I've seen your future, and it involves a trip to the DMV. No matter who you are, sooner or later you have to visit this institution. Recently, I've had to conduct business here numerous times. Along the way, I've learned a few tricks to speed up the process.

Are you needing to transfer a title? Do you need to register a vehicle? Are you way behind on your vehicle registration? As you can imagine, a trip to the DMV can turn into a half-day project. Well, it doesn't have to be that way.

In recent weeks my adventures have required me to transfer a number of titles. Because these transfers involved an estate, the number of documents and hoops to jump through were many. Oddly, the trips to the DMV were effortless.

The Mesa County DMV office at 200 S Spruce Street in Grand Junction lists their business hours as 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Did you know the doors open even earlier? That's right, twice this week I was able to get in and get my "number" as early as 7:45. You simply check in at the front counter to get your number, and you're all set. In my case, I was customer #004. When doors opened at 8 a.m. I was assisted immediately. When I concluded my business at roughly 8:30, I looked around and saw only three people waiting to be served.

That's one way. Another effective way to get in and out fast is to make an appointment. It works like a charm. This last weekend I went to the Mesa County DMV's site and scheduled an appointment for today (Tuesday) at 10:30 a.m. The appointment schedule was wide open, but Tuesday at 10 a.m. was the earliest available. This is a sharp contrast to a couple of years ago. When the DMV first rolled out their appointment feature, I gave it a shot. The earliest available appointment was almost two weeks out. Again, that was my experience a couple of years ago.

Let's say you are wanting to schedule an appointment right now. Let's take a little test run. As of 10:23 a.m. on Tuesday, March 10, the earliest available appointment at the Mesa County DMV is 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday, March 11. If Wednesday doesn't work, the following day, Thursday, March 12, is almost completely open.

That's not bad. The ability to schedule an appointment for the next day is a near impossibility at most places of business. Imagine trying to make a hair appointment less than 24 hours out. A doctors appointment? Not a chance.

Please remember there are a number of services which can be conducted entirely online. According to the DMV's official website:

This site allows you to complete tasks such as renewing your driver license, identification card or motor vehicle registration; updating your address; requesting a driving record and more.

Don't forget about the MV Express Kiosk. You'll find this right through the front door at the Mesa County DMV. If you are a Mesa County resident, this machine is available for you to use. What can you do there? According to the DMV webpage, "Colorado MVExpress is a self-service kiosk that offers a fast and easy way to renew your vehicle registration. It is a blue and yellow machine with touch-screen technology that looks similar to an ATM machine." The website adds, "Simply scan the barcode on your vehicle registration renewal postcard or use the touch-screen to type in your license plate number. Follow the instructions to review your vehicle record, and pay taxes and fees. The machine will print your receipt, registration and tabs on the spot." The kiosk takes payment in the form of cash, check, or credit card. Please note, only one form of payment is accepted per transaction.

A trip to the DMV is noticeably different compared to the 1980's. Back then, renewing your tags had the potential to be a big deal. Now, assuming you can't complete your task online or via the kiosk, an in-person visit to the DMV can be quick and painless. In the event you do need to visit the office, I strongly recommend setting an appointment. It really works.

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