Obtaining a License to Carry

Qualifications

To qualify for a Texas LTC you must:

  • Be 18 years old. (2023 new rule)

  • Have a clean criminal history, including military service and recent juvenile records.

  • Not be under a protective order.

  • Not be chemically dependent.

  • Not be of unsound mind.

  • Not be delinquent in paying fines, fees, child support, etc.

  • Be eligible to purchase a handgun by completing the NICS check.

  • 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, go to Texas Government Code Section 411.172. ELIGIBILITY, or 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

Find a DPS Qualified Instructor. Texas Handgun Association certified Instructors are listed on this site.

Take the training course. As of September 1, 2013, the class will require 4 to 6 classroom hours, plus a written examination and a shooting practical. You must pass each with a score of 70% or better.

The written exam covers law, nonviolent conflict resolution, and handgun use and storage. It is not mainly about shooting.

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.

After you pass both tests, the instructor will give you the COURSE CERTIFICATE OF TRAINING LICENSE TO CARRY A HANDGUN PROFICIENCY LTC-100, to send with the supplementary forms to your application.

Completing an ApplicationGo to License To Carry A Handgun.

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 application process.

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

Have fingerprints taken.

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

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

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

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 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 to ensure the information is correct.

If you need to modify your license to change your name or address, or replace a lost or destroyed license, log back in to make those changes.

Good luck! And do not forget to become a Texas Handgun Association member.

Helpful Tip

Helpful tip for all new License to Carry Handgun (LTC) applicants.  The purpose of this tip is to explain an unintentional glitch in the online system used by LTC applicants.  There may be 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 COURSE CERTIFICATE OF TRAINING LICENSE TO CARRY A HANDGUN PROFICIENCY LTC-100, Proof of Military Service with DD-214 page Member 4, any other documents listed on the License to Carry Handgun Confirmation Message. “This email confirms you have submitted an online application. See below for the checklist of items required to complete your application.”

Applicants will receive this confirmation notice twice:

  • Print this notice on the page after submitting the application.

  • An email will also be sent to the address used in the application on the same page.

Note:  This 24-hour lag also applies to fingerprinting. You will need to make an appointment 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

Judd Earley, Owner of Earley Training & Supply and Texas Handgun Association Life Member