Handgun Licensing in Texas
DPS administers the Handgun Licensing Program under the authority of theTexas Government Code Chapter 411, Subchapter H. DPS licenses individuals to carry handguns within Texas, evaluates the eligibility of applicants through criminal history background checks and monitors those currently licensed to ensure their continued eligibility. DPS also trains and certifies instructors who teach the required course to applicants.
As of 2018-05-29:
- You can apply online at https://txapps.texas.gov/txapp/txdps/ltc/.
- CHL licenses are available for Veterans at the discounted rate of $25.
- Licences are free for:
- Active Military,
- Texas State Military,
- Active Texas Peace Officers,
- State Correctional Officers (Texas Dept of Criminal Justice), and
- County Jailers.
All Original License To Carry a Handgun (LTC) applicants are required to submit fingerprints to DPS as part of the complete LTC application. Please see LTC Fingerprint and Photo Information.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Administrative Enforcement Actions
- Training Requirements
- Laws that relate to carrying a handgun
- Criminal History Record
1. What are the requirements for obtaining a Texas License to Carry a Handgun (LTC)?
Texas Government Code Chapter 411, Subchapter H sets out the eligibility criteria that must be met. Applicants must be at least 21 years of age (unless active duty military) and must meet Federal qualifications to purchase a handgun. A number of factors may make individuals ineligible to obtain a license, such as: felony convictions, some misdemeanor convictions, including charges that resulted in probation or deferred adjudication; certain pending criminal charges; chemical or alcohol dependency; certain types of psychological diagnoses, and protective or restraining orders. The state eligibility requirements can be found in GC §411.172. The federal firearms disqualifiers can be found in 18 USC 44 §922.
You must also submit a completed application, pay the required fees, complete all required training and submit required supplemental forms and materials.
2. How do I apply for a Texas License to Carry a Handgun (LTC)?
Applicants for an original (first-time) LTC should submit an online application, and schedule an appointment for fingerprinting. Applicants must also complete four to six hours of classroom training, pass a written examination and pass a proficiency demonstration (shooting).
For detailed information regarding training requirements and to locate a certified LTC instructor, see Training Requirements.
3. Once I submit my application, when should I expect to receive my license?
DPS will make every effort to issue your license within 60 days of receiving the completed application packet. If the application is incomplete or requires additional information to complete the background check, you will be notified in writing.
4. I sent in my completed application packet, but received a letter from the Department asking for more information on an arrest from several years ago. How does this affect the processing time?
The letter requesting more information or documents extends the timeline for issuing your license. DPS has an additional 180 days to complete the review process, if additional information is required from the application. To ensure your license is issued promptly, it is very important for you to provide the requested information for review. If the requested information is not received timely, the application will be terminated.
5. How do I renew my License to Carry a Handgun (LTC)?
Renewal applications may be submitted online at: License To Carry A Handgun.
We will use existing fingerprints and photos on file for renewal applications. However, sometimes the quality of those prints originally submitted no longer meets the State or FBI standards. If we are unable to use the fingerprints on file, you will be notified to obtain a new set of prints along with instructions on where you must be fingerprinted.
6. How much does it cost to obtain or renew a License to Carry a Handgun (LTC)?
The standard fee for an original LTC is $40. The standard fee for a renewal of a LTC is $40. However, Texas law provides for some discounts if you meet certain special conditions. A complete list of fees along with the special conditions can be found on the fee schedule.
NOTE: Fees are non-refundable and non-transferrable. If an application is not approved, the fees will not be refunded.
7. How do I make a contribution to the Texas Veterans' Assistance fund?
A contribution may be made, in the dollar amount of your choice, on an original or renewal application for a License to Carry a Handgun (LTC). A portion of the total application fee will reflect the amount you specify. Contributing to the fund is voluntary. For more information about the program please visit: Veterans' Assistance Fund.
8. What type of information do I need to supply, if I am applying under a special condition.
When applying under a special condition, you must submit supporting documents to qualify for the discount. To determine if you meet the criteria for a discount, refer to the fee schedule. Police officers, prosecutors and judges may obtain additional information regarding the application process on our website at Law Enforcement/Judicial Personnel.
9. Is there a cost for fingerprinting?
Yes. There is a fee charged for fingerprint services. For additional information regarding the Fingerprint Application Services of Texas (FAST) please visit our website.
To schedule an appointment at a time and location convenient to you, please use one of the following methods:
- Visit Fingerprinting Services, please use Service Code: 119Q91 OR
- Call (888) 467-2080 and provide Service Code: 119Q91
10. What if my fingerprints are rejected?
If it is determined the fingerprints submitted with the application do not meet the required quality standards, new fingerprints must be provided. You will be notified in writing if your initial sets of fingerprints are rejected.
11. Do I have to be a resident of Texas to obtain a Texas License to Carry a Handgun (LTC)?
No. Per Texas Government Code §411.173, legal residents of another state or persons who relocate to Texas with the intent to establish residency may obtain an LTC. Those individuals must submit an application, pay the required fees, successfully complete the required training in Texas and submit all supporting documents. They also must submit form LTC-6, two passport style photos and a copy of their out of state driver license or state issued identification card. Note, however, that all LTC applicants must be legal residents of Texas or another state.
12. Can non-US citizens obtain a License to Carry a Handgun?
Yes. Subject to the requirements of federal firearms law, and if not otherwise ineligible, resident aliens and certain nonimmigrant aliens who are legally present in the United States may obtain the license.
13. How long is the Texas License to Carry a Handgun (LTC) valid?
Initial licenses are valid for four years. Renewal licenses are valid for five years.
14. If I am 20 years old, can I take the proficiency class now and still get a license when I turn 21?
Yes, however because you must attest to being 21, your application may not be submitted prior to your 21st birthday.
15. How do I change the address on my Texas License to Carry a Handgun (LTC)?
You may submit a request to change the address on your LTC online atLicense To Carry A Handgun
Students attending school out-of-state may leave their permanent address on their LTC. The address change will be required once the student has established a different permanent address.
NOTE: Changing the address on your Texas Driver License or ID Card will not automatically change the address on your LTC. You must submit a separate request at License To Carry A Handgun.
16. How do I replace a lost Texas License to Carry a Handgun (LTC)?
You may submit a request to replace a lost or stolen license online at:License To Carry A Handgun
NOTE: When DPS replaces a lost/stolen license, the license number will be changed for security reasons.
17. When did the law allowing a licensee to openly carry a handgun go into effect?
House Bill 910 became effective January 1, 2016.
18. Can I use my CHL to carry openly under HB 910?
Yes. Individuals who hold a valid CHL may continue to carry with a valid existing license. A separate or new license will not be required to carry openly under HB 910.
19. Will DPS replace my CHL with a new Texas License to Carry a Handgun (LTC)?
No. Should you wish to receive the newly designed license, a replacement license may be obtained by submitting duplicate/change of address form. This form can be found under downloadable forms at: LTC-70. Applicable replacement fees will apply, when required. The title caption at the top of the newly design card will read "License to Carry Handgun."
20. If I was convicted of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), am I eligible for a Texas License to Carry a Handgun (LTC)?
DWI is classified as at least a Class B misdemeanor, and you are ineligible for a license for five years after a conviction for a Class A or Class B misdemeanor. For the purpose of determining eligibility, a conviction includes those that were dismissed after you completed probation or deferred adjudication.
21. If I received deferred adjudication for an offense, am I eligible for a Texas License to Carry a Handgun (LTC)?
Texas Government Code Chapter 411, Subchapter H states that deferred adjudication will be considered the same as a conviction. Depending on the type of offense and the date of the order of deferred adjudication, you may not be eligible for a LTC. See GC §411.171 and §411.1711
22. If I was arrested for a crime but the charges were dismissed, am I eligible for a Texas License to Carry a Handgun (LTC)?
If charges were dismissed without prosecution, then they are not disqualifying. A deferred adjudication is not a dismissal without prosecution and is considered a conviction for purposes of the LTC.
23. If I am delinquent in paying child support, am I eligible for a Texas License to Carry a Handgun (LTC)?
Texas Government Code Chapter 411, Subchapter H states an application for a LTC may be denied if the applicant has been finally determined to be delinquent in child support obligations.
24. Am I required to list all arrests on my application, even if the cases were dismissed or if I was found not guilty?
Yes. Applicants are required to report all arrests in order to ensure the background checks can be conducted timely. The application should include the year, the offense, the location and the final disposition. Copies of the dispositions will assist in the timely processing of your application. Applicants should also include information on cases that resulted in probation or deferred adjudication. Failure to provide any requested documentation could result in the termination of an application as incomplete.
25. What type of class/training is required to obtain a Texas License to Carry a Handgun (LTC)?
An applicant may attend LTC classroom training and demonstrate handgun proficiency (shooting) with a Texas Qualified LTC Instructor, or
An applicant may receive LTC online training (classroom only) through an Approved Online Course Provider who has been approved in Texas. After, successfully passing the online classroom portion, an applicant must attend 1-2 hours of range instruction class and demonstrate handgun proficiency (shooting) with a Texas Qualified LTC Instructor.
26. What topics are covered during an LTC class and how long is this class?
The classroom instruction must cover the four (4) statutory required topics and may be a four to six hour course:
- Laws that relate to weapons and the use of deadly force
- Handgun use and safety, including use of restraint holsters and methods to ensure the secure carrying of openly carried handguns
- Non-violent dispute resolution
- Proper storage practices for handguns with an emphasis on storage practices that eliminate the possibility of accidental injury to a child
Training material related to the safe storage of handguns may be found on Safe Storage (PDF)
27. Will I receive documentation for completing LTC classroom and/or handgun proficiency (shooting) training?
Yes, if you have successfully completed classroom and handgun proficiency training with a Qualified LTC Instructor, you will be provided a Certificate of Training (LTC 100) form or
If you have successfully completed your online classroom only training with an Approved Online Course provider, you will receive an Online/Handgun Proficiency Training (LTC 101) form; however, you must take the LTC 101 form to a Qualified LTC Instructor to complete your handgun proficiency training.
Once all training has been successfully completed, you may upload the LTC 100 or LTC 101, by visiting RSD Contact Us.
28. Is there a requirement to take a continuing education course before I can renew my Texas License to Carry a Handgun (LTC)?
Per HB 48 (83rd Legislature), continuing education is no longer required for LTC renewal. License holders will simply apply online and submit the supporting documents for discounted fees or special conditions.
NOTE: It is the license holder’s responsibility to remain informed and knowledgeable of new laws.
29. I currently hold a valid Texas License to Carry a Handgun (LTC) and understand new applicants will be provided training on the use of restraint holsters. Will DPS make the new training information available to current licensees?
Yes. Training material related to the use of restraint holsters and methods to ensure the secure carrying of openly carried handguns may be found on our website at Use of Restraint Holsters (PDF).
30. How much do training classes cost?
DPS does not regulate the cost charged by certified LTC instructors.
31. Will I need to have a gun before I begin my training class?
Some instructors may require you to use your own gun during the proficiency (shooting) demonstration. However, others may provide the gun and/or ammunition. You will need to consult with a certified instructor to determine if you will need a handgun for the course.