The new Department of Public Safety and Driver's License facility is seen Thursday on West Elms Road in Killeen. The former DPS building on Priest Drive will close March 24. The new building opens March 27.

When March 27 comes around, local residents are going to have to head to west Killeen to take care of their driver’s license needs. That’s because when the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles branch at 302 Priest Drive closes its doors at 5:45 p.m. the prior Friday, it will close its doors for good.

Soft opening

March 27 will be a soft opening for the public, according to Nancy Price, of the Department of Public Safety.

On April 13, there will be a grand opening at 10 a.m., and DPS Director Steven McCraw will be on hand.

In July, Killeen City Council members Gregory Johnson and Shirley Fleming voiced concern about removing state troopers from the downtown area.

However, at least for now, the eight state troopers who work out of the Priest Drive building will remain there. DPS spokesman John Roberts said that while the state troopers will move, it is not specified when it will happen, or where they will move. The state’s lease on the building is up April 30.

Killeen Mayor Jose Segarra said at the time that he would speak with people from Fort Hood and state officials, as well as landowners in Killeen to make sure the city keeps its state police presence.

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