History of the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Service

August 19, 2020

Historical photoIn 1927, increasing truck traffic on the meager roads of Texas became a real problem, resulting in actual and potential damage to highways and bridges and endangering the safety of the public. With the advent of trucking as a major industry, and with roads at the time generally narrow and hogbacked, the Texas Legislature found it necessary to create an organization to enforce existing regulations.

The Legislature authorized the Texas Highway Department to employ 18 License and Weight inspectors and one chief inspector. After only two years, the License and Weight section was increased to 50 men and named the State Highway Patrol. Two years later, in 1931, the enforcing agency was authorized 120 men.

By 1935, it was realized that the State's part in crime prevention and traffic control was inadequate and improperly organized. Accordingly, the Legislature created the Texas Department of Public Safety. In 1938, the Public Safety Commission formally created the License and Weight Service. Since 1957, the License and Weight Service has grown substantially in size from the 18 original L&W inspectors under the Texas Highway Department to its present strength of 474 commissioned officers, 143 non-commissioned vehicle inspectors, and 78 non-commissioned compliance review investigators.

In September 2003, the Traffic Law Enforcement Division name was changed to the Texas Highway Patrol Division. At the same time, the License and Weight Service name was changed to Commercial Vehicle Enforcement (CVE). These changes were made to more accurately reflect the duties of its members. CVE troopers are responsible for routine law enforcement duties, and have a primary responsibility for enforcing the Motor Carrier Safety Act and other laws and regulations involving hazardous material shipments, commercial driver licensing and insurance, size, weight, and registration and operating authority of commercial vehicles.