South Carolina permit process

How To Get Your South Carolina 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 South Carolina's concealed carry laws. Applying for a CWP varies by state.

Read about the process for getting a South Carolina Concealed Weapons Permit below.

Steps To Get A South Carolina Concealed Carry Permit

Step 1:

COMPLETE a firearms training course within three years of filing your CWP application

Step 2:


You will need:

  • Photocopy of driver’s license or state ID card
  • Resident aliens must provide a copy of their alien card from the Department of Homeland Security
  • Military applicants must submit military orders or a copy of their DD214
  • Retired law enforcement officers musts submit proof of retirement benefits/pension documentation
  • Real property tax form R168 for non-resident applicants
  • Documentation of firearms training course taken within three years or of an exemption (such as military orders for active-duty military applicants and a DD214 for retired or former military applicants)
  • Application form signed by you and your firearms instructor
  • SLED CWP Instructor/Student Checklist
  • Two complete fingerprint cards

Step 3:

COMPLETE your application online or download a paper copy.

Step 4:

SUBMIT your online application and additional documentation.

For paper applications - mail your application and additional documents to:

CWP Application

SLED Data Center

P.O. Box 21398

Columbia, SC 29221-1398

Step 5:


You will be notified if your application has been approved.

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What Are the Firearms Training Requirements in South Carolina?

Applicants must complete an eight-hour handgun education course offered by a state, county or municipal law enforcement agency or a nationally recognized organization that promotes gun safety within the last three years. The course must include:

  • Statutory and case law of the state relating to handguns and the use of deadly force
  • Handgun use and safety
  • Proper storage practice for handguns, with an emphasis on storage practices that reduce the possibility of accidental injury to a child
  • Properly securing a firearm in a holster
  • “Cocked and locked” carrying of a firearm
  • How to respond to a person who attempts to take your firearm from your holster
  • De-escalation techniques and strategies
  • The actual firing of the handgun in the presence of an instructor, with a minimum of 25 rounds fired


  • Minimum 25 rounds

Exemptions: In accordance with South Carolina State law, active duty military and members of the reserve and National Guard members are exempt from all CWP training. Retired/former military members and retired law enforcement must complete only the legal aspects portion of the CWP training by a certified South Carolina CWP instructor.

What Are the South Carolina License to Carry a Handgun Requirements?

An applicant must:

  • Be at least 21 years old;
  • Have completed an approved firearms training class must have completed a basic or advanced handgun training course within three years of application or meet an exemption;
  • Reside in South Carolina, or if a resident of another state, submit proof you own property in South Carolina;
  • Not have been convicted of a violent crime that is a felony;
  • Have actual or corrected vision of 20/40;
  • Not, by order of a circuit judge or county court judge of South Carolina, been adjudged unfit to carry or possess a firearm; 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 South Carolina.

What are the Fees and Terms?

90 Day Processing

90 Day Processing

No Charge for Initial Permit

No Charge for Permit Renewals

Valid for Five Years from Date of Issue

Where Can I Find Application Forms?

What Concealed Carry Permit Options Exist Based on Residency?

Residency Changes:

Moving to South Carolina and interested in applying for a resident permit? How soon can you apply?South Carolina issues permits to residents, non-residents who own property in the state and military personnel posted in South Carolina only. You can apply for your permit once you can provide proof of either residency or that you own property in the state.

Moving from South Carolina and have a South Carolina resident permit? Does that permit transfer to your new state? Is there a grace period during which your South Carolina permit remains valid?If a person with a South Carolina concealed weapons permit establishes residency in another state, you must surrender your permit to SLED.

How Do I Renew My Concealed Carry Permit in South Carolina?

Renewal applications are mailed out 90 – 120 days before permits expire. If your permit has been expired for more than 18 months then you MUST submit a paper renewal form and copy of your current SCDL, online renewal is not an option.

Step 1


Renewal applications are mailed out 90 – 120 days before permits expire.

Step 2

COMPLETE the online application, or download and complete a paper application. You will need the following documents:

  • Photocopy of driver’s license or state ID card;
  • Real property tax form R168 for non-resident applicants; and
  • Resident aliens will need to submit a copy of their alien card.

Step 3


Mail application and documents to:

SC Law Enforcement Division (SLED)

Attention CWP Renewal

PO Box 21398

Columbia, SC 29221

Step 4


You will be notified by mail if your application has been approved.

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Do Your Homework!

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