The phone system at all DMV's i am assured is terrible, lucky for me, i only had to deal with one of them. But DC is a clever little bunch, they dont allow you to "skip" sections of the call.
The Stages of a DMV call.
1. A useless note from the Mayor's Office
47 seconds . Then press 2 (for the DMV)
2. A useless note from the DMV
25 seconds . Then press 1 (for English). Which had me thinking, what if I spoke Spanish, the first minute and 2 seconds would be VERY confusing for me.
3. Another useless note from the DMV
Recap : Before i could begin to make selections, I had to wait 1 minute and 47 seconds.
Selections for a Registration Card (for parking)
4. 45 seconds for Information about how to apply for a Registration card.
5. 20 seconds about how you can do this on-line
6. 30 seconds about how you will need to get a new licience
7. 50 seconds about what a Customer service rep can handle
8. 30 seconds with a number you can call to pay tickets
9. FINALLY 10 seconds, and you get to customer representative.
Add all that up (and graph it below), you get 5 minutes before you can even get on hold to speak to someone. In that amount of time, I can toast a bagel, make 5 bags of minute rice, grab a coffee or avoid all that and talk to a person. There really should be a number, a more direct one that gets me to a human, that not only has emotions (now that i think about, DMV workers dont have emotions), or can get my logic.
Of course, that is 5 minutes assuming you clicked everything correct, sadly for me, that wasnt the case. I missed a few buttons here and there and needed 4 calls. To be fair, their menus are pretty confusing, since you cant just press 0 (just an FYI hitting zero restarts that stage, so dont do that).
The true kicker to this, was how much the DMV hates American Express. In the scenario i listed above, I was told of the DMV's credit card policy 5 times they take Visa, MasterCard and Discover, but they make a note to tell you "The DC DMV does NOT accept American Express"!
All in All I honestly believe the DMV tries to suck time and life out of their customers.