I went to the DMV in NYC to get my driver's license replaced. It took 90 minutes, and I was expected to use quarters to pay for a pen.

Mark Matousek
Harlem DMV

Mark Matousek/Business Insider

  • I went to the DMV for the first time since moving to New York City three years ago.

  • It took around 90 minutes from the moment I entered the building to the moment I left to complete the business I intended to do.

  • While the experience was better than I feared, it was still a hassle.

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No one looks forward to going to the DMV, and as my driver's license came close to expiring near the middle of August, I dreaded the prospect of my first DMV trip since moving to New York three years ago.

I expected the worst, fearing that attempting to replace my license in the biggest city in the US would require me to wait for hours on end.

While the experience was better than I feared, it was still a hassle. Here's how it went.

Related Video: Frustrated Customers Wait in Long Line at DMV

I arrived at the Harlem DMV at around 8:50 a.m. on a Monday, about 20 minutes after it opened.

Mark Matousek/Business Insider

I was worried that it would be packed.

Mark Matousek/Business Insider

It was busy, but thankfully, it wasn't quite the nightmare that I expected.

Mark Matousek/Business Insider

I was given paperwork to fill out before I could be helped, but I didn't bring a pen, and I noticed that there weren't any nearby.

Mark Matousek/Business Insider

It appears that I was expected to buy a pen with change.

Mark Matousek/Business Insider

Mark Matousek/Business Insider

Mark Matousek/Business Insider

Mark Matousek/Business Insider

Mark Matousek/Business Insider

Mark Matousek/Business Insider

Mark Matousek/Business Insider

Mark Matousek/Business Insider

Mark Matousek/Business Insider