The Texas Department of Public Safety was created in 1935, when the
Texas Rangers and the Highway Patrol were organized into a single
department. Prior to that, the Texas Rangers existed as a separate
entity, and the Highway Patrol was a division of the Highway
Department. The Texas Department of Public Safety began issuing
driver's licenses in 1937, and began keeping records of accidents
involving motor vehicles in 1941. Also in 1937, Texas DPS began to make
drug enforcement a priority with the creation of a narcotics division.
The department's responsibilities grew and changed as time went on and
the needs of the state changed. Today, Texas DPS handles narcotics
investigations, investigates organized crime, issues driver's licenses
and maintain driving records, operates an automated database of
fingerprints, and performs many other duties.