Did you know AAA offers some DMV services?
Not too many people know this but you can avoid the long lines and the (cough cough) inefficiencies of the DMV by using the AAA for certain services. In California for example, you can use the AAA to order duplicate registration papers, titles, and stickers. You can also replace license plates and request personalized plates. If for some reason you don’t want to renew your registration by mail or online you can also do it in person at the AAA. I personally transferred a car from my brother to me at AAA and not only did they get it done in just a few minutes but they were very helpful over the phone in preparing the necessary papers even before I arrived.
One thing to be careful of is the payment method. I had a friend who bought a car and went to AAA to transfer ownership with the intent to pay cash for registration, title transfer and sales tax. Well he miscalculated the total and was short by just a few dollars. No problem, just use the credit card right? Not! The DMV does NOT accept credit or debit cards. So my friend had to scramble and go find an ATM machine. Not a happy camper.
So we recommend using the AAA, if you are a member, instead of the DMV; but at least in California bring your check book or enough cash because no credit/debit cards or eChecks are accepted.