Overall impression: Not so bad!
It's remarkable what a different experience I had with the DMV this morning compared with four years ago. That was, frankly, a miserable, miserable day. I was prepared for utter misery today, too, particularly after a friend warned me of the size of the queue at the Brooklyn DMV, which I was chancing on the hope that it would be marginally preferable to the Manhattan one. And I was alarmed to arrive at 8.30, when doors opened, and see no queue - how exciting! But that's because I had completely ignored the enormous snaking line going back as far as the eye (without glasses) could see. Ulp.
But everything moved quickly. No one had any complaint about my documents, unlike last time. I was expecting such a long wait that I'd be able to read for the second time the manual on which the written test would be based. No such luck - straight in and straight down. Ulp again. But due to my taking the practice tests this morning (which is why I was late enough to arrive merely at opening time) I managed to pass, and then through to photos, eye test (for which I didn't even need my glasses) and payment and out and at work in two hours. Everyone was extremely polite and friendly, and each ticket had your expected waiting time, which was completely accurate. Insane. Not what I was expecting. Of course, the photo will be horrendous, but I don't care. Maybe I could get away with conversational exchanges like this if it is...
So the long and short of it is that in two weeks I will have a) ID that means I don't have to cart my passport everywhere, about which TOH is extremely relieved given my recent track record of losing stuff, and b) permission to terrorize the streets of New York and any state which has reciprocal arrangements with my state. HA!