The Most Important Services the DPS Offers to Texas Drivers

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The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is a large network of 13 different divisions that serve Texas residents. It was formed in 1935 and serves millions of Texans each year with driver services and additional duties. All that traffic means long wait times and occasional confusing information. This guide has the latest information to keep you informed so you can expedite processes as much as possible.

3 Important Services Offered by the Texas DPS

1. Online Driver License and ID Services 

Unsurprisingly, the Texas DPS is one of the busiest motor vehicle agencies in the country. In 2018 alone, DPS issued 3.5 million driver's licenses and 603,000 IDs. Because of this, Texas politicians have been looking to decrease wait times around the state. The latest budget asked for $200 million and 962 new full-time employees, though this may not fix the problem, as increases in funding over the past few years have still led to increased wait times. 

To avoid some of the wait, Texas drivers can use the DPS online platform to renew a license or ID and submit a change of address request. They can also access services such as requesting driver records, paying reinstatement fees, and accessing FAQs. 

If you're in need of driver licenses services, always go online first if possible to avoid wait times and general inconvenience. However, sometimes you will have to visit a DPS location in person. You can find the closest DPS location by using this tool and selecting your county. 

2. Vehicle Inspection

DPS installed a two-step, one-sticker system several years ago which expedited the process of vehicle inspections. Your registration sticker now doubles as the inspection confirmation. 

  • One Year Safety: Inspection station payment — $7.00, Registration Payment — $7.50.

  • Two-Year Safety (new vehicles): Inspection station payment — $7.00, Registration Payment — $16.75.

  • Safety Only (vehicles 25+ years): Inspection station payment — $7.00, Registration Payment — $7.50.

Additionally, the emission test will cost anywhere from $14.25 to $39.75, depending on the age of your vehicle and your city of residence. Visit the Cost of Inspection page to find your exact costs. Lastly, if you're buying a new car or plan to get your windows tinted, make sure the tint has more than 25% light transmission to avoid inspection failure. 

3. License to Carry a Handgun

There are more than half a million registered firearms in Texas as of 2017. Any new gun owner can rejoice in the fact that a concealed carry permit can be attained online through DPS. This allows you to carry the handgun in your vehicle legally. You'll need a valid ID, information such as employment and criminal history, along with various additional items. There is a $40 application fee to secure your License to Carry (LTC). 

Navigate the Texas DMV With Ease

Whether you like it or not, as a Texan, the DPS is your one-stop-shop for all things motor-vehicle-related in the state of Texas. While they may not be the best DMV in the country, we think the fact that they provide the above services is pretty convenient.