Frequently Asked Questions

If I move or change my name (or status, if you are a judge or a prosecuting attorney), how do I change the address or name on my license?

You must contact the DPS Concealed Handgun Section to receive a change of address form, or you may send a letter including your full name, CHL number, old address and new address (or status) and a cashier's check or money order for $25.

You may call 1-800-224-5744, write Texas Dept. of Public Safety Concealed Handgun Licensing Bureau, P.O. Box 4087, Austin, Texas, 78773 or online at or

Do I have to take a special class to get a license?

Yes. You must take a 10 to15 hour class taught by a DPS certified  instructor. The notification of completion form (TR 100) you receive from the instructor must be sent to DPS with your other application materials.

Where can I not carry my handgun?

Handguns and other weapons cannot be carried at schools or on school buses, at polling places, in courts and court offices, at racetracks, at secured airport areas or within 1,000 feet of the premises of an execution on the day of execution.

The law also specifically prohibits handguns from businesses where alcohol is sold if more than half of their revenue is from the sale of alcohol for on-premises consumption, and from locations where high school, college or professional sporting events are taking place.

You may not carry handguns in hospitals or nursing homes, amusement parks, places of worship or at government meetings if signs are posted prohibiting them.

Businesses also may post signs prohibiting handguns on their premises based on criminal trespass laws. See Texas Penal Code 46.035. (Judges, prosecuting attorneys, peace officers and parole officers should consult Texas Penal Code 46.15  regarding exemptions from the "no-carry" rules of the Penal Code.)

What are the requirements for obtaining a license?

The concealed handgun law sets out the eligibility criteria that must be met. Your application packet will list them in detail.

For example, you must be qualified to purchase a handgun under the state and federal laws.

A number of factors may make you ineligible to obtain a license, such as: felony convictions and most misdemeanor convictions that are less than five years old, (including charges that resulted in probation or deferred adjudication), pending criminal charges, chemical or alcohol dependency, certain psychiatric diagnoses, protective or restraining orders, or defaults on taxes, governmental fees, student loans or child support. See Texas Gov't. Code § 411.172.

The application packet also will include information about materials you need to return with your application packet. These include two recent color passport photos, two sets of fingerprints taken by a law enforcement agency employee or a private entity designated by a law enforcement agency as an entity qualified to take fingerprints of an applicant for a license, a copy of your Texas driver license or identification card, and a notification of completion form (TR 100) from a DPS authorized training course.

After receiving completed application packets, DPS will conduct background checks of juvenile records for the previous 10 years, and of all adult records.

My concealed handgun license has expired, and my renewal application is in process. Can I carry a concealed handgun while I am waiting to receive my new license?

No. You must have a currently valid license in your possession to carry a concealed handgun.

Can I start carrying a concealed handgun as soon as I receive my license in the mail?

Yes, but you may not carry before you receive the license.

Are police officers, retired police officers, judicial officers, ex-DPS or retired DPS officers required to take the handgun course for proficiency certification, or are they exempt?

Retired law enforcement officers are exempt from taking the handgun  proficiency course. However, they must demonstrate weapons proficiency annually through a law enforcement agency. Active, commissioned peace officers also are exempt from taking the proficiency course.

Judges and district and county prosecutors are not required to take the proficiency course, provided they submit a sworn statement from a TCLEOSE-certified handgun instructor certifying that they have demonstrated handgun proficiency to the instructor within the previous twelve months.

Will I need to own a handgun before I begin my training classes?

Not necessarily. You may legally demonstrate handgun proficiency with a borrowed or rented handgun.

What control does DPS have over handgun instructors?

DPS certifies and can review their records and monitor their classes to make sure they are following the required curriculum.

Can I take the handgun training class at the DPS Training Academy?

No. DPS only provides training for instructors.

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