It can be difficult to ensure you have reciprocity to carry a concealed firearm when traveling out of state. Many concealed carry permit holders opt to apply for additional non-resident concealed carry permits to maximize the number of states where they legally may carry. We’ve gathered this information on which states offer non-resident permits if you want to better protect yourself while traveling out of state.
What to Know About Non-Resident Permits
Most states require an applicant to have a valid permit from his or her own state of residence as a prerequisite. So it is important to first obtain a resident permit from your home state in order to qualify for non-residential permits from other states.
There are several states that don’t currently provide non-resident permits. A number of states offer non-resident permits only to members of the military, as well as their spouses and/or dependents. Other states limit non-resident permits to individuals:
- With a regular place of business or employment in the state
- Who own property in the state
- From only neighboring states
- From only states with reciprocity
- For only short periods of time
There are approximately 20 states where a person could potentially obtain a non-resident license. The two states with the greatest number of non-resident permits are Utah (424,531) and Florida (221,440). This is followed by Maine (14,628), New Hampshire (28,408) and Virginia (42,924). In addition, there are currently 18 permitless or constitutional carry states. (Two more — Texas and Tennessee — will be added by September 1, 2021.)
In addition to federal requirements for possessing a firearm, each state that offers a non-resident permit has a list of requirements to obtain a permit. These may include minimum age and firearms training. There may also be limitations regarding misdemeanor or felony convictions, mental health records, drug addictions and habitual drunkenness. The application process for some of the most popular non-resident permits are listed below.
Utah permits are accepted in 36 states, although several of those states will only honor resident licenses. You will need to complete a firearms familiarity course with a certified Utah instructor. There is no need to travel to Utah to do so. These courses are widely available in other states. If you reside in a state that recognizes the validity of the Utah concealed firearm permit (CFP), you must obtain a permit from your home state and submit a copy of it with your application. If you are 18 to 20 years old and live in a state where the minimum age is 21, you can apply for a Utah provisional CFP.
Florida licenses are accepted in 37 states. Several of those states will only honor resident licenses. One reason Florida licenses are popular is that these licenses are valid for seven years. Florida law requires you to submit proof of competency with a firearm, which requires a live-fire component. A copy of a certificate of completion from a variety of firearms safety courses is acceptable. You can complete an application online. You must submit a digital, passport-style photo and have your fingerprints taken by a local law enforcement agency within 90 days of submitting your online application.
Virginia permits are accepted in 35 states. Again, several of those states will only honor resident licenses. Virginia law requires you to submit proof of competency with a firearm, which requires a live-fire element. A copy of a certificate of completion from a variety of firearms safety courses is acceptable. Applicants who do not reside in Virginia can apply by mail or by accessing required forms online. Mailed application packages provide requirement and qualification information, a Virginia State Police fingerprint card, a return envelope for the completed application and a checklist to ensure that all necessary information is provided.
New Hampshire licenses are accepted in 29 states, although several of those states will only honor resident licenses. The state does not require firearms training to obtain a license. However, applications can be issued for protection or “all proper purposes.” One or more of these reasons must be noted on the application. In addition, an applicant must provide contact information for three references. The application has to be completed and mailed to the state police. No fingerprints or photos are required.
Maine permits are accepted in 29 states. Several of those states will only honor resident licenses. All applicants must review the copy of the pamphlet “State of Maine Laws Relating to Permits to Carry Concealed Handguns” and complete a lengthy application. The application includes signing releases for authorities with law enforcement, court, psychiatric facilities, citizenship and military records. Maine requires proof that the applicant has completed a handgun-safety course offered by a law enforcement agency or a firearms instructor. A passport-style photo is also required.
An Indispensable Resource
Until national reciprocity is passed, it is crucial to stay informed on the gun laws in each state. See the USCCA’s Concealed Carry Reciprocity Map & Gun Laws by State for additional details on non-resident permits and much more. The page includes a multi-state reciprocity tool where you can select your home state as well as any combination of non-resident permits in order to view all of the states where you could legally carry concealed.
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, and laws are constantly changing, and as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.