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How to Get a Job at the DMV

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Each state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) employs a variety of people to serve the driving public. While behind-the-counter staff members are those most familiar to the public, there are a number of career titles with the DMV, each offering generous benefits packages and pension plans to qualified employees.

More than Clerk Positions

The following are some of the job titles associated the DMV. Check with the DMV in your state to find out which positions are currently open.

  • Accountant
  • Administrative Trainee
  • Automotive Facilities and Body Repair Inspector
  • Investigative Specialist
  • Legal Specialist
  • Motor Vehicle License Examiner
  • Outreach Coordinator
  • Public Information Specialist
  • Senior Attorney

DMV Job Requirements

The educational and background requirements vary according to the position. Information on individual DMV job requirements can be found on the specific state websites, or at Jobs such as customer service positions require a minimum of a high school or high school equivalency diploma and previous related experience, while administrative positions and management jobs require more advanced degrees.

The DMV is an equal opportunity employer, meaning that applicants and employees cannot be discriminated against on the basis of age, color, disability, genetics, national origin, race, religion, sex or any other category protected by federal law or the laws of the state which the DMV serves. Some states, including New York, California and Virginia, have special programs that encourage the hiring of veterans and persons with disabilities.

DMV Employment Process

Begin the application process by contacting your local DMV to see if there are vacancies. Note that the motor vehicle department may go by various names in different states. In New Jersey, for example, the agency is called the Motor Vehicle Commission. In Massachusetts, it's known as the Registry of Motor Vehicles. Despite the slight variation in names, state motor vehicle departments perform the same functions.

If the DMV website allows online applications, create an account. DMV jobs could also be listed on the state website itself, along with other government jobs. Select a job for which you have the right background and qualifications. Tailor your resume and application to describe how your experience meets the requirements of the job.

The Civil Service Exam

The DMV employment process requires that you pass a civil service exam relevant to the specific position. State government websites typically list the exams that are being offered for various positions. If not, contact the Civil Service department in your state for a schedule of upcoming exams. The names of candidates who pass the exam are forwarded to the DMV. If selected for an interview, you will need to undergo a background check and fingerprinting. If offered a position, you will get information about salary and benefits.

DMV Clerk Job Description

A DMV clerk is typically the face of a local branch. The typical DMV clerk job description includes Clerks interacting with the public and helping to process paperwork. DMV clerks answer questions, verify that paperwork is completed correctly and collect appropriate fees for driver's licenses and vehicle registrations.

DMV branches across the country are likely to see an increase in traffic in response to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's REAL ID Act, which goes into effect in October 2020. The Act establishes minimum security standards that will not allow agencies to accept standard driver's licenses for identification for certain purposes. These purposes include accessing Federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants and flying aboard federally-regulated commercial aircraft. Particularly for Americans who fly, the enhanced driver's license, or REAL ID, will be a necessary document.

DMV Job Salary

Pay varies by position and according to the state in which the individual is employed. The jobs website ZipRecruiter currently lists the annual salary for a DMV clerk ranging from $24,500 to $46,500, with a national average of $33,686.


As a long-time newspaper reporter and staff writer, Kay Bosworth covered real estate development and business for publications in northern New Jersey. Her extensive career included serving as editor of a business education magazine for the McGraw-Hill Book Company. The Kentucky native earned a BA from Transylvania University in Lexington.

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