Ohio CCW Application Checklist

Applying for an Ohio Concealed Handgun License can be confusing. However, if you follow this Ohio CCW Application Checklist, you can make the process less painful.

These instructions apply to both first-time applications and renewals, however renewals may be easier and cheaper. A current or expired license can be used for proof of training.

Temporary Emergency Licenses: The law allows for the issuance of an emergency license without proof of competency certification under extraordinary circumstances. Refer to the Attorney General's manual for details.  

1. Read the Attorney General's manual on Ohio's concealed carry laws. This publication outlines detailed information about Ohio's Concealed Carry licensing program, including training and educational requirements, the application process, and the sheriff's criteria for issuing your license. Take the time to read this publication carefully cover-to-cover.

2. While reading the Attorney General's manual, pay particular attention to who can or cannot qualify for a Ohio Concealed Handgun License.

  • You must be legally living in the United States and a resident of Ohio (or employed in Ohio).
  • You must be at least 21 years of age.
  • You must not be an unlawful user of, or addicted to any controlled substance.
  • You must not be a fugitive from justice.
  • You must not be prohibited by federal law from possessing a firearm.
  • You must be able to pass a "NICS" criminal background check.

This is not a complete list. Again, read the Attorney General's manual carefully.

NOTE ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA: While Ohio has legalized medical marijuana, federal law still considers the use or possession of marijuana illegal for ANY purpose. Therefore, if you use medical marijuana, you may be in violation of federal law which would disqualify you from getting a Concealed Handgun License or even possessing a firearm. Read this article.

3. Find a qualified CCW instructor and complete the required 8-hour training to obtain your Certificate of Competency.

  • In general, you will need a physical certificate of completion of a firearms safety course or equivalent experience. Refer to the Attorney General's manual for training that qualifies. Note: Your concealed handgun license will be proof of training when you renew your license.
  • You may also present documentation that shows you are an active or reserve member of the armed forces, have retired from, or were honorably discharged, or are a retired highway patrol trooper, or are a retired peace officer or federal law enforcement officer and, through the position, acquired experience with handguns or other firearms that is equivalent to the minimum educational requirements.

4. Locate the sheriff's office in your county (or an adjacent county) and pick up an application for an Ohio Concealed Handgun License. OR go to the sheriff's or Attorney General's website and download the application.

NOTE: Do NOT bring a firearm with you when picking up your application.

5. Have a passport-sized (2" x 2") color photo taken within 30 days of your application date. You may get a passport-sized photo at many photo shops, drug stores, groceries, and similar businesses that handle photo development. Most sheriff departments will also accept a good quality color photo taken with a digital camera and printed on a color printer.

NOTE: Not all sheriffs need a photo. Ask before spending money on this.

6. Call the sheriff's office, or use a scheduling tool on the sheriff's website, to make an appointment and apply for your license. Most sheriffs will NOT allow walk-ins to apply. 

7. Take your documents to the sheriff's office on the scheduled day and time and apply for your license. As part of your application, you must:

  • Present your completed application, Certificate of Competency (or documentation of equivalent experience), and passport-sized color photo (if needed).
  • Present a valid photo I.D., such as your driver's license.
  • Submit to having your fingerprints electronically scanned or inked and rolled onto a card.
  • Pass a criminal background check.
  • Attest that you have read the Attorney General's pamphlet on Ohio's concealed carry laws.
  • Pay a non-refundable fee of at least $67 for a first-time application. Renewals may be less expensive. Check with the sheriff's office for forms of payment accepted.
  • Make sure you review the specific instructions from the sheriff's office for any additional instructions.

NOTE:

  • Do NOT bring a firearm with you when applying for or picking up your license.
  • If you have ever been prohibited from having a weapon under ORC Section 2923.125, you must provide court documentation granting relief for disability.

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