Questions and Answers - Concealed Weapons & Permits

Questions Regarding Initial Application for CCW Permit


Questions Regarding CCW Permit Renewal


Miscellaneous Questions



I am considering obtaining an Arizona concealed weapons permit. What do I do?
Review the Arizona concealed carry law, ARS 13-3112 and Arizona Administrative Rules R13-9-101 through R13-9-603. We recommend you also review ARS 13-3101 and Title 18 USC section 922(d & g) for complete eligibility criteria and ARS 13-3102, Misconduct Involving Weapons.

How do I apply for an Arizona CCW permit?
You may contact the permit unit via email to obtain an application packet. The packet will include a permit application, two fingerprint cards, a pre-addressed return envelope and instructions. Send the completed application, proof of firearms competence, two classifiable fingerprint cards, and the applicable fee to DPS.

How long will it take?
It takes approximately 75 business days to complete all of the required qualification checks.

How much does the CCW course cost?
DPS has no influence on the cost of the course. Prices are set by training organizations/instructors.

I completed the DPS armed security guard training course. May I use that to satisfy the CCW training requirement?
Yes, provide a copy of your Armed Guard card, or the training certificate you received, as proof of firearms competence along with the other documents required to obtain a permit.

I have taken a number of firearms-related courses. Can I show proof of firearms-competence by providing one of these completion certificates or documents?
ARS 13-3112(N)(1-8) allows exemptions. Please research the statute to see if they may qualify.

Is the application fee to DPS refundable if I do not qualify for a CCW permit?

How do I know if I meet the eligibility requirements?
The eligibility requirements are clearly listed in ARS 13-3112. In addition to those requirements, an individual must not be a prohibited possessor as described in ARS 13-3101 and Title 18 USC section 922(d) and (g).

Can I be pre-approved before I pay for the course and the application fee?
No. The resources of the CWPU may not be lawfully used to determine eligibility until receipt of the completed application (and any required documents) and fee.

Is an on-line course, taught by an NRA instructor, permitted?
No. See the attached memorandum, issued by the NRA on November 3, 2011. Click here

What do I need to do to renew my CCW permit?
The Concealed Weapon Permit Unit (CWPU) mails a courtesy renewal packet to customers whose permits are due to expire. The packet is mailed to the address on record approximately 90 days prior to the expiration date. The packet includes a renewal application and pre-addressed return envelope. Complete the renewal application, include the applicable fee, and mail them to DPS. No cash or personal checks please or your application will be returned causing a delay in processing.

If you have not received your courtesy renewal packet, you may print the renewal application from this site.

Please complete the application and submit it along with the applicable fee to: AZ DPS-CWPU P.O. Box 6488 Phoenix, AZ 85005-6488 Attn: Renewal.

If you are unable to print a renewal application call our office or email us. We will be happy to mail renewal materials to you.

Am I required to submit a fingerprint card when I renew my CCW permit?

May I drop off my application?
Yes. You may drop off your application packet at the DPS headquarters building located at 2102 W. Encanto Blvd in Phoenix between the hours of 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Please go to the Security desk located on the north side of the building.

Am I required to take a refresher course to renew my CCW permit?
No. An amendment to the Arizona concealed carry law, ARS 13-3112, effective September 21, 2006, eliminated the requirement for refresher training upon renewing a permit.

What if my permit expires, may I still renew?
You may be processed as a renewal between 90 days prior to expiration and 60 days after expiration. If your permit is expired more than 60 days, and you still want to possess a concealed-weapons permit, you must apply for a new permit. You may use your expired permit card as proof you have attended the firearms-safety training, if it is in good standing. See additional information under obtaining a permit.

Is there a grace period to renew and is my permit valid during that time?
As stated above, you may be processed as a renewal applicant up to 60 days after your permit expires. However, your permit is expired on the date listed.

Where can I get my fingerprints taken?
Please contact your local law enforcement agency or a private vendor about available fingerprint services. DPS does not provide applicant fingerprint services.

How long will it take for me to get my permit and what should I do with my expired permit?
Typically applications are processed within 75 days of receipt if no additional research is required. You are not required to return your expired permit to the CWPU.

I am moving to Arizona. Is my concealed weapon permit from my former state of residence transferable?
No, however you may be able to use it as proof of firearms competence when applying for an Arizona permit. Contact the permit unit for additional information.

I moved to Arizona and I have a CCW from my prior state of residence. How long before I have to get an Arizona CCW to carry legally in Arizona?
You may carry concealed utilizing another states permit as long as that permit is valid and in good standing. Once expired you may wish to obtain an Arizona CCW Permit. See additional information under the Reciprocity tab on this web site.

Can I pay my application fee with a personal check?
No. Acceptable forms of payment include money order, certified or cashier's check made payable to AZ DPS. 

May multiple applications be submitted using one form of payment?
This practice is discouraged. If there is an issue with one application, then all applications must be returned. To avoid any unnecessary delays, we prefer each application be submitted with its own form of payment.

Can I carry a firearm into an establishment that serves alcoholic drinks for consumption on the premises if I have a CCW permit?
Yes, unless the establishment has posted signs prohibiting weapons (A.R.S. 4-229). You may not consume alcohol while in possession of your firearm (A.R.S. 4-244). There are some additional exceptions see A.R.S. 13-3102.

Can non-residents be issued an Arizona permit?
Yes. You must be a resident of Arizona or a U.S. citizen.

I have a CCW permit. Can I carry my handgun on school grounds while picking up my child?
Conditionally. If you remain in your vehicle and the handgun is unloaded before entering school grounds, yes. If you have to exit your vehicle while picking up your child, the handgun must be unloaded (as above) and secured (locked) within the vehicle out of plain view. Use caution if you must exit the vehicle with a handgun (or any weapon) to secure it in the trunk of your vehicle. Others may see you and not understand your intention.

Additionally, designated employees of a school may order a person off of school property if that person is believed to be interfering with school operations. School boards may also enact specific and more restrictive rules governing firearms and deadly weapons on school grounds. Determine what the rules of a school are before attempting to enter school grounds with a firearm. (ARS 13-3102.A.12, 13-3102.I and ARS 13-2911)

My application for a permit was not approved because of a felony arrest many years ago. The prosecutor dropped the charges and I was never prosecuted. What do I do now?
You must contact the respective prosecutor's office or involved court that handled the case and obtain documentation that specifically states you were not charged with and/or have no record of a felony conviction in regards to that specific charge and you are not currently under felony indictment in that jurisdiction. Submit that documentation to the CWPU within the time limit given on the denial letter. You may also request a review and challenge of your criminal history through that states Criminal History Records Section.

I heard that once you obtain an Arizona CCW permit, you have to carry concealed all of the time (if armed) and are forbidden to carry in the open. Is this true?
No, while in Arizona you may carry open or concealed. Check other states you may visit for their requirements.

I entered a private business with my concealed handgun and CCW permit. The business did not have any signs posted prohibiting weapons. Shortly thereafter, an employee approached me and said they do not allow firearms in their business and I must take the gun off the premises. Can they do that?
Yes. Arizona law permits private business owners (or their designates) to prohibit weapons from being brought onto their property, whether signs are posted or not. Private businesses are typically non-government operated businesses such as grocery and department stores, convenience stores, laundromats, banks, office complexes, etc. Failure to obey the request can result in your arrest for trespassing. (ARS 13-1502 / ARS 13-1503)   

Are there any firearm restrictions?
Please see below for firearm restrictions:

  • Businesses serving alcohol for consumption on the premises (exceptions for peace officers and ccw permitees, see A.R.S. 4-229, A.R.S. 4-244, A.R.S. 13-3102)
  • Polling places on election days (peace officers are excepted)
  • School grounds (some exceptions – see below) (peace officers are excepted)
  • Commercial nuclear & hydroelectric generating stations (peace officers are excepted)
  • Military installations (peace officers are limited)
  • Indian reservations (check w/tribe, peace officers are limited)
  • Game preserves (peace officers are limited)
  • National parks (peace officers are limited)  more information available at or contact the park service regarding pending federal legislation.
  • Correctional facilities
  • Federal buildings (peace officers are limited)
  • Airports (in or beyond security checkpoints) (peace officers are limited)
  • Where federal, state or local laws prohibit weapons (peace officers are limited)
  • State or local government/private establishments or events when asked by the operator/sponsor/agent. Most government facilities will provide a location to temporarily store a firearm. Persons who refuse to leave and/or secure their weapon are trespassing and can be cited or arrested for ARS 13-1502 or ARS 13-1503, depending on the venue (peace officers are excepted)

What are the school exceptions when carrying concealed weapons?
Please see below for school exceptions (concealed or not):

  • You are an adult in a vehicle and the firearm is unloaded before entering school grounds. Furthermore, if you must exit your vehicle, the firearm must remain unloaded and be secured (locked) within the vehicle, out of plain view. Use caution and common sense if you must exit the vehicle with a firearm to secure it in the trunk (avoid causing a potentially serious disturbance)
  • You are an adult attending a firearms related class (hunter/safety) or participating in a school program that requires you to bring or possess a firearm and the training or event was scheduled and approved by school administrators. This exception also applies to a juvenile accompanied by a parent, grandparent, legal guardian or a certified hunter/firearms safety officer acting with the permission of a parent or guardian. The firearm will be unloaded before entering school grounds and should be placed in a case to avoid causing a potentially serious disturbance
  • Additionally, designated employees of a school may order a person off of school property if that person is believed to be interfering with school operations. School boards may also enact specific and more restrictive rules governing firearms and deadly weapons on school grounds (ARS 13-2911).

What are the permit holder requirements?
Please see below for permit holder requirements:

  • A qualified person must have the permit in possession when carrying a concealed weapon and is required by any other law to carry the permit
  • The permit must be presented to any law enforcement officer, upon request, along with a driver’s license, military ID, state ID card or passport
  • A law enforcement officer may temporarily take possession of a firearm during traffic stops or other official contacts with the public

What are the rules about carrying in states outside of Arizona?
It is extremely important that all Arizona Permit holders be aware of the CCW requirements and laws of all reciprocating/recognizing states. An Arizona CCW permit does not supersede any other state's law or CCW requirements. Persons carrying an Arizona permit are subject to the laws of the state they are visiting.

If you are an Arizona permit holder traveling to another state and wish to carry a concealed weapon using your Arizona permit, contact that state directly to confirm their recognition status before carrying concealed weapons there.

Some states only recognize permits from persons who are a resident of the issuing state.

Some states have an active CCW reciprocal agreement on file with the State of Arizona. This means your Arizona permit allows you to carry concealed under their respective state statute, and Arizona will reciprocate by recognizing CCW permits issued by these states, regardless of whether they are "Resident" or "Non-Resident," if so marked. Please click here for additional information.