California permit process

How To Get Your California Concealed Carry Permit

Whether you're new to owning a firearm or have had a gun for home defense for years, getting a concealed handgun permit 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 California's concealed carry laws. Applying for a CCW varies by state.

Read about the process for getting a California Concealed Carry Weapons License below.

Steps To Get A California Concealed Carry Permit


CONTACT your county sheriff’s or local police chief’s office to verify the application process and the approved training courses.


COMPLETE an approved training course or provide proof of exemption (active duty or honorably retired military, law enforcement, etc.) pursuant to California Penal Code Section 31700.


VERIFY with your local sheriff if your jurisdiction requires a psychological evaluation.


SUBMIT the application and required documents by using the online licensing portal or mail in your application


IN-PERSON VISIT -- Do not bring any firearms unless instructed to do so by the county sheriff’s office. You will also need the following:

  • Your training certificate
  • Proof of residency
  • Original birth certificate, naturalization certificate or valid U.S. passport
  • California driver’s license or California Identification card

You will be fingerprinted, photographed and interviewed.


CHECK YOUR MAILBOX -- You will be notified by mail within 90 days if your application has been approved or denied.

Find a CCW Training Class

What Are the Firearms Training Requirements in California?

California requires a minimum 8-hour training including:

  • Firearm Safety
  • Handling and technique acceptable to licensing authority
  • Live-fire shooting exercises on a firing range
  • Demonstration of safe handling and shooting proficiency with each firearm the applicant is applying to be licensed to carry

California is now a shall-issue state since the Supreme Court’s ruling on the NYSRPA v. Bruen on June 23, 2022. Licenses are issued by the county sheriff’s office or local police station and while there are some minimums, each county in California is able to set additional requirements to the minimum. Make sure to contact your local sheriff to find all of the requirements to get your CCW permit.

The licensing authority may require either a course not to exceed 16 hours or a community college course not to exceed 24 hours certified by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.

For license renewal applicants, the course of training may be any course acceptable to the licensing authority, shall be no less than four hours and shall include live-fire shooting exercises.

What Are the California License to Carry a Handgun Requirements?

An applicant must:

  • Be of good moral character;
  • Be a resident of the county or work in the county;
  • Have completed an approved firearms training class (minimum of 8 hours) or provide proof of exemption pursuant to California Penal Code section 31700. (It was upped to 16 hours under SB2 but is currently stayed pending appeal).
  • Not have been convicted of a felony or certain types of misdemeanors, including a lifetime prohibition if convicted of domestic violence;
  • Not be subject to a temporary restraining order or have been the subject of a protective order;
  • Not be addicted to drugs;
  • Not have been diagnosed as mentally ill;
  • Not have been hospitalized more than once in a year for a mental health diagnosis (lifetime prohibition); and
  • Meet federal law requirements.

*Consult with an attorney if you have any questions about your eligibility. If you don’t have an attorney, you can find one by contacting the State Bar of California.

What are the Fees and Terms?

Processing will complete within 90 days of Background Check completion

Contact your issuing authority as fees are variable (expect at least $70)

Fees on License Renewal are also variable. Contact your local authority

Valid for Two Years from Date of Issue

Where Can I Find Application Forms?

What Concealed Carry Permit Options Exist Based on Residency?

Non-Resident Concealed Carry Licenses:

Contact your issuing authority for their consideration. CCWLs may be issued to individuals who work in the state and/or active duty military members permanently stationed in California.


How Do I Renew My Concealed Carry Permit in California?

Renewals are the responsibility of the licensee and you may not receive any notification. Contact your issuing authority well in advance of your CCWL expiration date to determine how many days prior to expiration they recommend you submit your renewal (typically at least 30 - 90 days). 


COMPLETE your 4-Hour CCWL Renewal Class


IF REQUIRED -- Additional psychological testing of an applicant seeking license renewal shall be required only if there is compelling evidence to indicate that a test is necessary.


CONTACT YOUR LOCAL AUTHORITY - Use the online licensing portal to submit your application or download the application and follow the renewal process according to your issuing authority.


CHECK YOUR MAILBOX - You will be notified if your application has been approved or declined.

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Make sure you understand California Gun Laws and California concealed carry reciprocity with other states.