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Nevada DMV History

Nevada became the 36th state to enter the union in 1864 and is the 7th largest state in the Nation.  Its primary revenue is from the gambling industry and Las Vegas, Nevada’s largest city, is commonly referred to as ‘The City of Lights’ so named for the strip in Las Vegas on which a majority of casinos are located.

Originally the responsibility of the Tax Commission and the Public Service Commission, the administration of motor vehicle laws and drivers licensing duties officially became the responsibility of the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in 1957.  This new legislation charged the Nevada DMV with the following responsibilities:

  • Enforce Nevada Revised Statutes Title 43 regarding vehicles and water craft.
  • Licensing motor vehicle carriers and the use of the highways by such carriers.
  • All functions of the Public Service Commission, the Driver License Division and the Nevada Highway Patrol.


The Director of the Nevada DMV was given the authority to designate divisions within the DMV.  The initial Divisions were as follows:

  • The Motor Vehicle Division
  • The Motor Carrier Division
  • The Driver License Division
  • The Nevada Highway Patrol Division
  • The gasoline and special fuel tax division
  • The fiscal, accounting and audit division.


The year 1972 saw the first computer operating system for the DMV’s branch office and the DMV divisions continued to be reorganized over the next 27 years until, in 1999, the new, highly efficient Genesis Computer System was brought online and, 2 years later, the DMV and Department of Public Safety split into 2 separate entities.  The Divisions that were established at this time are the Divisions that currently operate in the Nevada DMV:

  • Field Services Division
  • Central Services and Records Division
  • Compliance Enforcement Division
  • Motor Carrier Division
  • Research and Development Division
  • Motor Vehicle Information Technology Division
  • Administrator’s Services
  • Director’s Office


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