go to enhanced license BOOTH 26. $30 more but no wait! Passed a hundred people in line! Done in 45 mins!
  • Anthony C.
    Anthony CaponitiAugust 5, 2013
    Arrive 15 mins early before the office opens. On a Monday during the summer, arriving at 8am will have a 50 person line outside the building. Call first in case the computer system is down statewide.
  • Jennifer E.
    Jennifer EwingOctober 8, 2014
    Here is a RECENT update: modernized queue (think Whole Foods) and booking appt online made my experience switching out another State's license for a NY one was a breeze. Fill out ppwrk ahead.
  • Jen U.
    Jen UrbanekMarch 26, 2013
    It wasn't as bad as I prepared myself for. Everyone was super friendly. The line however was crazy. I got there at 9.15 and the line was an easy 70 deep. Get there early!
  • The Corcoran Group
    The Corcoran GroupFebruary 17, 2012
    If you must visit this location, make sure you get here before the 8.30am opening time, then follow the masses to the 8th floor and begin the tedious wait and repeat.
  • Crimson K.
    Crimson KittyAugust 30, 2013
    Get there an hour early before it opens, this will ensure that you are one of the first people in. Do your research and PRE-FILL any forms that are needed. I made it out in under 20 minutes!!!
  • Natasha P.
    Natasha PetrukhinJuly 16, 2012
    Budget an entire morning or afternoon. Your only hope of survival is to befriend a fellow line dweller and alternate running downstairs to Mrs. Fields in order to eat your feelings. Good luck!
  • Heather C.
    Heather CoutureMarch 12, 2013
    I came in the middle of the month on a Tues., arrived at 8:20 am and there was already a line wrapping the block. Get here early if you don't want to wait in line!
  • Ali M.
    Ali MulcahyJuly 3, 2012
    Rumor has it that you don't have to wait in line if you're getting an EDL. Also, only wait in the first info line if you haven't filled out your forms like a dope.
  • Gothamista
    GothamistaSeptember 12, 2012
    Get there right when they open to avoid the lines and be sure to print your forms online first.. In and out in 50 mins!
  • Kristin B.
    Kristin BriggsFebruary 5, 2014
    Get an appointment beforehand. They are available day of, they treat you like royalty, and you're in and out in 20-ish minutes.
  • Nicole
    NicoleMarch 14, 2014
    I walked in with all of my paperwork for a new license on a Friday at 5:28PM and was out by 6:31. Even though they officially close at 6, they stay for anyone who got a number before then.
  • Jon H.
    Jon HackettJanuary 21, 2014
    Make an appointment online for a specific time and pre-fill all the paperwork before getting there. Arrived at 8:45am and left at 9am.
  • Candace C.
    Candace ChangApril 16, 2013
    People are surprisingly friendly, efficient and helpful! In and out within 40 minutes for an ID. Just get there at 8.
  • Johanna R.
    Johanna RosarioSeptember 12, 2013
    Don't come here as I did, with an empty stomach. Bring your pen and fill everything before making any line. My waiting wasn't too bad because i came at 10am. Be patient and don't forget any document!!
  • Adria
    AdriaOctober 11, 2012
    If you work nearby, try going around 11am, to beat the lunchtime crowd. I was in and out in under an hour.
  • Ashley S.
    Ashley SimonJuly 17, 2012
    I really like what they've done with the decor: simple, understated. Who needs signs anyway? Life is a game of chance!
  • Liz M.
    Liz MackJanuary 3, 2014
    Make a reservation, this place moves at a snails pace. The reservation will move the first part of your trip quick, but I've been waiting 45 min to pay... ugh.
  • Jean W.
    Jean WoronieckiApril 4, 2014
    Making an appt is the way to go! I spent only 15 minutes at the dmv, which must be some kind of record!
  • Ryan B.
    Ryan BarlowMay 14, 2013
    For future reference, the DMV does not allow one to bring beverages into the facility - this would include a venti iced coffee at 8am.
  • Ehtesh C.
    Ehtesh ChoudhuryJanuary 21, 2015
    If you are looking for the location by 34th Street and 6th Avenue, look for the new place. It is relocated to 31st and 9th Avenue.
  • Joan G.
    Joan GilbertJune 15, 2012
    Skip the information line!!! Bring papers filled out and run to the photo line. I got in line behind 100 people downstairs at 8am. Skipped the info line and was done in 15 minutes.
  • Michael M.
    Michael MuseJune 17, 2014
    CHEAT CODE: The staff are very friendly here if you fill your name out as Commissioner Barbara J. Fiala of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Chris J.
    Chris JoffrionJuly 16, 2013
    So much quicker than the DMV near the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn. Granted it's still took me about an hour to accomplish what I needed to do.
  • Kate L.
    Kate LongSeptember 6, 2013
    Fun fact, app your licence has to be more than 6 months old. Thanks for making me wait an hour in line to find that one out.
  • Paul Travis K.
    Paul Travis KleinApril 2, 2014
    You can make reservations online to secure a spot in line! Brilliant!
  • Veronica
    VeronicaDecember 4, 2013
    Check-in online and fill out apps. Appt was 5:15 and was seen at 5:05 and finished by 5:20
  • Dan T.
    Dan TszeNovember 12, 2013
    Use the online reservation system. Called in 1 minute after arriving, out in 5.
  • Michelle S.
    Michelle SNovember 27, 2013
    Bring a pen. And make sure when they sound out your street name, you make sure to spell it for them. Thames sounds like Thomas apparently...
  • Lauren T.
    Lauren TobinAugust 10, 2012
    If you're trying to get a New York license and you have an out of state license, don't forget your SS card and BC or passport!
  • Esteban P.
    Esteban PieroOctober 23, 2013
    Get inside. Pick up a number and go shopping on 34th street. Because they are so slow!! The number at the moment b345 and I have the b496.
  • Aasha F.
    Aasha FosterOctober 22, 2012
    Get there early and have your forms filled out already. I had to do a title transfer and vehicle line at 8 in the door at 830 out by 845!
  • Puu K.
    Puu KampolratanaJuly 11, 2013
    Got here at 11am and out in 30 mins later :) The only thing that bothered me was Ms.Mossop at photo booth #3 who chitchat with her coworkers too much. She forgot if she took my picture or not.
  • Chris T.
    Chris TallmanOctober 9, 2012
    Bring a hard surface so you can fill out your forms in line and avoid a tiny bit of the insane wait!
  • timoni w.
    timoni westApril 4, 2014
    There's no more fast enhanced license lane, and yes, you have to get a number to exchange an out of state license. Ah, Camelot, I hardly knew thee.
  • Lisa G.
    Lisa GanskyAugust 20, 2012
    In a rush? Bring 6 points of id & pay $30 extra for the enhanced license. Go directly to window 25 & 26 and skip the massive line!
  • Miss Sia
    Miss SiaAugust 21, 2012
    Go at the end of the day for speedy transactions. Doors close at 4:00pm Mon-Fri.
  • Cesar R.
    Cesar RazuriDecember 28, 2012
    Not sure why, but attitudes here are miserable. You're best to bite your tongue and be kind and courteous.
  • J Crowley
    J CrowleyMarch 3, 2011
    You want to be the LAST person in the elevator on the ground floor. That way you'll be the first out - and first in line. People will be pissed, but fuck it, it's hell on earth.
  • Anthony T.
    Anthony ThorntonMarch 14, 2012
    Get here early! Will be here at least 2 hours!! People will get super nasty if you piss then off ugh! Why does everyone have to be dicks?
  • Tracie F.
    Tracie FranklinMarch 8, 2012
    Bring your social security card!!! You must have it even if you have a passport.
  • Michael M.
    Michael MosesApril 21, 2011
    Skip the info line at the door and go straight to the EDL line at booth 26. Pay $30 more for an EDL and save 2 hours of your life... never a line here as long as you have all the docs.
  • Sarah F.
    Sarah FathallahMay 8, 2012
    Print out and fill in your forms before, you can skip the first information line, and go straight to the photo line
  • J Dot
    J DotJune 26, 2012
    The dude that takes your picture is a trip, gets me every time! Lmfao you know what I'm talking about if you've ever been here. Haha
  • Nick S.
    Nick SallonMay 17, 2011
    Ask the security guy by desk 28 loads of questions. He is deliberately unhelpful and gets very irritated. This will probably be the highlight of your time here
  • Mike L.
    Mike LightmanAugust 15, 2011
    ignore the haters. the people are great and it moves really fast - just have your paperwork ready.
  • Jordan G.
    Jordan GoszMarch 29, 2013
    Exchanging an out-of-state license? 1) fill out your forms online and print, 2) bring the proper ID, 3) skip info line and go to Line A
  • Edward C.
    Edward ChristmasJune 30, 2011
    Bring your social security card!!!!! Also if you only need a state ID, skip that "info" line, go straight to te photo line with you filled out paperwork and 6 points.
  • Gabrielle Z.
    Gabrielle ZigiAugust 7, 2013
    Print out the paperwork online to skip the information line. Will save you an hour wait
  • Jeff R.
    Jeff RNovember 11, 2010
    Use blue or black ink and bring your own pen! Expect to wait in line 2 times and wait in a booth the third time.
  • Kendra S.
    Kendra SrebroJune 11, 2013
    I arrived at 11:30am on a Tuesday and was out by 12:15pm. Not bad at all.
  • Sarah L.
    Sarah LynAugust 10, 2011
    Opens at 8:30 but already a line at 7:50- also, pay attn to the numbers called, they don't announce them they play the radio
  • Brett B.
    Brett BrownMarch 8, 2013
    Don't even think about filling out your paperwork with a red pen, even if that's not mentioned anywhere.
  • Phil T.
    Phil ThompsonSeptember 15, 2011
    I would suggest turning up the sexy sexy music. It calms the angry hoards.
  • Ali B.
    Ali BriggsJune 29, 2012
    After 2 hours in the photo line, prepare for another hour sitting on benches waiting for your number to come up to see the cashier.
  • Ali M.
    Ali MulcahyJuly 3, 2012
    Bring water and eat beforehand. You're gonna be here a while.
  • Trenton G.
    Trenton GaucherApril 3, 2014
    You get excited when your number gets called the first time. Then you realize: this is only the beginning.
  • Capt Awesome
    Capt AwesomeFebruary 2, 2012
    Security guards are good to talk to. They don't want to be here anymore than you. No stress, just relax
  • Emily H.
    Emily HaOctober 17, 2011
    I got here at 8:30am and it was already pretty crowded. The lines are long but they go by pretty fast. Renewed my license in one hour. Not too shabby!
  • Mike L.
    Mike LightmanAugust 15, 2011
    Don't believe the haters. This is the fastest DMV in the city. Have your paperwork ready & the p
  • BackJoy
    BackJoyJune 5, 2012
    Standing in line for hours is tough on your back. BackJoy Posture+ products are available at 36th & Bway Duane Reade.
  • Da G.
    Da GuanApril 3, 2014
    Bring something to read. The waiting average is at least 30 minutes. Also, bring a pen, there are no pens there.
  • Lin L.
    Lin LingOctober 26, 2013
    Have all your forms completed and IDs before arriving, and BE PREPARED to wait.
  • Rebecca A.
    Rebecca AtwoodJuly 19, 2011
    Exchanging an out of state license? Bring the forms, your passport and social security card, and get straight on the photo line.
  • Nicole M.
    Nicole MurrayNovember 21, 2013
    Exchanged my oos license in no time flat. Friendly staff!
  • Megan F.
    Megan FarrellJuly 18, 2013
    Bring your social security card or you are doomed!
  • Tamara J.
    Tamara JonesApril 16, 2013
    NYS DMV best kept secret! Quick and smooth!
  • Alessandra
    AlessandraMarch 5, 2012
    The old school jams playing make the experience somewhat tolerable.
  • Jeff M.
    Jeff McgregorJanuary 17, 2012
    More suicides are committed here than any other place in the city.
  • Miguelina C.
    Miguelina CastilloMarch 21, 2012
    There is a cranky person at the written test area. Don't take it personal lol
  • Eric W.
    Eric WezermanJuly 2, 2013
    Ask the person at the door something stupid so they can tell you to get on the info line
  • Nathaniel M.
    Nathaniel McNamaraApril 23, 2014
    Make a reservation online. Skipped 100s of people waiting.
  • Eliza K.
    Eliza KNovember 9, 2011
    You know, it wasn't too bad! On a Wed, I got in line at 8:20, and was done with my out of state license exchange by 9:35. Not too shabby!
  • Kimmie O.
    Kimmie OhhSeptember 8, 2014
    Walked in at 908 thinking I would be waiting in like for an hour...Got out at 913
  • Calvin C.
    Calvin ChanMay 29, 2013
    Tried to get my unexpired out of state license renewed. Told me my government issued ID was not proof of identification. Be prepared to bring SSN, passport, mother, birth cert & 8 other forms of ID.
  • Frank J.
    Frank JaniaOctober 21, 2010
    Get here between 10:30 and 11:00am and the wait should be short
  • Sewell T.
    Sewell TNovember 24, 2010
    Get here by 7:30am if you want to be the first 10 ppl in line. The line grows quickly after 7:45. Good luck!
  • Nicole H.
    Nicole HakliAugust 7, 2013
    Bring a pen. Be prepared to wait.
  • Danielle N.
    Danielle NicoleJuly 1, 2013
    I think I'm traveling to Mordor, because this place is full of "YOU SHALL NOT PASS,"orcs, Gollums, and hell fire. Unfortunately the soundtrack is early 90s R&B and not the soothing jams of Enya.
  • Greg J.
    Greg JonesDecember 27, 2012
    Bring your own pen or pay .25 cents for one.
  • Susan L.
    Susan LohNovember 1, 2011
    if you go at 11am, you should be in and out in an hour. not bad.
  • Ben D.
    Ben DruckerSeptember 4, 2014
    Nicest government office I've ever seen. Gave me false hope by taking my picture in 2 minutes. Then made me wait an hour to pay and get a temp license.
  • Carlo
    CarloNovember 25, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    It's open until 6 pm!!! Empty after 5 PM.
  • Jessica F.
    Jessica FjeldFebruary 6, 2012
    Went the morning after the Super Bowl. In and out in well under an hour!
  • Thomas C.
    Thomas CarnevaleApril 17, 2012
    Come at 4:00, they hand out free beer if you're not out by 5:30
  • Sharon T.
    Sharon TongAugust 17, 2010
    Long line will hurt your feet. Wear comfy shoes. & something to do
  • Melissa G.
    Melissa GrovesNovember 23, 2011
    Super short lines the days before and after major holidays.
  • melissa g.
    melissa gersonOctober 26, 2012
    This place is super fast! They went through 40 people in 20 minutes!
  • Thomas C.
    Thomas CarnevaleApril 17, 2012
    apparently the state of New York hasn't discovered the vending machine phenomena
  • Ryan W.
    Ryan WilliamsApril 9, 2014
    make an appointment online! Read more
  • Rebecca C.
    Rebecca CarterFebruary 7, 2012
    Bring a snack; you're going to be here a while.
  • Nate W.
    Nate WestheimerMarch 22, 2012
    Here's a tip: read the damn tips BEFORE you go.
  • Brian K.
    Brian KerriganSeptember 10, 2013
    Ha!!! Need a new motto, I think...
  • Jennifer W.
    Jennifer WardAugust 23, 2010
    Print and fill out your forms online before you go
  • Jonathan F.
    Jonathan FlahertyJanuary 15, 2014
    DMV is always unpleasant. 82 minute wait is considered "normal". Welcome to NY!
  • Wesley B.
    Wesley BlissJuly 22, 2013
    raggedly carved in the wall, it says, "kill me," among other expletives
  • timoni w.
    timoni westSeptember 6, 2013
    No food or drink allowed, which begs the question: what IS alcohol, anyway? Does it really fit into either category?
  • Brad P.
    Brad ParkJuly 16, 2012
    7:30AM, third in line. 8:00AM, can't see the end of line
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