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Texas CHL FAQ
How do I apply for a Texas Concealed Handgun License (CHL)?
First, verify you meet the eligibility requirements and complete the required training, then apply online at the Texas Department of Public Safety and pay the fee with a debit or credit card. Printable application forms are also available from the Texas DPS website. The forms can be downloaded, printed, completed and mailed using a check or money order to pay the fees.
After DPS has received your application you are required to have your fingerprints scanned by Safran MorphoTrust USA.
*Note – Safran cannot take your fingerprints until DPS has received your application; an appointment is required – they do not accept walk-ins.
How much is the fee to receive a Texas Concealed Handgun License (CHL)?
The fee for new applications is $140; CHL renewal fee is $70. There are discounts if you meet certain conditions – reference the complete Texas CHL fee schedule.pdf for complete details.
How do I pay the application fee or renewal fee for my CHL?
Applications submitted electronically you may pay using a credit or debit card, for applications submitted by mail the fee can be paid by personal check, cashier’s check or money order.
How long will it take to receive my license after I submit my application?
Normal processing time is less than 60 days to issue your license or provide notification that you do not meet the eligibility requirements. However, it may take up to 180 days if your background check reveals information or events that may be disqualifying.
When does my CHL expire?
The initial CHL license is valid for four (4) years and expires on the license holder’s birthday. Renewal licenses are valid for five (5) years.
How do I update my license if I move or change my name?
You must contact the DPS Concealed Handgun Section at 1-800-224-5744 to receive a change of address form. Alternatively, you may send a letter with your full name, CHL number, old and new address and a certified check or money order to pay the change fee ($25 as of 2013) to Texas Department of Public Safety Concealed Handgun Licensing Bureau, PO Box 4087, Austin TX, 78773
Will my CHL license be part of public record?
No, information about concealed handgun licenses is confidential and is not subject to requests under the Public Information Act. The information will be available to criminal justice agencies for law enforcement purposes.
What are the requirements to be eligible for a concealed handgun license in Texas?
The general guidelines are as follows:
- be 21 years of age (18 for current or former members of the military)
- have a clean criminal history (including juvenile records)
- be eligible to purchase a handgun
- complete the required training
You must not:
- be under a protective order (commonly referred to as a restraining order)
- be chemically dependent
- be mentally defective, unfit or unstable
- be delinquent in paying child support or delinquent in paying any taxes, fees, fines, etc to any state agency
For a more detailed and complete guide to all requirements, reference the following publication from the TX DPS: CHL-16.pdf
Your application packet will list the eligibility requirements in detail.
Can I get a concealed handgun license in Texas if I am a legal resident alien?
You must meet the eligibility requirements under federal law and Texas regulations. Under federal law, if you were admitted as an alien under a non-immigrant visa you are generally not qualified to purchase a handgun and therefore are not eligible for a license. If you were admitted to the U.S. under an immigrant visa category you usually will be eligible for a concealed handgun license.
I have some convictions on my criminal record, does that disqualify me for a concealed handgun license?
Felony convictions make you ineligible to apply for a CHL for a period of 10 years. Convictions for Class A or Class B misdemeanors make you ineligible to apply for a CHL for a period of 5 years.
What if I received an order of deferred adjudication or the case was dismissed after I completed probation?
The concealed handgun law states that deferred adjudication and probation are treated the same as convictions in most situations – reference Texas State Regulations Section 411.171(4) and you are ineligible to apply for a Texas CHL for the periods listed above.
I have previously been found delinquent for payment of child support or taxes, but have since worked out an arrangement with the Attorney General’s office to pay off the debt; can I get a Texas CHL?
If you have arranged a payment plan for the child support or back taxes, the agency will need to send DPS a clearance letter and you need to include a copy of the agreement and the letter with your application materials.