The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is a large network of thirteen 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.
Online Driver License and ID Services
Unsurprisingly, Texas DPS is one of the busiest motor vehicle agencies in the country. In 2018, DPS issued 3.5 million driver's licenses and 603,000 IDs. 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. Texas drivers can use the DPS online platform to renew a license or ID and submit a change of address request. You can also access services such as requesting a driver records, pay reinstatement fees and access 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.
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
- Safety Only (vehicles 25+ years): Inspection station payment - $7.00 / Registration Payment - $7.50
- Two-Year Safety (new vehicles): Inspection station payment - $7.00 / Registration Payment - $16.75
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.
Repealed: Driver Responsibility Program
Previously, the driver responsibility program was important to know but also one of the most despised aspects of DPS policy. The program charged surcharges for certain traffic violations which lead to 1.3 million Texans having their driver's licenses suspended. In June 2019, Gov. Greg Abbott moved to kill the program and it was officially repealed on September 1, 2019. If you're one of the 630,000 people who will be eligible for driver license reinstatement, this is great news.