Forty-two percent rated the DMV as worse than a busy airport, while 40 percent said being in a packed airport is worse than standing in line to get a new driver's license.
Read MoreFliers' satisfaction with airlines hits record high
Twelve percent of the 815 people surveyed said the two choices are equally bad.
The survey's results come at a time when customer satisfaction with airline service has been trending higher. Earlier this year, J.D. Power's annual North America Airline Satisfaction Study found a growing percentage of people were happy with their airline experience.
"No doubt the airline industry is doing a better job of pleasing passengers, but there still is a lot of room for improvement," said J.D. Power's Rick Garlick. "Satisfaction is improving, but it's a stretch to say passengers are truly happy."