Obtaining a License to Carry

Qualifications

To qualify for a Texas LTC you must:

  1. Be 21 years old. (Members and former members of the armed forces must be 18.)
  2. Have a clean criminal history, including military service and recent juvenile records.
  3. Not be under a protective order.
  4. Not be chemically dependent.
  5. Not be of unsound mind.
  6. Not be delinquent in paying fines, fees, child support, etc.
  7. Be eligible to purchase a handgun by completing the NICS check.
  8. Complete required training.

More information on the specifics of qualifying are available on the DPS Handgun Licensing site. If you have specific questions concerning your personal eligibility, we at TCHA unfortunately cannot answer them. Please contact DPS Handgun Licensing Section.

Applying for the License

There are two steps to the application process, taking a training course and completing an application. These are concurrent; you can do either one first.

Take a Training Course

  1. Find a DPS Qualified Instructor. TCHA member instructors are listed on this site.
  2. Take the training course. As of September 1, 2013, the class will require 4 to 6 classroom hours, and includes a written examination. In addition, there is a shooting practical. You must pass each with a score of 70% or better.
    1. The written exam covers law, nonviolent conflict resolution, and handgun use and storage. It is not mainly about shooting.
    2. The shooting practical requires you to fire fifty rounds from a handgun, including 20 shots at three yards, 20 at seven yards, and 10 at fifteen yards.
  3. After you pass both tests the instructor will make two copies of Form LTC-100, which you must both sign. You will get one of them to mail in with the supplementary forms to your application.

Completing an Application. There are two ways to approach this part of the process, submit a request by internet and download forms to mail in. The online process is preferred, the mail-in process is much more complicated.

Submit a request by internet

Visit the DPS Handgun Licensing site at https://www.dps.texas.gov/rsd/ltc/index.htm.

If you are a senior citizen, active military or a veteran, an active or retired judge, peace officer, or prosecutor, or indigent see Licensing Fees and Required Documents which lists reduced license fees and additional forms to submit.

Click on Downloadable Forms. Download or print:

If you don’t have a Texas driver’s license or ID card, download a LTC-6.pdf, Photo Holder/ID Signature. If you have a Texas ID, that photo will be used.

LTC-16.pdf, Texas License to Carry Handgun Laws.

If your place of birth is outside of the United States review LTC-40.pdf, Notice – Non-Immigrant – Visa.

 Click Apply for a New License to Carry or Instructor Certificate. You will need:

* Your valid Texas Driver License or Texas Identification card.

* Current demographic, address, contact, and employment information.

* Residential and employment information for the last five years.

* Information regarding any psychiatric, drug, alcohol, or criminal history.

* Your valid email address.

* A valid credit card. (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or American Express) Note that all fees are non-refundable.
   

Complete the online process.

Obtain two passport photos, only if you have an out-of-state ID.

Have fingerprints taken.

Have your prints scanned by IdentoGO. Their prints are 98% reliable, and they instantly transmit them to DPS. Note:

* IdentoGO does not take walk-ins, you must make an appointment.

* IdentoGO cannot take your prints until DPS has received your application. You must complete your online application before your fingerprint appointment.

 Note: DPS will no longer accept rolled ink prints.

 

Mail to Department of Public Safety:

* The DPS checklist printed at the end of the application process.

* The completed Photo Holder with two passport photos, only if your ID is out-of-state.

* Documentation required if you apply under a special condition.

* Completed LTC-100, License to Carry a Handgun Proficiency Course Certificate of Training, provided by your instructor if you are unable to scan and upload into the DPS database. Note: See “Helpful Tip” below.

 Hints:

* If you mail documents to DPS requesting “signature required”, it will add several days to their processing time.

* For your records, print off or photocopy all documents mailed.

* If there are no problems with your application, the license processing should take about 60 days. For more information, see DPS’s Reminder about Handgun License Applications Requirements and Necessary Documentation“.

* When you receive your license, check it over to make sure the information is correct.

 

 

Download forms to submit by mail

The completed Application Form, including part B or C if required.

If you submit LTC-78C, any documentation it requires.

Click on Downloadable Forms. Download or print:

* LTC-6.pdf, Photo Holder. If you have an out-of-state drivers license.

* LTC-16.pdf, Texas Concealed Handgun Laws.

* Review LTC-40.pdf, Notice – Non-Immigrant – Visa, if your place of birth is outside of the United States.

* LTC-78A.pdf, Original Application Form.

* LTC-78B.pdf, Address & Business History Form, if you have changed your residence or employment in the past five years.

* LTC-78C.pdf, Reported History Form, if you have any mental health or criminal history to explain.

* LTC-85.pdf, Authorization for Release of Records.

* LTC-86.pdf, Knowledge of Laws Affidavit.

 

Fill out the downloaded forms. Note that the two affidavits, LTC-85 and LTC-86, must be notarized.

If you have an out-of-state drivers license, obtain two passport photos. Some instructors provide this service.

Have fingerprints taken.

Have your prints scanned by IdentoGO. Their prints are 98% reliable, and they instantly transmit them to DPS. Note:

* IdentoGO does not take walk-ins, you must make an appointment.

* IdentoGO cannot take your prints until DPS has received your application. You must complete your online application before your fingerprint appointment.

Note: DPS will no longer accept rolled ink prints.

 

Mail to Department of Public Safety:

* The completed Application Form, including part B or C if required.

* If you submit LTC-78C, any documentation it requires.

* The completed Photo Holder with two passport photos, if you have out of state ID.

* Two notarized affidavits.

* Documentation required if you apply under a special condition or were born outside the U.S.

* Completed LTC-100, License to Carry a Handgun Proficiency Course Certificate of Training, provided by your instructor.

* The required fee in the form of a personal check, cashier’s check, or money order. NOTE: It is a very bad idea to bounce a check on the Texas DPS.

 

  • Hints:
    • If you mail documents to DPS requesting “signature required”, it will add several days to their processing time.
    • For your records, print off or photocopy all documents mailed.
    • If there are no problems with your application, the license processing should take about 60 days. For more information, see DPS’s Reminder about Handgun License Applications Requirements and Necessary Documentation“.
    • When you receive your license, check it over to make sure the information is correct.

If you need to modify your license to change your name or address, or replace a lost or destroyed license, DPS has the forms online.

Good luck! And do not forget to become a TCHA member.

Helpful Tip

Helpful tip for all new License to Carry (LTC) applicants.  The purpose of this tip is to explain an unintentional glitch in the online system used by LTC Applicants.  There is a 24-hour lag between when you apply for a LTC online and when your application is activated and available to receive any supporting documents.  When you apply for a LTC – wait for 24 hours before any additional action.

Example of supporting documents is Completion of Training Certificate LTC-100, Proof of Military Service DD-214, any other documents listed on the License to Carry a Handgun Confirmation Message. “This email confirms you have submitted an online application. See below for the checklist of items required to complete your application.”

Applicant will receive this confirmation notice twice:

  1. Print this page notice – after submitting application.
  2. An email will also be sent to address used in the application of the same page.

Note:  This 24-hour lag also applies to fingerprinting.  You will need to make an appoint with a company to have your fingerprints taken.  Wait 24 hours before making your appointment.

This 24-hour lag is not identified in any instructions received from the DPS web page.  Being aware of this lag may save one from Frustration and Delay when applying for a LTC on-line.

 

Tip Courtesy of:

Mike Cox, TSRA LTC Director

Judd Earley, Owner of Earley Training & Supply and TCHA Life Member