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How to Survive the DPS (Department of Public Safety)

At the top of anyone’s worst-things-to-do list is one of the most dreaded chores like going to the DPS to renew your license, taking a driver’s test, or having to change names on the legal documentation.

I say “dreaded” because if you’ve lived in Texas or Plano long enough you’ve heard horror stories of hours and hours of waiting time and wasted time with the Texas Department of Public Safety and other issues when you plan to visit your DPS nearby.

More: Being a Teen in Plano – all the things you must know!

DPS Plano

Need a Texas DPS Appointment? Do not let the DPS confuse you! We have the inside scoop to help you navigate the process.

How do you get a Drivers’ Permit and License for a Teen?

This can be difficult to navigate, especially as the process and rules differ in Texas compared to other States.

More: Our Huge Guide to Things to Do with Teens

Here is our fantastic guide and tips on how to Survive & get a Texas DPS appointment in Plano, Texas.

The DPS (Department of Public Safety) is located in a few places across the metroplex.

You will find a few locations that might be closer to you and limit the time you spend going to and from your local DPS. The people are pleasant enough but the bureaucracy is painful, as we all know.

Try visiting the three locations listed below and research a bit online before calling.

The good news is that you can renew and use many of the services online in today’s connected world.

Thankfully, by checking the DPS website, you will be able to review specifics to see if you qualify for online renewal and changes.

A new change is available which ensures that you can create an appointment or make an appointment to ‘check in’ online. Honestly, this benefit alone will save you hours and avoid a lot of frustration!

More: Our best picks for Driving Schools and Driving Lessons for Teens

How easy is it to get your driver’s license in Texas?

Make an On-Line Appointment

If you need to:

  • Renew/Replace your Drivers License
  • Get a First-Time Texas driver’s License/ID/Drivers Permit
  • Change Address or Name
  • Take a Written Test or Add an Endorsement

Local Mom, Shannon tells us:

“I can speak from personal experience about the DPS subject matter in Plano because recently I had to renew my driver’s license. I knew it was time because I received a renewal reminder in the mail.

Had it not been for the notification, I may have forgotten altogether.

Without knowing I needed a new appointment, 6 years ago I renewed mine online so now I had to physically go to the driver’s license office this time around. Poor me! I was dreading this all summer long!

I got up early one morning and went to this website, clicked to renew my driver’s license, chose the Plano location, and was able to check in online.

You should do this before 7 am – some of our local Moms suggest even earlier to get in line! 8.30 might be too late to get an appointment to get a new or renew an existing driver’s license or identification.

I received a phone text with an appointment date to arrive which saved a vast amount of precious little time that I have due to family obligations.

Upon arrival, the line was literally around the corner of the building stretching for about one block and seemingly with hundreds of people.

It looked like people had been waiting for hours (and come to find out they actually had) They started calling out appointment times and once they called mine I was able to get in, sign in and get a number.

Next, the waiting started. I had to wait about 50 minutes until my number was called. This was agony.

It was hot, people were frustrated, and it felt like forever!”

Our Top Tips to save you time with the DPS

Just be prepared that even when you have a DPS appointment online you will have still have to wait in line when you get there.

Here are our tips to save you time, ensure the DPS experience in Plano for license services, is better, and at least, try to make it as enjoyable as is humanly possible:

  1. If you can renew or make changes online then do this first. That’s the best possible outcome, by far and away!
  2. If you have to go in person make an appointment, in advance. I recommend trying to arrange everything online first and make your appointment before 10 am (this will get you in earlier on the day of the appointment so the DPS won’t be as backed up and you won’t wait in line) as it would be normally!)
  3. Bring reading material, or your mobile device, or try to get something to do when you wait like a crossword puzzle!
  4. Without a doubt, do NOT bring your children with you (if you don’t have to!)
  5. Try to visit the DPS in the middle of the work week, such as Tuesdays through Thursdays, and not in the summertime (if you don’t have to!)
  6. Be sure to bring any existing licenses and identification cards with you.

We also recommend the following:

The best way to save time at the DPS is to avoid going there at all! The DPS offers two dozen online services and you can access most of them from one place.

Here are just a few of the things you can do with the DPS online:

  • Address Change. They will mail you a new driver’s license and set up new vehicle registration cards.
  • Register a Vehicle Purchased from a Texas Dealer. You can transfer existing license plates or they will mail new plates. Most cars, trucks, and motorcycles are eligible.
  • Vehicle Registration Renewal. They will mail the registration and decal.
  • Personalized License Plate Order. Build a preview of your plate, check the number, and order it all at once!
  • Duplicate Registration. This is even easier. Print it right from your computer.
  • Duplicate Driver’s License (DL or ID), ID Card or Instruction Permit. They will mail the license to you unless you need to go in person.
  • Driver History Printout. Print a full report from your computer.
  • Insurance Verification. If you get a verification request, respond online or call. Don’t take payment receipts to a DPS office. Insurance must be verified electronically by the carrier.

How to Survive the DMV
DPS Plano Texas

What to bring for your Texas DPS appointment?

Find out what you need to bring with you to your appointment and don’t leave anything at home!

If the amount of documents is lengthy, be sure to allow enough time to do this. Do not leave this till the night before the appointment in case you need to find a replacement (for example, a social security card)

They will not let you in the door unless you have your appointment letter and if your teen has an appointment, an adult needs to be with them and will have to sign any paperwork. Bring your ID with you too.

Getting a Texas DPS appointment around Plano, Texas

If you find yourself asking where is the closest DPS near me, there are a few driver’s license offices (DPS locations) and the biggest being DPS Garland Mega center, the closest Texas DPS nearby is:

Location: 2109 W. Parker Rd, Suite 224, Plano, TX 75023

Phone: 972- 867-4221


Hours: Monday to Friday: 8 am – 5 pm



Wednesday 28th of March 2018

Hi Shannon, thanks for the tips on how to survive the DMV.