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Last Saturday, I figured I’d take advantage of the D.C. DMV’s expansive hours for automobile inspections. I set out for the Half Street SW inspection site just before 11 a.m., expecting, perhaps, to wait a bit before handing over the car to a friendly inspector.

Best laid plans. The line just to get on the grounds of the station snaked around nearly three blocks. Figuring I could brave a wait, I queued up. Twenty minutes later, I hadn’t moved. And ten minutes after that, I was at Costco.

Though I am sure that some DMV inspectors are enjoying vacations at this time of year, I hold the department harmless. The agency’s Web site, after all, features this warning:

The best times to visit the station are Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday afternoons from 3 pm – 6 pm. Customers are advised that the days before and after a holiday and most Saturdays are especially busy due to many customers being off from work.

But what’s with this inspection appointment service? Anybody ever tried it?