CCL FAQs

DISCLAIMER: Answers provided to the following questions are meant only to give general guidance. The answers do not and are not meant to replace statutory language.

If you have a question regarding the Firearm Owner's Identification Card or the Firearm Concealed Carry Act that is not addressed in these sections, please call (217) 782-7980 or email ISP.AskFOIDandCCL@illinois.gov.

1. The Application Process

Yes. All applicants are subject to the same qualification standards. Specifically, all applicants must complete the applicable training as specified in 430 ILCS 66/75. Pursuant to Section 75(e) instructors are not required to issue training certificates to any applicant who: (a) does not follow the orders of the certified firearms instructor, (b) in the judgement of the certified instructor handles a firearm in a manner that poses a danger to the applicant or to others or (c) during the range firing portion of testing fails to hit the target with 70% of the rounds fired. The statute and rules provide objective standards to be applied by the instructors. The Illinois State Police does not condone discrimination on the basis of a physical disability.

You may apply for a CCL by visiting the ISP Firearms Services Bureau web portal at https://www.ispfsb.com

No. You must have a valid FOID in order to have a CCL. If you fail to keep your FOID valid, your CCL will be revoked. However, 430 ILCS 65/3 (a) allows you to present your CCL in lieu of a FOID to purchase a firearm or ammunition.

Yes. As long as your FOID is valid, 430 ILCS 65/3 (a) allows you to present your CCL in lieu of a FOID to purchase a firearm or ammunition.

No. When applying on-line, do not use a mobile device such as a phone or tablet. Our system is not a mobile app.

Yes. Paper applications are available through an alternative, call-in method. You may call the ISP at 217-782-7980 and a call-taker will complete your application over the phone, including taking payment in the form of a credit card, debit card or electronic funds transfer (EFT). Upon payment, the application will be mailed to you. Once you receive the form, you will need to answer some criminal history and mental health questions, initial to indicate your agreement with some statements, sign and date the application, and attach a photograph. Return the completed application to the Firearms Services Bureau for final processing.

$150 for Illinois residents $300 for out-of-state residents The ISP uses Illinois ePay. Illinois ePay applies a 2.25% service fee, or a minimum of $1.00 for credit cards or $.50 for an Electronic Funds Transfer.

You must be 21 years old (430 ILCS 66/25(1)).

A newly-issued Concealed Carry License has a five-year expiration date.

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.

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: https://www.idfpr.com/LicenseLookUp/fingerprintlist.asp 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.

No. Once you submit a Transaction Control Number (TCN), it will remain a permanent part of your Illinois CCL record.

No. All applicants must submit a photo taken within the past 30 days even if they were photographed as part of their fingerprinting process.

According to 430 ILCS 66/25, The Department shall issue a license to an applicant completeing an application in accordance with Section 30 of the Act if the person: is at least 21 years of age, has a currently valid FOID card (if an Illinois resident) is not prohibited under federal law from possessing or receiving a firearm, has 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, Two 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 five years is not the subject of a pending arrest warrant, prosecution, or proceeding for an offense or action that could lead to disqualification, has not been in residential or court-ordered treatment for alcoholism, alcohol detoxification, or drug treatment within the last five years, has submitted a completed Concealed Carry License application, has successfully completeed 16 hours of firearms training, including classroom and range instruction.

If you possess an MML, are a caregiver pursuant to the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, and/or otherwise use cannabis consistent with Illinois law, your CCL will not be revoked nor your CCL application denied. Medical Marijuana Licenses are State-issued and cannot result in the denial of any right or privilege.

However, under Federal law, you are subject to restrictions that prohibit you from aquiring or possessing firearms and firearms ammunition. These restrictions are pusuant to the Gun Control Act of 1968, specifically, 18 U.S.C. ยง922, and remain in effect until the revocation or relinquishment of your medical cannabis card or until one year after you last used cannabis, whichever is later.

2. Training

A searchable registry of approved instructors and a list of approved courses is available on the Firearms Services web portal at https://www.ispfsb.com/Public/instructors.aspx 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.

A 16 hour training course must, at a minimum, cover the following topics:
  1. Firearms Safety - a minimum of 1 hour;
  2. Basic Principles of Marksmanship - a minimum of 1 hour;
  3. Care, Cleaning, Loading and Unloading of a Concealable Firearm - a minimum of 1 hour;
  4. 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
  5. Weapons Handling - a minimum of 1 range hour.
All applicants must pass a live fire exercise with a concealable firearm consisting of:
  1. A minimum of 30 rounds
  2. 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, fired at a B-27 silhouette target approved by the ISP.

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.

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.
CCW Prior Training Credits

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.

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 four hour classes from the list of approved curriculum may be combined for up to eight hours of prior training credit.

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.

Yes. The instructor has the ability to apply four hours of credit for the hunter safety class.

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.

The ISP encourages instructors to teach to proficiency. The minimum hours of instruction listed earlier are a guide to for this purpose. However, the exact make-up of the training will be at the discretion of the individual instructors.

For now, put "N/A". This component is being removed from current forms.

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.

The Illinois State Police has 30 days to approve or deny the FOID application from the date of receipt. Please allow a few additional days for mailing before calling the Customer Service Center.

Not necessarily, equipment requirements will be set by approved instructors.

"Hit the Target" and "Scoring Area" mean a round that has impacted within the black portion of the silhouette on a B-27 target. Any round that breaks the line between the black portion of the silhouette and the non-scoring area is considered a "hit."

Follow the instructions in your notification letter and email the new training certificate to isp.ccw.illinois@illinois.gov.

3. Instructor Applicants

The ISP has established administrative rules consistent with the Firearm Concealed Carry Act. A link to the instructor approval application is available on the Firearms Services Bureau web portal at https://www.ispfsb.com/Public/Cert.aspx

Fees for fingerprint based background checks are set pursuant to state and federal law. The ISP cannot charge more than the fees required by law.

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: https://www.idfpr.com/LicenseLookUp/fingerprintlist.asp This list is all inclusive. Accordingly, any vendor not on this list is not a licensed Illinois live scan vendor. Fingerprints from non-licensed vendors will not be accepted.

Only when the local police department is a licensed live scan vendor.

No. New fingerprints must be submitted with the ISP form.

Some instructors have indicated they believe applicants will be looking for business names on the registry rather than just instructor names, This field was added to make finding an instructor easier. There is no requirement for the field to be completed if the individual instructor is not associated with a business.

No. Only an e-mail address will be accepted. You must have a working email in order to become an instructor.

The date is requested for confirming certification. If you do not know the certification date but rather have an expiration date, you will have the option to include it instead. Either a certification date or an expiration date is required.

No. Only persons who have a valid firearm instructor certification as required by the Act can become an approved instructor.

A person seeking to become a certified Illinois Concealed Carry Firearms Instructor shall:
  • be at least 21 years of age
  • be a legal resident of the United States and qualified for a Concealed Carry License in Illinois
  • possess a high school diploma or GED certificate
  • have at least one of the following valid firearms instructor certifications:
    • Certification from a law enforcement agency
    • Certification from a firearm instructor course offered by a state or federal governmental agency
    • Certification from a firearm instructor course offered by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board
    • Certification from an entity approved by the Illinois State Police that offers firearm instructor education and training in the use and safety of firearms

Yes. The Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Act, 430 ILCS 66/80, sets forth the qualifications to be a firearms instructor.

Upon hitting "Submit" you should receive a confirmation page. Once the ISP makes a decision about your application, you will be notified by letter via U.S. Mail.

Yes. The ISP has posted a registry of approved instructors on its website and will add additional instructors as they are vetted through the background process and approved. Go to the FSB web portal at https://www.ispfsb.com/Public/instructors.aspx

Yes. All applicants are subject to the same qualification standards.

Specifically, all applicants must complete the applicable training as specified in 430 ILCS 66/75. Pursuant to Section 75(e) instructors are not required to issue training certificates to any applicant who: (a) does not follow the orders of the certified firearms instructor, (b) in the judgement of the certified instructor handles a firearm in a manner that poses a danger to the applicant or to others or (c) during the range firing portion of testing fails to hit the target with 70% of the rounds fired.

The statute and rules provide objective standards to be applied by the instructors. The Illinois State Police does not condone discrimination on the basis of a physical disability.

4. Curriculum

No, once curriculum is approved and listed on the ISP's website as approved curriculum, any approved instructor with access to the curriculum may use it.

No. Pursuant to the Act, the instructor must keep a record of each student's performance for a period of 5 years. The ISP will not dictate the manner in which such record is kept. Depending upon the size of business, record keeping systems may vary.

No. The name of the class is immaterial. The only requirements for curriculum approval is that it meet the subject and minimum hour requirements set forth in administrative rule.

Public Storage means storage at publicly owned location, for example in a storage locker provided by a public or government facility, which may or may not have its own storage rules or protocols.

The ISP has posted a registry of approved curriculum on its website and will add additional curriculum as they are reviewed and approved.

Yes, approved curriculum must be taught by an approved instructor. People who qualify for up to 8 hours of credit for prior training, which is explained in further detail within the Training Questions, need not have been trained by an approved instructor.

5. Out of State Residents

Yes. However, only residents of states or territories of the United States with 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.

The Illinois State Police sent a survey to each state to determine which states have laws that are substantially similar. Currently, the only states considered to be substantially similar are Arkansas, Idaho, Mississippi, Nevada, Texas and Virginia. Click here to view the CCL Substantially Similar Survey

"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.

6. Denials and Appeals

Please visit the Office of Firearms Safety for all denial and appeal related information.

7. Business and Property Owners

Signage information is available on this website at https://ispfsb.com/Public/Signage.aspx.

Yes. The Illinois State Police has adopted administrative rules permitting the property owner to incorporate the 4 X 6 inch template into a larger sign; however, the required template must be reproduced as a 4 X 6 inch image somewhere on the larger sign. The administrative rules also permit inclusion of additional language on the larger signs.

This is not a question for the Illinois State Police. Business owners concerned about liability issues regarding the FCCA should retain private legal counsel with whom they can confer on these matters. The ISP cannot give legal advice to private business owners.

The authority rests with the property owner. This is true unless otherwise specified in a rental or lease agreement. Again, there is nothing in the FCCA that preempts a real property owner from designating this authority to a lessee through an appropriate lease agreement.

This is an employment law question. The Illinois State Police cannot give legal advice to employers; however, the law is not written to preempt an employer's right to have more restrictive employment policies. If a business owner or employer wants to prohibit only employees, they should not post the required sign as doing so makes the location a prohibited place. Rather, this should be addressed through appropriate employment policies.

It does not appear that even a private property owner can do so given the parking lot safe haven provision.

All state buildings are prohibited areas and must be posted as such.

This is an employment law question. The Illinois State Police cannot give legal advice to employers. That said, while the law does not specifically preempt an employer's right to have more restrictive employment policies, it is not clear that an employer can override the parking lot safe haven exemption created by the statute. This would be particularly true for a public employer.

8. Enforcement

The ISP will continue to enforce the law in effect. Persons who carry firearms without a Concealed Carry License issued by the ISP are subject to arrest.

Everyone who wants to carry a concealed firearm on his/her person in Illinois is required to have an Illinois Concealed Carry License except current peace officers and retired police officers eligible under a federally approved retired officer concealed carry program such as the Illinois Retired Officer Concealed Carry (IROCC) Program. Retired officers may be eligible to carry under either the IROCC Program or the Firearm Concealed Carry Act (430 ILCS 66).

This will be determined by the laws of the 49 other states. Illinois Concealed Carry License holders who want to conceal and carry in other states are responsible for researching the state laws to where they are traveling.

No. A handgun carried on or about a person must be concealed from view of the public or on or about a person within a vehicle.

Any licensee prohibited from carrying a concealed firearm into the parking area of a prohibited location shall be permitted to carry a concealed firearm on or about his or her person within a vehicle into the parking area and may store a firearm or ammunition concealed in a case within a locked vehicle or locked container out of plain view within the vehicle in the parking area. A licensee may carry a concealed firearm in the immediate area surrounding his or her vehicle within a prohibited parking lot area only for the limited purpose of storing or retrieving a firearm within the vehicles trunk. This exception does not apply to any area where firearms are prohibited under federal law or to property regulated by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission.