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Does Santa Ana have the best DMV ever?

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Wed, May 2, 2012

By: The LACar Editorial Staff


The Department of Motor Vehicles office in Santa Ana, California

The Department of Motor Vehicles, or DMV as it’s known in most parts, has been the subject of countless comedians that want to comment on slow-motion lines and red tape. Everyone has a DMV story. There’s even a site dedicated to stories about the DMV, few of which are all that flattering. So when a particular office flies in the face of that image, we think it deserves some mention. Having been to DMV offices in various counties, I can attest to the fact that the Santa Ana office is not your father’s DMV. First of all, it’s a rare moment when I’ve had to wait longer than 20 minutes to complete a task at the Santa Ana office—and that’s without an appointment. If you have an appointment, be prepare to get serviced a lot quicker than you’re ready for. But wait, there’s more. Perhaps the most telling moment came when I showed up at the office before it opened. The line to get in wrapped around the building. However, even before the opening hour, there’s a DMV staffer interviewing those in line to speed up the process. This is something one might expect at an In-and-Out Burger, but not a DMV office. The popular review site Yelp (as in “yell for help”) by-and-large backs up this experience. First of all, Yelp gives the Santa Ana DMV office four out of five stars. That’s a rating that many restaurants would die to have. For a DMV office, that’s pretty extraordinary. “S the workers don’t lag at the office. Or they are very efficient in getting people in and out [of] the place.” Yelper Tiffany of Los Angeles says: “Well, listen, I've been to three DMVs in Orange County and out of all of them, the Santa Ana location is always the fastest and the friendliest…and the DMV employees that helped me were very helpful and friendly. Also, it doesn't hurt that the nice food cart lady outside makes a great hot dog to munch on while waiting. The only DMV I will ever go to. Four stars.”


Getting an HOV lane sticker at the Santa Ana DMV office

“I know…five stars for the DMV? Hear me out, proclaims Mia of Artesia. “I've never waited more than 45 minutes at this DMV. Here's the trick, you get there in the morning, anytime before 10:30 and it's gotta be on a weekday from Monday through Thursday (Friday and Saturday is a death trap), and it's smooth sailing (depending on why you're there ;P). I even came on a hot afternoon when the line wrapped around three sides of the building and then snaked some more, and a nice lady who worked there let me in and gave me a number. Now you're wondering how the heck that happened, God! Yes, there is a God! ( I also had a small baby in tow, so that helped). Honestly this DMV is pretty dang fast overall.” “I went here twice. Both the times, I got my job done in less than five minutes,” claims Yelper Prashanth of Irvine. “I had to register my vehicle in my name after buying it. Both the times, I got an appointment and skipped the lines at the entrance. As soon as I got the ticket number, I was called before I could rest my ass on the chairs there. Man these guys are fast!” Yelper Fausto of Santa Ana proclaims: “Best DMV EVER!” “So I drive into the parking lot 3 minutes before the DMV opens,” Fausto explains. “The line is winding around the building, and at 8:00 a.m. opening time, I get in line as it begins to move briskly. After ten minutes, I have been given my ticket. I sit down; there's still plenty of seats available. At 8:20, I notice there is no longer any line at all to get a ticket! Amazing! So far so good. At about 8:35 or so, my number gets called. I show my forms, pay my fee, then a short line to take a picture. Flash, and I am finished and it's not even 9:00 a.m.! Everything done in less than an hour. On my way out, I notice that there is still no wait to get a number. It’s a good feeling. At the Santa Ana DMV, things get done fast and efficiently. Great going! Jillian of San Jose seems to concur with Fausto: “BEST. DMV. EVER. I've had only the typical DMV horror stories in my lifetime and this was great. When my uncle and I first got there at 11 a.m. on a Thursday, the line seemed super long because it was out the door. Once we were in, [I] thought it was actually going super fast! The staff was all really friendly and sincerely helpful—unlike the usual grumpy stonefaces I am used to encountering at DMVs.” So, there you have it—a not-so-random sampling of Yelpers on the tributes of the Santa Ana DMV office. Of course, there are a few detractors that have posted contrary opinions. Jillian of San Jose has a few words for them: “Stop whining…and get a freaking appointment…all you naysayers!” - Roy Nakano To view the site for the Santa Ana DMV, click here To view the Yelp reviews on the Santa Ana DMV, click here VITAL STATISTICS Name: Department of Motor Vehicles Santa Ana Office Location: 1330 E 1st St Santa Ana, CA 92701 Telephone: (800) 777-0133 Hours: Monday-Tuesday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

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