Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I get a concealed handgun license application?
     You may apply online at OR print, fill out and mail in the appropriate forms under Downloadable Forms in the left-hand navigation bar of the CHL Website. Additionally, some instructors may provide the required forms for students.

2. Once I submit my application, when should I expect to receive my license?
     The Department will make every effort to issue your license within 60 days of receiving the completed application packet, or inform you that you did not meet the eligibility criteria. Once your application is complete, processing may take up to 180 days if your background check reveals potentially disqualifying events or information.

3. I sent in my completed application packet, but received a letter from the Department asking for more information on an arrest from 20 years ago. How does this affect the time required to process my application?
     This letter requesting more information or documents extends the time line for completing or issuing your license. The Department has an additional 180 days to complete the review process if additional information is required from the application. In order to ensure your license is issued promptly, it is very important for you to provide the requested information for review.

4. I have checked my application online and it says, “processing”. I have received this message for the last few weeks, what does this mean?
     This just means that your application has been received and processing has begun. This includes submission of your fingerprints to the FBI for a background check as well as conducting a fingerprint background check in Texas. If information obtained indicates you may have a disqualifying offense, you will be sent a request for additional information You will have 90 days to provide the requested documentation. If we do not receive the documents as requested, your application will be terminated as incomplete.

5. I submitted fingerprint cards with my original application. Now I am trying to renew and have received a letter stating I have to be fingerprinted again. Why?
     The Department makes every effort to use existing fingerprints on file for renewal applications. However, sometimes the quality of those prints originally submitted no longer meets the State or FBI standards. It is important for the Department to receive the highest quality of prints. In order to ensure these standards are met; the Department now requires all fingerprints for CHL applicants be collected by the State’s designated fingerprint collection entity, L-1 Enrollment Services (L-1). Visit their web site at to schedule an appointment.

6. Can I get my money back if my application is not approved?
     Unfortunately, fees are non-refundable.

7. How long will my license be valid?
     Initial licenses are valid for four year terms. Renewal licenses are valid for five years. The license will remain valid as long as you continue to meet all the eligibility criteria.

8. What other states can I legally carry in?

​     Here is the Texas DPS website which lists all of the current states that observe reciprocity: