Department of Motor Vehicle customers now can check online with a laptop or desk computer, smartphone or tablet for wait times before heading to any of its major service offices around the state.

The new wait-time link can be found at ct.gov/dmv. It shows the waiting times that start after someone receives a numbered ticket, which puts them in a queue for a certain service. The times listed are for registering a vehicle; obtaining a license, ID card or a handicap parking permit; getting copies of records; requesting a duplicate title; and making registration and license name changes.

In addition, a drop-down menu displays a list of offices so customers can choose which one best fits their own needs. Since the new service was launched as a test, more than 2,300 visits to the page were logged. It is now in full use.

"We see this as a tremendous customer service improvement. Until now, the wait time was always a mystery and gamble when you went to a DMV," said Melody A. Currey, DMV commissioner. "Now people have a guide to help them plan their day."

In its offices, DMV has an automatic computer system for queuing customers. The information from this system is used for the online wait-time information. The online times are within 10 minutes of real time.

DMV has been known for long lines and long wait times. This system attempts to give customers more control over how long and where they choose to wait. Often, waits can change in just minutes depending on the number of customers who come to a particular office. The new wait-time check will help with balancing the wait times through customer selections of offices with the shortest wait time.

Online checks for wait times for high-volume services, such as hospitals' emergency departments and the U.S. Transportation Security Administration airport screening, are becoming more available as a customer services. Some are report-based from customers while others come from automatic queuing systems like those at the Connecticut DMV.

More Information

Fact box