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Texas DPS History

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.

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