Questions | Frequently Asked

Frequently Asked Questions
About Ohio's CHL law

OFCC provides introductory answers to some of the most common questions about Ohio's Concealed Handgun License laws. This information is provided as a service to our members and is strictly the informal interpretation of our organization. Nothing here is offered, held out as, or intended to be legal advice and we advise consulting an attorney for further information.

These are the most frequently asked questions. For more detailed information, please visit our Knowledge Database.


Obtaining a CHL


Carrying a Concealed Handgun




Where do I get an application?
You can an application for a Concealed Handgun License at any Sheriff's office or download it from the Ohio Attorney General website.
Application for a Temporary License
Application for a Standard License

Where can I apply?
You can apply in person at the sheriff's office for the county you live in or any adjacent county. Check with your sheriff before arriving to verify hours of acceptance (they must accept applications at least 15 hours per week, but some require appointments) and to verify forms of payment.

What do I need to bring with me when I apply?

You will need to bring a state issued photo ID, a copy of your training certificate or affidavit (DO NOT bring the original documents, they will be destroyed), and the appropriate license fee (usually $67, but can be higher if you have not lived in Ohio for at least 5 years and are subject to the $24 FBI background check). It is strongly recommended that you either download the application or make two trips to the sheriff so that you can fill it out at home and bring it with you rather than try to fill it out at the sheriff's office.

What training do I need?
You need 12 hours of training (at least two hours must be live-fire training on the range) that meet specific requirements as spelled out by Ohio Law.

Who can provide training?
Instructors who are certified by the National Rifle Association, the executive director of the Ohio peace officer training commission pursuant to section 109.75 or 109.78 of the Revised Code, or a governmental official or entity of another state. It is the student's responsibility to ensure the instructor meets these requirements.

How long is my training valid?
Training is valid for three years to apply for a new CHL.

How do I renew my current CHL?
You can renew your license beginning 90 days before the expiration date and any time after. Your license remains valid for 30 days after the expiration date. You do not need to renew your license in the county in which it was issued, but you must do so within your home county or an adjacent county.

Renewal of a CHL is very similar to the original application process. You must fill out a new application, provide fingerprints, and pay the required license fee.

You must submit proof of competency certification, such as:

  1. A previously issued Ohio concealed carry license. The license may be either expired or currently valid.
  2. A competency certificate from your instructor. There is no longer a time limit from the day you completed your class to the time of your first renewal.

For subsequent renewals, you need to present proof of renewed competency certification. The renewed competency certification must attest that you are range competent. You do not need to get renewed certification from the same instructor who gave you your initial certification.

I lost my training certificate. How do I get a new one?
You must go back to your original instructor to replace your training certification documents. The Sheriff is required by law to destroy all submitted materials other than the original application, so will not have a copy of your training certificate.

Does hunter's education count as training?
No, it does not.

Does military training meet the requirements?
Yes. Your DD-214 (or equivalent) is valid for certification of meeting the training requirements for six years from date of discharge.

My license is expired and I haven't received my renewal. Can I still ccw?
Yes, your expired CHL remains valid for 30 days after the expiration date.

I lost my CHL. How do I get a new one?
Return to the issuing Sheriff to report your license missing and be issued a new one. There is a $15 fee for re-issuance.

I moved, do I need to notify the sheriff?
Yes. If you still reside in the same county, or in an adjacent county to the original county of residence, you will be issued a new CHL printed with your new address. You may be charged a $15 fee. If you move beyond an adjacent county, you will need to apply for a CHL as a new applicant.

Do I need to carry anything besides my CHL?
Yes. You must carry another piece of valid government identification in addition to the handgun license.

What places are off limits to ccw?
- Police stations.
- Sheriffs’ offices.
- Highway Patrol posts.
- Premises controlled by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation.
- Correctional institutions or other detention facilities.
- Airport terminals or commercial airplanes.
- Institutions for the care of mentally ill persons.
- Courthouses or buildings in which a courtroom is located.
- Universities, unless locked in a motor vehicle or in the process of being locked in a motor vehicle.
- Places of worship, unless the place of worship permits otherwise.
- Child day-care centers.
- Licensed D-Liquor Permit premises in which any person is consuming liquor. Concealed firearms are banned in premises for which a D permit has been issued or in an open air arena for which a permit of that nature has been issued. There are some exceptions to this prohibition. The prohibition does not apply to principal holder of D permit as long as principal holder is not consuming liquor. The prohibition does not apply to an agent or employee of the principal holder who is also a peace officer who is also off duty. Possession of a concealed firearm is allowed in a retail store with a D-6 or D-8 permit as long as concealed carry license holder is not consuming liquor. Class D permits are generally issued to an establishment that sells alcohol for consumption on the premises. In any event, be certain of the type of permit and whether liquor is being consumed before you enter with a concealed handgun.
- Government facilities at which government employees are regularly present in the performance of their duties that are not used primarily as a shelter, restroom, parking facility for motor vehicles, or rest facility and is not a courthouse or a building or structure in which a courtroom is located.
- School safety zones, unless you are immediately in the process of picking up or dropping off a child and you do not exit the vehicle.
- Any private business which posts a sign prohibiting firearms or makes you aware of a policy prohibiting firearms.

What do I do if I'm stopped by a law enforcement officer?
You are required by law to promptly inform any law enforcement officer who stops you (whether on foot or in a vehicle) that you are carrying a firearm and that you have a CHL. Keep your hands in plain sight. If in a vehicle, do not exit the vehicle unless instructed to do so by the officer.

Can a law enforcement officer take my firearm during the stop?
Yes. The officer may request or demand you surrender your firearm, but it must be returned to you at the end of the stop, unless you are being arrested or charged with carrying without a license.

Is my Ohio CHL valid in other states?
Ohio has reciprocity agreements with several states. This means that your license is valid in that state, and their license is valid in Ohio. Some states also have laws automatically recognizing the licenses of other states. Check with the state you are visiting to determine if your license is valid and what laws you need to be aware of. In general, you follow the laws of the state you are visiting. Click here for a list of current states Ohio has reciprocity agreements with.

How do I carry in a motor vehicle?
Ohio requires a valid CHL in order to have a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle. If you have a CHL, a loaded firearm must be transported in one of the following ways:

  1. In a holster secured on the person.
  2. In a closed case, bag, box, or other container that is in plain sight and that has a lid, a cover, or a closing mechanism with a zipper, snap, or buckle, which lid, cover, or closing mechanism must be opened for a person to gain access to the handgun
  3. The loaded handgun is securely encased by being stored in a closed glove compartment or center console, or in a case that is locked. A locked case does not need to be in plain sight (an unlocked case does).


Where can get information about Ohio's CHL laws?
Substitute House Bill Number 347
Ohio Attorney General


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