Roberts replaces Ginny Lewis, who had headed the agency since 2001 and announced in September that she was retiring.
Roberts has been serving as head of the DMV Motor Carrier Division, which collects half of the agency's revenues. He'll take over as DMV director on Monday.
Lewis, who started with the DMV in 1979 as an administrative aide, said in September that she was retiring so that she and her husband could "pursue a tremendous opportunity" with Rotary International.
Lewis was appointed DMV chief by former Gov. Kenny Guinn, and Gibbons retained her following his election in November 2006.