Whether you’re new to owning a firearm or have had a gun for home defense for years, getting a concealed carry license may seem daunting. It doesn’t have to be. There are many reasons and ways to carry a concealed weapon, but the first step is knowing the laws. Applying for a CCW varies by state. Read about the process for getting a Michigan Concealed Pistol License (CPL) below.

Similar to license requirements, states vary greatly in their processes for how an applicant obtains a concealed carry license, what their permits/licenses are called, whether licenses include photographs, whether fingerprinting is required, license duration, license costs and turnaround times. Some states allow an applicant to complete an application online, while others require an in-person visit to the office of the respective issuing authority. There are even states that require the applicant to provide a list of non-related character references.

Concealed Carry License Basics

Michigan is a shall-issue state with concealed weapons licenses issued at the local level by county clerks. Shall-issue means licensing authorities in Michigan are compelled to issue a license as long as an applicant meets the basic requirements set out by state law. A Michigan license to purchase a pistol or a background check are required to buy a handgun. Only residents are allowed to purchase handguns, though non-residents are allowed to purchase long guns. Although there is no firearm registry, all handgun sales require a pistol sales record form to be filed with the Michigan State Police.

Concealed carry is legal for residents with a Michigan Concealed Pistol License (CPL) and for non-residents that are at least 21 years old and who have licenses/permits from their states of residency. CPLs are issued to residents only, with exceptions for active-duty military stationed in Michigan. CPLs require successful completion of a firearms training course that has been state-approved with at least eight hours of instruction, including three hours of range time. In terms of reciprocity, Michigan recognizes resident licenses from all states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Federally Prohibited Persons

The Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Federal Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 make it illegal for a person who fits into any of the prohibited categories to ship, transport, receive or possess firearms or ammunition. These laws prevent a state from issuing a concealed carry license/license as it would be illegal for people who fit in these categories, by federal law, to own or possess a gun.

What Are the License Requirements in Michigan?

An applicant must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Have completed an approved pistol training class
  • Be a legal resident of the State of Michigan for at least 6 months, active-duty military permanently stationed in Michigan or active duty military stationed outside of Michigan but Michigan is the applicant’s home of record
  • Have a valid State ID
  • Be a citizen of the U.S. or a lawfully admitted alien
  • Not have been convicted of a felony or have felony charges pending
  • Not be subject to an order or disposition for any of the following:
    • Involuntary hospitalization or involuntary alternative treatment
    • Legal incapacitation
    • Personal protection order
    • Bond or conditional release prohibiting purchase or possession of a firearm
    • Finding of not guilty by reason of insanity
  • Not be prohibited from possessing, using, transporting, selling, purchasing, carrying, shipping, receiving or distributing a firearm under Michigan law
  • Not have been dishonorably discharged from the United States Armed Forces
  • Not have been convicted of one of the following misdemeanors in the 8 years immediately preceding the date of application: failing to stop when involved in a personal injury accident, operating while intoxicated — second offense, drunk driving a commercial vehicle or reckless driving
  • Not have been convicted of one of the following misdemeanors in the three years immediately preceding the date of application: Operating under the influence, embezzlement, larceny, malicious destruction of stolen property, second-degree retail fraud
  • Not have been found guilty of any crime and not have offered a plea of not guilty of or been acquitted of any crime by any reason of insanity
  • Not have a diagnosed mental illness at the time the application is made that includes an assessment that the individual presents a danger to himself or herself or to another, regardless of whether he or she is receiving treatment for that illness
  • Not be detrimental to the safety of one’s self or any other person
  • Meet the federal law requirements mentioned above

Do I Need Firearms Training in Michigan?

Yes. Pistol safety training from an instructor certified by the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) is required. The training must be within 5 years preceding the date of application and include the following:

  • Safe storage, use and handling of a pistol, including but not limited to safe storage, use and handling to protect a child
  • Ammunition knowledge and the fundamentals of pistol shooting
  • Pistol-shooting positions
  • Firearms and the law, including civil liability issues
  • Avoiding criminal attack and controlling a violent confrontation
  • All laws that apply to carrying a concealed pistol in Michigan
  • At least 8 hours of instruction, including 3 hours of firing range time

How Do I Get a Concealed Pistol License in Michigan?

Step 1: Complete a firearms training course, if required.

Step 2: Download the application or pick one up from the county clerk’s office.

Step 3: Go to the county clerk’s office of the county in which you reside and sign the application under oath. Include the following documents:

  • Training certificate
  • A passport-quality photograph

Pay the fee.

Step 4: Have classifiable fingerprints taken by the county clerk, state police, sheriff’s office, local police agency or other entity that provides fingerprinting services. Provide the pistol application receipt to the provider.

Step 5: The county clerk shall issue a license or notice of statutory disqualification within 45 days after the date the applicant has classifiable fingerprints taken.


For more information, visit the USCCA Michigan gun laws page now…


The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. members and the concealed carry community, and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.