Is there anything worse than having to have to go to the DMV? More often than not, it’s an agonizingly boring, bordering on soul-crushing experience. Even ones with the most efficient and friendly staff can’t keep the place from being an awful place to spend time. In fact, if you’ve ever had a good experience at a DMV, it’s likely a story that you still tell to friends and family years later.
And on top of that feeling of being at the mercy of a faceless bureaucracy, you have to deal with other people. Usually, the types of people that you wouldn’t want to spend time with anywhere else. Unfortunately, we don’t have any real tricks to make spending time at the DMV any better — bring a good book maybe? But we can identify the worst of the worst that always seem to show up when you’re there. Here are the most hated types of people at the DMV that make a bad experience even worse.
1. The phone talker
The DMV is already a stressful place to be. So why not make it worse and have a dramatic phone conversation that 50 other people can hear too? Astonishingly, you never hear a small, quick exchange. It’s always someone yelling about how crazy someone else is, or how they’re fighting with someone else. Make no mistake: If you’re having this type of conversation waiting at the DMV, you look like the crazy one.
2. The sigher
There are few things worse than wasting a day at the DMV. You know who agrees? This guy. He’s the one you can hear sighing and scoffing from across the room, or maybe even swearing a little too loudly under his breath. No matter what you do, avoid eye contact: You might end up having to listen to him talk at you about all the ways this is a waste of time. As if you need your DMV experience to get any worse.
3. The private dealer
Flipping cars is a great side gig for the mechanically inclined, and can be a nice little source of income. But there’s nothing more infuriating than being behind someone who doesn’t have the credentials to use the official dealer window and instead, takes an hour to file paperwork for six different cars. Because when someone is ahead of you in line, you hope they’re going to be quick. This person never is.
4. The arguer
On a good day, the DMV is a draining, Kafkaesque ordeal. At its worst, it’s a nightmarish hellscape — thanks in part to the types of people on this list. And if there’s one thing you pick up quickly, it’s that you can’t win against this soul-crushing bureaucracy. The rules are the rules, and no one there has any power (or inclination) to change them. So in a way, our heart goes out to those frustrated little guys who think they can plead for things to change. But in reality, we know it’s a lost cause and their yelling at a clerk is just making an unpleasant situation worse.
5. The tragically forgetful
Closely related to the arguer, this forgetful type raises the question: How much stuff can you leave in your car? There’s always one at each DMV; you’re waiting in line to check-in and take a ticket, and someone ahead of you freaks out and realizes they left paperwork in their car. An hour later, once their number is called, they realize they left even more paperwork in the parking lot. This person is now between a rock and a hard place: Do they want to incur the wrath of the rest of everyone waiting and plead to have the clerk hold their spot, or do they argue about having to go back to the end of the line? Either way, we can’t say we have much sympathy for this type.
6. The eater
So the DMV is loud, harshly lit, and either too hot or too cold. So what could make it worse? How about having to smell someone else’s meal! If you’re waiting on either side of noon, there’s a chance that you’ll come across this type, generally eating a sandwich dripping in vinegar, or a pile of fried food in a to-go box. Try to get as far away from them as possible, but we can’t guarantee that it’ll get you away from the smell.
7. The fighter
With all of these horrible people packed into one stressful place, it’s no surprise that tensions can run high. But this person seemingly went into the DMV spoiling for a fight. It doesn’t matter if it’s a clerk or another person in line, they’re ready and looking for trouble. Avoid these people like the plague.
8. The know-nothing
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the counter and the end is in sight. Most DMV clerks are — unsurprisingly — seasoned veterans who’ve seen it all and can handle anything you can throw at them. But every now and then, your simple question is met with an “I don’t know if we can do that,” or “I’ll have to check with my supervisor.” Beware: This could either lead to another lengthy wait or an ask to come back another time. Be well informed and try to know the answer to your question ahead of time. Be respectful and helpful, and if you’re just lucky enough, you might get out of the DMV in one piece.