If the thought of a DMV visit feels like an obstacle course that’s set up just for you to fail, you’ve come to the right place. As promised, The Next Street is still working diligently at maneuvering through each office in Connecticut; stick with us and your next trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles will be a joy ride.
The third CT DMV I dropped into was the Danbury office. Instantly I noticed how much smaller the parking lot was compared to Waterbury & Wethersfield. If you plan on coming to this location, be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to drive around and find an appropriate parking spot. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to roll up on one not too far from the lot entrance, but that leads me to my second recommendation: back yourself in! Although folks coming in will most likely leave you the space to back up so they can steal your spot before anyone else, it’s better to be safe than sorry… Especially if you’re in a smaller (less visible!) vehicle like me. Plus, you’ll most likely be facing the entrance, which will allow you to avoid the confusion I felt for a minute or two…
A good thing to know before you arrive is that the office is a shared building. Even though my GPS told me I was there and I saw a sign that clearly read Department of Motor Vehicles Entrance, I still worried that I was parked the wrong place. (Like I mentioned in my last post, parking tickets are avoidable, and I was not trying to be an example of that!) From where I was, I could only see the ‘Iovino Brothers: Screen Printing, Embroidery, & Promotions’ entrance and a sign in the lot ahead of me that read ‘North America Equipment: NAE’. It lead me to believe I was in an industrial park of some kind. Don’t let yourself worry as much as I do; as long as you’re at 2 Lee Mac Avenue, you’re in the right place! For reference, this is what the entrance looks like:
Both doors shown above will lead you into the office. The door on the right will bring you right to the line for information where you’ll receive your transaction ticket. Unless you’re there for a knowledge or road test, be sure to wait in this line first! As mentioned in earlier posts, transaction tickets are very important at the Department of Motor Vehicles so hold onto it tight. Teens or adults visiting for a scheduled road test will check in to the left of this entrance. If you’re there for your learner's permit, your best bet is to enter through the door shown on the left. You’ll see the testing window as soon as you walk in. Don’t forget to have all ID’s, needed forms, & your DMV appointment confirmation within easy reach when you go to check in; they’ll need to be shown before you’re even able to wait to take the test. Bring something to keep yourself occupied: a sketchbook, a good novel, or at least a power bank for your cellphone. I was there for about an hour and saw many of the same faces still waiting to receive their permits when I stepped out.
There were a couple of things I noticed about this office that seemed to make all the difference. There were, at the very least, a couple dozen more chairs in the room compared to the last two I had visited. Not having to squeeze your way through a crowd of irritated faces because they’re all happily sitting down instead makes coming here a lot less uncomfortable. They also had a snack bar right next to the line you wait in for a transaction ticket. Although the Wethersfield location did have a café, it wasn’t accessible unless you left the public room and went downstairs, which is a cause for concern: if you aren’t there when your name or transaction number is called, employees have to assume that you decided to leave. So having food easily accessible, all while still being within earshot of the employees & TV’s, is a beautiful thing in the world of DMV’s.
While coming back from checking out the snack bar, I noticed a frustrated looking woman. I struck up a conversation with her, hoping to take her mind off of where she was for a little while. (Going to the Department of Motor Vehicles alone is excruciatingly boring, trust me. If you’re not heading there with your parents, try to find a friend who’s willing to come. Your wait time will seem shorter, I promise.) I found out she owned a vehicle that couldn’t pass emissions and, because of that, could only get a thirty-day registration; that meant that every single month, she had to come back to the Danbury office for the same exact thing. She was a goldmine of information because of it though! Specifically, when it came to road testing...
This is where you park when you’re using your own car for the road test, easily identifiable by the blue signs that say, “Parking Only for Drivers Test”:
She told me that when the instructors go out to inspect the vehicles before the road test begins, they want the cars pulled in nose first, as shown above. This is so they can see how well you can back up your vehicle more than once, as you’re required to back into a space at the end of the test… Instructors will ask, “Are you straight?” & your answer will make or break you! Be positive before you answer; don’t hesitate to pull forward, align yourself a little more, and then say, “Yes, I’m straight.” if you’re unsure. She also told me that most people who came back from the test with unhappy expressions failed because they didn’t yield to pedestrians at crosswalks within the DMV lot & they didn’t stop when a light turned yellow. Keep all of this in mind when taking the driver's license test. Sending many "thank you’s" to this kind woman for sharing her knowledge for me to relay back to you all!
All in all, this was the best visit I’ve had so far. Be grateful if this is your local office because you’re in good hands; especially after reading this! Your friends at The Next Street are hoping it helps you navigate the Danbury DMV with ease.
Stay tuned for more insider tips from The Next Street…
Our next stop: 1985 State Street, Hamden, CT.
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