Renew an Ohio concealed handgun license

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On December 20, 2012 Governor Kasich signed into law HB 495 which included a provision dealing with all renewals of a concealed handgun license. The law will go into effect on March 27, 2013. If your second renewal (third license) is earlier than February 10, 2013 then we recommend reading about a Donut-Hole Renewal later in this page.


The process as of March 27, 2013 is a very simple process. Your current valid, expired, or any other previously issued license that has not been revoked is proof that at one time you have been issued a competency certificate. Follow the following steps and you will be able to renew your concealed handgun license in Ohio.

  1. Research the appointment method for the county you plan on applying in.
  2. Complete the Ohio Concealed Handgun License Application
  3. Obtain a passport photo for the application. This can be done on a home computer and printer as long as the size requirements are met.
  4. At the appointment show the sheriff your current concealed handgun license, pay the fee of $50, and have a fingerprints and a photograph taken.
  5. Wait for the sheriff to call stating your license is ready to be picked up.

Donut-Hole Renewals

HB 495 will not go into effect until March 27, 2013. This has created a donut-hole for many license holders where they will either need to carry on the 30 day grace period of their license or not carry at all.

The donut-hole is caused by when your current license was issued after your first renewal. Concealed carry in Ohio started on April 8, 2004 and a license originally was good for four years. You may renew a license up to 90 days before it expires therefore many in 2008 rushed to renew their license in January and February. Therefore one may have an expiration date such as February 22, 2008 which would be the issuing date of the license. Unfortunately, concealed handgun licenses are not treated like driver's licenses and they simply expire 5 years after they are issued and not 5 years after the current one expires.

If a license expired on say February 22, 2013 the carrier will have a 30 day grace period where they can still carry an expired license. I however do not recommend this as the Ohio Concealed Handgun license is the only license in Ohio that includes a grace period. Therefore a cop unknowing to the grace period may unlawfully arrest a concealed license holder carrying in the grace period, and unfortunately the charge is a felony charge for carrying a concealed weapon. While the subject most likely will win, it will be a lengthy court battle that can be expensive to fight. One may never recoup all their costs and most likely never clear their name thanks to the digital information age.

The other factor with the expiration date is Sheriffs have 45 days to process a renewal. Therefore one should always apply 45 days prior to their expiration date to be on the safe side and avoid having to use the grace period. You may not apply till March 27 without requiring a "Renewed Competency Certificate."

Renewed Competency Certificate

The big change with HB 495 came with the elimination of the "Renewed Competency Certificate." 2923.125(G)(4) states...

(4) A person who previously has received a competency certification as described in division (B)(3) of this section, or who previously has received a renewed competency certification as described in this division, may obtain a renewed competency certification pursuant to this division. If the person previously has received a competency certification or previously has received a renewed competency certification, the person may obtain a renewed competency certification from an entity that offers a course, class, or program described in division (B)(3)(a), (b), (c), or (e) of this section by passing a test that demonstrates that the person is range competent. In these circumstances, the person is not required to attend the course, class, or program or to take the competency examination described in division (G)(2) of this section for the renewed competency certification in order to be eligible to receive a renewed competency certification. A renewed competency certification issued under this division shall be dated and shall attest that the person has demonstrated range competency.

The above is all the Ohio lawmakers gave instructors on what a "Renewed Competency Certificate" entails. Therefore it is up to individual instructors to decide what will be taught to obtain said certificate. The only requirement is a student must demonstrate range competency. Many on the OFCC Forums are offering classes at extremely low rates.

Renew With Any Qualified Sheriff

You are not bound to renewing with the Sheriff's office that issued your current license. You may renew with the Sheriff that issued your license if you still live in that county or an adjoining county. Otherwise, you may also renew with any county adjoining the county in which you currently live in. The new Sheriff's Office will issue you a license that has a different license number than the one you currently hold since the numbers are unique to the issuing county.

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