This link will take you to the Illinois State Police Frequently Asked Questions page for the Firearm Conceal Carry Act and the Firearms Owners Identification Act.
If you have further questions or need clarification please use the CONTACT US page.
Concealed Carry License Applicant FAQ
- What is the cost for an Illinois Concealed Carry License?
$150 for 5 years for Illinois residents
$300 for 5 years for out-of-state residents
2. How does a citizen apply for an Illinois Concealed Carry License?
The application is now available to the public on the ISP webpage. Additional information regarding the application and fingerprinting process have also been added to this website.
3. How long will it take a citizen to obtain an Illinois Concealed Carry License?
Upon receipt of a completed application, including fee, the ISP shall issue or deny the applicant an Illinois Concealed Carry License within 90 days, provided the applicant submits a full set of fingerprints in electronic format. If fingerprints are not submitted the ISP is granted an additional 30 days to complete a manual background check. In all cases, law enforcement agencies will have 30 days to file an objection once an application is received.
4. Where can I go to be fingerprinted?
Concealed Carry License applicants who intend to submit fingerprints for non-criminal justice purposes must be fingerprinted by a licensed Illinois live scan vendor or registered law enforcement agency authorized to submit for Conceal Carry purposes. A list of licensed live scan fingerprint vendors is available at the following link:
This list is all inclusive; accordingly, any vendor not on this list is not a Licensed Illinois Livescan Vendor. Prints from non-licensed vendors will not be accepted.
5. The Act requires applicants to submit a photo taken within the past 30 days, will the photo taken as part of the Fee Application for applicants who submit electronic fingerprints satisfy this requirement?
No. All applicants must submit a photo taken within the past 30 days even if they were photographed as part of their fingerprinting process.
6. What are the qualifications for an Illinois Concealed Carry License?
The applicant must:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Have a currently valid FOID card (if an Illinois resident)
- Is not prohibited under federal law from possessing or receiving a firearm
- Have not been convicted or found guilty in Illinois or any other state of:
- A misdemeanor involving the use or threat of physical force or violence to any person within the last 5 years
- 2 or more violations related to driving while under the influence of alcohol, other drug or drugs, intoxicating compound or compounds, or any combination thereof, within the last 5 years
- Not be the subject of a pending arrest warrant, prosecution, or proceeding for an offense or action that could lead to disqualification
- Not have been in residential or court-ordered treatment for alcoholism, alcohol detoxification, or drug treatment within the last 5 years
- Submit a completed Concealed Carry License application
- Successfully complete 16 hours of firearms training, including classroom and range instruction.
7. What type of firearm will I be allowed to carry concealed?
A “Concealed firearm” is defined, in relevant part, as a loaded or unloaded handgun.
“Handgun” means any device which is designed to expel a projectile or projectiles by the action of an explosion, expansion of gas, or escape of gas that is designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand.
“Handgun” does not include:
- A stun gun or taser;
- A machine gun as defined in item (i) of paragraph (7) of subsection (a) of Section 24-1 of the Criminal Code of 2012;
- A short-barreled rifle or shotgun as defined in item (ii) of paragraph (7) of subsection (a) of Section 24-1 of the Criminal Code of 2012
- Any pneumatic gun, spring gun, paint ball gun, or B-B gun which expels a single globular projectile not exceeding .18 inch in diameter, or which has a maximum muzzle velocity of less than 700 feet per second, or which expels breakable paint balls containing washable marking colors.
7. Are there any publicly available computers I can use to apply for a Concealed Carry License?
Yes. Based on the Illinois Public Library Annual Report (FY13), all public libraries in Illinois have internet access. Please use the attached links to locate a public library in your area.
Chicago Public Library System http://www.librarylearning.info/libraries/?LibSys=CPLS&LibraryTypeID=1
Illinois Heartland Library System http://www.librarylearning.info/libraries/?LibSys=IHLS&LibraryTypeID=1
Reaching Across Illinois Library System http://www.librarylearning.info/libraries/?LibSys=RAILS&LibraryTypeID=1
8. My application was denied based upon a decision of the Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board to sustain a law enforcement objection filed regarding my application. Can I challenge the decision of the Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board?
Yes, pursuant to Section 87(a) of the Firearm Concealed Carry Act (430 ILCS 66), final orders of the Board are subject to judicial review pursuant to the provisions of the Administrative Review Law. You may challenge the decision of the Board by filing a written Petition For Review in the circuit court of the county of your residence. If you intend to file such a petition, please be advised that it must be filed within 35 days of the Board’s final order.
9. My application was denied by the Director of the ISP other than for reasons related to my FOID Card eligibility. Can I appeal the decision to deny my FCCL application?
Yes, pursuant to Section 1231.170 of the Department’s Administrative rules, you may request informal administrative review of the denial by logging into the Concealed Carry Portal via the ISP website (www.isp.state.il.us) and click on the ”Request Review” button. This satisfies the written request for administrative review to the Department as required by the Department’s Administrative Rules (20 ILAC 1231.170(b)(1)). You must make your request for informal administrative review within 60 days after receipt of the notice that your application is denied.
10. What should my appeal include?
At the time you make a request via the website for an informal administrative review, you will be asked to provide a personal statement outlining the reason for your appeal and a description of the information you are providing to correct your application or criminal history record. You may also attach additional documents as needed.
11. Can I appeal in person at the Firearm Services Bureau office?
No, If you arrive at these offices and request to do so, you will be directed to leave and submit your appeal as indicated above.
12. My application was denied because I am ineligible for a FOID Card. Can I appeal the decision to deny or revoke my FOID Card?
Yes, you may either request relief from your firearms prohibitor or appeal the revocation or denial of your FOID card as directed in the letter you received regarding your FOID application or Card. For further information regarding FOID Relief and Appeals, please click on the following link: FOID FAQ
13. What if the reason my application was denied is that my training certificate is invalid?
14. What if I cannot schedule new training within 60 days of receipt of the notice that my application was denied?
You should appeal in writing within the 60 days to preserve your right to administrative appeal while you pursue further training. If you are denied informal relief because you do not have a new training certificate, you may request a formal administrative hearing which will allow you additional time to obtain a valid training certificate.
15. Can I get credit for any of the hours from my previous training certificate that has been determined to be invalid?
No. You will need to complete 16 hours of training from an approved instructor whose approval to instruct has not been revoked.
16. How do I get a refund for the training costs for the certificate that has been deemed invalid?
Questions regarding restitution should be directed to your instructor or the State’s Attorney’s Office for the county in which you received your training.
17. What if my application was denied by the CCLRB?
Pursuant to Section 87 of the Act, you may petition the Circuit Court in the county of your residence for a hearing upon the denial.
18. Can I FOIA or otherwise request a copy of any objections filed with the CCLRB regarding my application?
No, all materials considered by the Board shall be exempt from inspection except upon order of a court. 430 ILCS 66/20(d).
19. How long do I have to petition the Court to appeal a denial by the CCLRB?
Pursuant to the Administrative Review Law, requests to review a denial by the CCLRB, which is a final administrative decision, must be commenced within 35 days from the date that the denial was served upon the applicant. 735 ILCS 5/3-103.
20. Can out-of-state residents obtain an Illinois Concealed Carry License?
Yes. However, only residents of states or territories of the United States that have laws related to firearm ownership, possession, and carrying, that are substantially similar to the requirements to obtain a license under the Firearm Concealed Carry Act are eligible.
21. What does “substantially similar” mean?
“Substantially Similar” means the comparable state regulates who may carry firearms, concealed or otherwise, in public; prohibits all who have involuntary mental health admissions, and those with voluntary admissions within the past 5 years, from carrying firearms, concealed or otherwise, in public; reports denied persons to NICS; and participates in reporting persons authorized to carry firearms, concealed or otherwise, in public through Nlets.
22. How can I find out if my state’s laws are considered “substantially similar?”
The Illinois State Police sent a survey to each state to determine which of them has laws that are substantially similar. Click here to find out how your state responded and if your state’s laws have been determined to be substantially similar. Currently, the only states considered to be substantially similar are Hawaii, New Mexico, South Carolina and Virginia.
Note: Not all states have responded to the survey.
- Where can citizens obtain firearms training?
On August 30, 2013, the ISP began approval of certified firearms instructors and firearm training courses. A registry of approved instructors and list of approved courses is available on the ISP webpage and will be updated as additional instructors are approved. Only approved firearms instructors are allowed to teach approved firearms training courses. The statute expressly prohibits anyone other than an approved firearms instructor from teaching an approved firearms training course. This rule applies even if there is an approved firearms instructor present. For more information see 430 ILCS 66/80.
2. What does the firearms training course consist of?
A 16-hour training course must, at a minimum, cover the following topics:
- Firearms Safety – a minimum of 1 hour;
- Basic Principles of Marksmanship – a minimum of 1 hour;
- Care, Cleaning, Loading and Unloading of a Concealable Firearm – a minimum of 1 hour;
- All Applicable State and Federal Laws Relating to the Ownership, Storage, Carry and Transportation of a Firearm (including but not limited to the appropriate and lawful interaction with law enforcement while transporting or carrying a concealed firearm) – a minimum of 2 hours; and
- Weapons Handling – a minimum of 1 range hour.
All applicants must pass a live fire exercise with a concealable firearm consisting of:
- A minimum of 30 rounds
- 10 rounds from a distance of 5 yards, 10 rounds from a distance of 7 yards, and 10 rounds from a distance of 10 yards at a B-27 silhouette target approved by the ISP.
3. Is anyone exempt from the training requirements in the Act?
Yes, the exemptions are set by statute and cannot be expanded upon by the ISP. The statute provides that a person who has (i) qualified to carry a firearm as an active law enforcement officer, (ii) been certified as a firearms instructor by the Act or by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board, or (iii) has completed the required training and (emphasis added) has been issued a firearm control card (FCC or Tan Card) by the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation shall be exempt from the training requirements in the Act. The applicant must submit verification that the training requirements for the FCC Card have been completed.
4. Who can get credit for up to 8 hours of prior training (from either previous courses or experience)?
The eligibility requirements for receiving credit for prior training are set by statute and cannot be expanded upon by the ISP. The statute provides that active, retired, and honorably discharged members of the United States Armed Forces shall be considered to have completed 8 hours of the 16 hour training requirement. Applicants who have completed a training course that is approved by the Department and recognized under the laws of another state may get up to 8 hours of training toward the 16 hour training requirement. Click on the link to view approved courses.
5. What information/documentation will current military personnel or veterans need to provide to receive credit for 8 hours of training?
Current military personnel will need to provide documentation identifying the holder as an active member of the US Armed Forces (CAC or DD Form 2 ID cards in green, blue, or red, for instance). Veterans will need to provide a copy of their DD-214 or NGB 22.
6. Who decides whether to give credit for prior training and how much to give?
The Department and certified firearms instructors shall recognize up to 8 hours of training already completed toward the 16 hour training requirement. Pursuant to the discretion granted within the statute regarding the proficiency of trainees, instructors must verify the prior training and can, within their discretion, determine the need for further training on a case by case basis. The Department has provided a list of approved curriculum to guide individual instructors with this decision. Two different 4 hour classes from the list of approved curriculum may be combined for up to 8 hours of prior training credit.
7. If a person receives prior training credit, what are they required to take in addition to fulfill the 16 hour training requirement under the Act?
Any remaining hours that the applicant completes must at least cover applicable State and Federal Laws Relating to the Ownership, Storage, Carry and Transportation of a Firearm Instruction as well as Weapons Handling as defined in the statute and administrative rules. The Instructor shall verify the aggregate number of hours for which the applicant provided proof of instruction in Firearms Safety, Basic Principles of Marksmanship, and Care, Cleaning, Loading and Unloading of a Concealable Firearm, based upon a list provided by the Department of accepted training courses, and provide the necessary additional hours of training to equal 16. Applicants must meet the minimums set out in the 16 hour curriculum. The instructor will need to assess and verify the areas on which the applicant was previously trained and modify the blocks of instruction in sections 1, 2, and 3 to cover the remaining requirements. Sections 4 and 5 should remain unaltered.
8. Will the Department of Natural Resources’ hunter safety classes be approved training?
Yes, the instructor has the ability to apply 4 hours of credit for the hunter safety class.
9. Can an applicant take part of their hours from one instructor and additional hours from another instructor?
Yes, as long as all of the training was based upon approved curriculum and they cover all of the subjects required by the 16 hour curriculum.
10. Is everyone required to go through exactly the same (or a cookie cutter) program or do the instructors have any discretion to teach based upon skill level?
The ISP encourages the instructors to teach to proficiency. Minimum hours of instruction have been included as a guide to ensure proficiency; however, the exact make-up of the training will be at the discretion of the individual instructors.
11. What date should I put on the student certificate for date of expiration?
For now, put “N/A”. This component is being removed from current forms.
12. Why are time lines established in the ISP rules regarding the training required?
The time lines established are geared toward expert shooters. The minimum hours set herein have been determined to be sufficient for the experienced shooter and shall be adjusted by the approved instructor based upon the skill level of those to be trained to ensure proficiency by all upon the completion of the required training component.
13. Do applicants have to own their own equipment before they can take a training class?
Not necessarily, equipment requirements will be set by approved instructors.