Okay, okay, I take it all back.
I had a POSITIVE experience at the DMV.
Will wonders never cease?
I had been procrastinating going to the DMV and getting my title and registration taken care of just like I procrastinate going to the dentist. Now, in hindsight, I wish I would've done it a lot sooner.
Pentagon newbie gouge: There is a Virginia DMV office IN the Pentagon on the 2nd floor in corridor 10. At the time of this writing with the state of the remodeling construction, when you walk in the Metro entrance and go up the escalators, the construction boundaries force you to walk down corridor 10 and right past the DMV office.
There are two service counters, and I think they can do just about anything there. I went in about 0900 and there were five people in line in front of me. I only had to wait 5 minutes before it was my turn.
The two employees working the counter, Julie and Gilbert, were both very knowledgeable, friendly, and professional, and they worked together as a team to find answers to questions and overcome obstacles. I was VERY impressed. They had me in and out of there with new Virginia plates and registration in no time. It looked like they were having fun and actually enjoyed their work, and it made it actually a pleasure to speak with them and conduct business with them. What a concept, huh?
My transaction took a little longer because I was transferring my title from Hawaii, but even so, there was never more than one person in line behind me, and there was nobody in line when I left.
Two thumbs up for the Virginia DMV Office in the Pentagon!
Disclaimer: Of course, this is a single data point, and I don't expect you to draw a trend line or make any generalizations about DMV service from this one experience. :-) It could've been a fluke.
Update 12/16/2008: More data - at least on the wait. I've gotten in the habbit over the past few weeks of peeking into the DMV office in Corridor 10 every time I pass by to see if there's EVER a line. The average is 4 people waiting in line. I've never seen more than 5 people waiting in line. There have been some occasions of NO people waiting in line, and some in between 0-4 people, but it seems to me most often I see 4 people waiting.