Arizona MVD Posts Estimated Wait Times Online

Categories: News
By Matthew Hendley

Arizona Department of Transportation's Motor Vehicle Division has started posting online updates of wait times for the MVD offices around the state.

(It's like Disneyland, minus the fun!)

For example, if you wanted to get your driver's license in northwest Phoenix at the time of this post (noon on Monday), it'll take about 47 minutes, according to the estimate.

The wait for a driver's license, title, or registration at the Yuma office is currently over an hour -- not exactly surprising stuff, as motor-vehicle offices around the country are known more for their wait times than they are as places where you can get a driver's license.

However, most of the offices in rural Arizona have little to no wait times, at least at the time of this post.

According to information released by ADOT:
The office hours and locations page of the Motor Vehicle Services section of shows the estimated number of customers waiting for driver license and title transactions, and the estimated wait time for these transactions. Wait times are updated every five minutes and measured from the time a customer receives a service ticket to the time the customer begins their transaction at a window.

The average wait times for common MVD transactions range from 15 to 45 minutes. Online wait times are strictly estimates and vary depending on the daily volume of customers served at a given office, the number of available transaction windows and office staffing levels.

Every MVD customer's time is valuable. Office wait times are monitored by site supervisors. When there is an issue with the flow of customers, adjustments are immediately made to improve the customer service experience.
To get the most up-to-date wait times at the MVD, click here.

Send feedback and tips to the author.
Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

The MVD offices are running their software on a mainframe machine that needs to be upgraded. The catch is this machine is managed by the department of administration and the agency head in charge of writing the check refuses to upgrade because he thinks everything can run in a cloud or can run on a PC. Typical short term thinking IMHO.

As far as the people in the MVD office, they do a pretty good job considering the crush of people. 


Everbody hates the MVD right? Couldn't private enterprise do a much better job? You might think so, but unlike most any other business everyone who wants to drive, which is most of us, pretty much has to go to the MVD at some point and there are many transactions you can't do online. 

So look at a similar private business where you are pretty much forced to use their services- your cable/phone internet & TV providers. Most every city has a 'duopoly', that is only two choices-the former Ma Bell or the Cable company. So you get slow service, a 4-hour window to sit at home waiting, holding on the phone for up to an hour, and to top it off we pay too much for substandard internet speed compared to the rest of the World. Cable companies routinely rank at the bottom of any customer satisfaction list, with phone companies not much better. 

So if the MVD were privatized initially you would see better service in the form of more workers and shorter wait times. Then as the profit motive kicked in you would see wait times grow with a scheme to shorten them by paying a premium. Then the push to fire the higher wage earning workers inherited from the State would grow, replacing them with lower & perhaps even minimum wage workers. Turnover would skyrocket, leading to longer wait times & more poor service because we all know how constant new trainees sure speeds things up. At best you might have our bought-and-paid-for Corporation Commission to turn to for relief. Best of luck with that one. As long as the investors are happy, no one will care if the 'customer' suffers. 

So eventually we're worse that we started from, but with the State getting less money and the public still getting screwed. I have to go to the MVD every 4 years to renew my CDL, unlike most of you that have 25 year licenses. Most people are there to get their first license, renew an expired license or reinstate one. Perhaps just tweaking the way MVD does their services, with more but smaller offices, CDL only offices, appointments only, and expanded online services would reduce the frustration. When I go every 4 years for my CDL I'm even asked if I want to use the same picture. Just removing the 4 year renewal requirement would ease the logjam significantly. 


I'm 31, born and raised here. They have have improved, slowly, over time. As a child, I recall my dad packing lunch and toys for me. Saturday at the DMV was truly a all day event. When I learned to drive in the late 90's, 2-3 hour wait times were then norm, still a improvement. In the last two years, I've been their due to divorce and my brothers death a handful of times, never waiting more than a hour. I think the front counter filtering questions and handing out forms before hand is a huge help, and the perforation of online services and private third party dmv outfits.

danzigsdaddy topcommenter

I dont know Matt, i think you are being kind of harsh on the MVD. i just recently dealt with them and was shocked with how much quicker they were than the DMV's in Illinois. maybe you grew up here and they were quicker (before they shut a bunch of them down), but i am not being sarcastic in any way when i say i was thoroughly impressed with how quick they got me in and out. maybe it depends on what time of day you go and to which location? getting them on the phone is a different matter altogether though

jonnyquest topcommenter

Most everything done at MVD is about raising revenue for the state. If a private business had people waiting an hour to give up money, that business would maybe...mmm...I don't know...hire some more workers? MVD wait times are so bad, it has generated a little cottage industry of private businesses to conduct MVD transactions. I wonder if any of our legislators have connections with them? You know, like the charter school scam we have in this state.


@jonnyquest  they might initially but then profits would suffer so "here come the cuts!". Some transactions you can't do online so everyone there pretty much has to be there, so private business would care even less that people were served in a timely manner. Even worse they would hire the cheapest labor possible and since we are in a Right to work (for less) state the turnover would be horrendous. Nothing like a constant rotation of newbies to make things move like molasses. 

valleynative topcommenter


Private business only cares about the wait time if you've got some alternative, such as giving your money to somebody else or simply doing without their service.

MVD knows that they're going to get your money sooner or later, so they're not really in a rush.  Their biggest incentive is probably to ensure that you're more pleasant to deal with when you make it to the counter.

Now Trending

Phoenix Concert Tickets

From the Vault