Whether you are thinking about getting your Texas License To Carry (LTC) for the first time, or looking to renew one that has or is about to expire, I will give you the steps needed to obtain an LTC.
- Make sure you are eligible to obtain an LTC. Read here for an article which focuses on Texas eligibility requirements if you would like more information.
- Buy a quality pistol you will be able to carry concealed easily and don’t forget an often overlooked essential, a quality holster. Read here for an article by Marine Corps and law enforcement veteran, Matthew Maruster on How to Choose a Concealed Carry Gun.
Some instructors may have a pistol they will rent you for the completion of class, but I recommend purchasing your gun first so you will be able to learn and practice during the course with the weapon you plan to carry. This way you can ask questions on how to operate and become familiar with the gun in the presence of an instructor.
- Attend all required training. The state of Texas requires its residents to attend an approved training course in order to be issued an LTC. Read here for a list of instructors in Texas who are qualified to teach all required topics of instruction and administer the live fire test.
According to Texas.gov:
“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.”
If you have already been issued your LTC, you are not required to complete the training an additional time. However, you need to be pursuing your own education. The LTC training requirements are by no means the only instruction you should seek out. Go to the range, do dry fire, and find some classes near you to stay on top of important skill sets. Click here for Concealed Carry Fundamentals training for additional information.
- Once the 4-6 hours of required training is completed and you pass the written and shooting proficiency tests, you will need to make an appointment with the Finger Application Services of Texas (FAST) if you are a new LTC applicant. If you are only renewing your LTC, the fingerprints Texas already has on file for you are sufficient, so you won’t need to get fingerprinted again. There is, of course, an additional fee for this finger printing service.
- Gather up all the information that you are going to need before you get started to make sure you aren’t scrambling to locate it when filling out the application.
Things you will want to have on hand:
- Valid driver license or identification card,
- Current demographic, address, contact, and employment information,
- Residential and employment information for the last five years (new users only),
- Information regarding any psychiatric, drug, alcohol, or criminal history (new users only),
- Valid email address, and
- Valid credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or American Express)
- After you have collected all pertinent information, head over to the Texas License to Carry a Handgun Service website to fill out the application online. Here you can peruse the Texas Handgun Licensing Laws and Selected Statutes for which you will need Adobe Reader to view. At the bottom of the page are two tabs. One for those who are applying for their first LTC, and one for those looking to renew.
- When finished with the application you will be expected to pay a standard fee of $40 which applies to both new and existing LTC holders. Veterans can expect a discount and pay only $25 and active duty military and Texas Military members fees are waived, and pay nothing.
After completing the application and submitting all required documents, it should take around 2 months for your packet to be approved. Provided everything asked for was supplied and the application complete. If there are any problems, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will notify you in writing to tell you what they still need from you.
If you don’t give the state of Texas everything it asks for the first time, DPS may take up to another 180 days to approve your application. If this is a problem you are facing, make sure to send the requested info as quickly as possible since DPS will terminate the application after an unspecified period. Just make things easy and submit everything correctly the first time.
If you have any information which can be used to clarify or reform this article, please make sure to leave a comment for everyone’s benefit.