What’s The Best Phone Number to Contact the DMV?

March 28, 2014 by Brian Champlin

Stonecutters 912Did you know the real emergency response number is actually 912, and that when you’re being robbed or your house is on fire you’re playing a fools game by dialing the ‘public’ line. At least, that’s what the Stonecutters say.

I reference this classic Simpson’s moment because it is exactly how I felt today when I discovered a new number to contact the DMV regarding my vehicle registration. And, against my better judgment, I’m going to share that secret with you.


Now, if you type in a regular old Google search looking for the DMV (and you live in Pasadena), you might get a result that looks like this:

DMV Phone Number Google Search

This same 800 777 0133 number is what I found through multiple sources, and I actually called it hoping to get the help I needed regarding a vehicle registration and change of title. Unfortunately, my dreams of epic state run customer service were shattered (why did I delude myself) after I hung up following 45 minutes of waiting on the phone to get a human representative to speak with me.

However, I don’t give up easy, so I went back to Google and started getting more creative with my searches until I stumbled across this number…


The 916 number is a direct line to the Sacramento DMV office (the CA headquarters for all DMV offices). Amazingly, after dialing that number this morning at around 11:00am my wait time was only around 10 minutes, then spoke directly with a representative who had the information I needed regarding my vehicle title. Total time frame: 15 minutes.

This same number is even rated 4 stars by a site called which gives reviews on customer service lines (when is the DMV rated 4 stars for anythng!?!?).

Still, the downside here is that this number is ONLY for registration / title information. So you can’t get information on license renewals or any other non-reg info. But still, its a shortcut worth knowing. Dial 2 after calling to get in touch with a human regarding registration info and skip the menu.

Also, just as another tip that everyone should know: AAA does provide pretty comprehensive DMV serves if you’re a member. I’m not going to be an all-out AAA slut or anything, but their service, wait times, and general helpfulness tend to be miles ahead of what you get at the DMV.

Just saying.