SH 82 was originally designated by 1926 on a route from the Monahans south to Ft. Stockton, with a planned extension south to Sanderson. By 1928, SH 82 extended north to Kermit. By 1933, SH 82 extended north to the New Mexico Border. The planned extension was transferred to newly designated U.S. Highway 285 in 1935. In 1958, the route was renumbered as SH 18, to coordinate with its intersection with New Mexico State Road 18.
In 1975, SH 82 was designated over its current route in Jefferson County from SH 87 to Louisiana Highway 82. In 1987, the route was extended 2.1 miles (3.4 km) to SH 73 incorporating the former Texas State Highway Spur 214.