3 Things To Do IMMEDIATELY After Your Concealed Carry Class

A major part of ConcealedCarry.com's business is devoted to people getting their concealed carry permits through concealed carry classes that we teach all around the country.

But what do you do after the class is over and you still haven't received your permit? There is going to be a lot of time after you walk out the door of your class, with your certificate fresh in hand and when you actually receive your permit. The amount of lag will depend some on your own speed and some on the application process of your local jurisdiction. Sitting around waiting for the permit to arrive is the single biggest mistake that new concealed carriers make.

While you are waiting for the permit to be issued your brain is working hard to forget all the great things you learned in class and you are wasting valuable time that could be used to set you up for success instead of failure.

So this article is going to take a look at the three steps that you should take to not only receive your permit but to be well trained and prepared to carry responsibly by the time you receive it.

1. Turn In Your Permit Application


The first step after receiving your graduate certificate is a pretty obvious one. You've got to go and get your concealed carry permit! I mean, that's the whole reason why you took the class, after all.

The application process varies some by state but you likely need to turn in or mail in an application to either a state division or your county sheriff's office. Hopefully your instructor gave you some clear instructions. Do whatever needs to be done to get this done ASAP! Delaying this initial step will set everything back and your learning curve will be elongated and you will be vulnerable on the streets longer than you have to be. Once that application has been turned in the processing time will vary in different parts of the country but you will likely be waiting between 2-3 months to receive your permit.

We send each of our students a survey via email 60 days after they complete their class and the first question on that survey is “Have you completed your permit application?” 22% of students respond with a “No.” Don't be among the 22%…

So what do you do with the time while you are waiting for the permit to be issued? Sit and wait? Twiddle your thumbs? Not at all.

2. Select a Carry Strategy and Begin Experimenting


There are plenty of things that you can do while waiting for your concealed carry permit to come to you that will make sure that you are very well prepared for the coming responsibility you will have and this is the perfect time to train for them.

Now even though you will not be able to legally carry concealed in public until you get that all important piece of paper or plastic, there is plenty that you can do inside your home, as most states allow you to carry concealed inside your own home without a permit. At this time, it is best to start laying the groundwork strategically for just how you are going to begin carrying.

Carrying a firearm concealed requires a lot of lifestyle changes. You are going to have to experiment with Clothing, Holsters, Guns, Positions, and Movements and learning all of these things on the street is less desirable than in your own home.

START with any configuration. Buy or borrow a holster and a firearm and pick a position that you think will work for you. Walk around the house engaging in your normal activities and see how it feels. Try bending over, sitting down, getting up, etc. If this works for you on your first try you are a very lucky person. If it doesn't work you need to begin the experimentation process…

Positions: Try a different position. Strong side, small of back, appendix/front, or cross draw or somewhere in the middle of these. Or leave the waistline completely and try ankle carry, shoulder holsters, apparel systems, or pocket holsters. [Infographic About Different Carry Positions]

Holsters: Leather, Kydex, Canvas, Waistband, etc. The choices are darn near endless. It can get expensive quickly so take two tips to heart. 1, find friends who carry concealed and ask to borrow old holsters they don't use anymore (they probably have a whole box of these). 2, before ordering a holster online or in a store check the return policy. If you can return it if you don't like it then you have little to no risk in placing the order and giving it a shot.

Guns: Small, medium, big. Single Stack, double stack, etc. You have endless options here too. Again, borrow handguns from friends and try them out. You won't know for sure until you try them.

Clothing: You should quickly figure out what clothes work and don't work for your chosen configuration of gun/position/holster. These are valuable lessons to learn early on so you can begin to make different clothing purchasing decisions.

Rarely does anyone perfect something the first time they do anything. You're going to need to find the best and most comfortable way for you to carry concealed. This is a good time to test out what is going to work for you in your coming day-to-day routine.

You're also going to want to feel how different it is to be armed all the time. Here are some of the major questions we tend to get from people in this stage of the game (click on links for our best thought out answers):

3. Set a Goal and Plan for Ongoing Training and Practice

training for concealed carry

As you are working on finding a way to carry that is comfortable and of relative ease for everyday carry, the next and maybe most important step is to create a training, learning and practice plan that will work for your lifestyle. This includes, but is not limited to live and dry-fire practice, skill related drills, weapon maintenance, cardiovascular training, and mental acuity.

THIS IS CRITICAL: You are starting an entire new lifestyle of firearm self-defense. There is much to learn and much to practice. If you don't stop to consider how you are going to build this into your lifestyle moving forward you are setting yourself up for certain failure. As mentioned above there are 3 critical areas to build into your strategy moving forward.

After we discuss these quickly I'm going to show you the easiest and simplest way to move forward without making this more difficult than it has to be.

  1. Learning: Your concealed carry training you have received up to this point was foundational at best and only represented the perspective and opinions of one instructor. There is a ton more to learn from a lot of other industry experts around the country. Subscribe to the top YouTube channels, Podcasts, Email Newsletters, and Magazines. Our own content is a great place to start as we feature the best thinking and content from a our network of dozens of instructors across the country in a single place. Use the icons at the top right of our website to go directly to our social profiles, podcast, and mobile app.
  2. Training: Training refers to getting more instruction from a trainer or instructor. You can do this to some extent at your local gun club by signing up for their additional classes and courses but it will only take you so far. Eventually you will want to just hire an instructor to work with you one on one. This can get expensive if you don't have access to digital programs like ours (details below).
  3. Practice: Practice refers to working on your own to drill and repeat the motions you learned in training so as to build muscle memory and instinctive skills. This can be done in a few 20-30 minute sessions a week for most shooters with a trip to the range for live fire 1-2 times a month. The key is knowing WHAT to practice. Without the ongoing training the practice will get stale very quickly.

Now I know that sounds like a lot of things to work on, and honestly, it is. To be a well-oiled machine, you're going to have to have knowledge of a lot of different skills and you will have to put in the hours to become proficient. You wouldn't expect a brand new driver or athlete to be an all star over night and you shouldn't expect yourself to be ready for a gunfight just because you have a permit on it's way from the government. This is why drills are so important, and why USA Firearm Training is adding them in monthly installments to our new platform “Guardian Nation“.

Guardian Nation is a community of armed Americans. As a member of Guardian Nation you get access to a curriculum of skills, taught by simple drills that will help you build the skills over time. In addition you will have access to the gear you need with a strong discount on ammo and ALL other gear sold on this website in addition to receiving our popular quarterly box which comes automatically each quarter and is filled with curated tactical gear. With Guardian Nation's monthly skills and drills, we are going to make sure that you know exactly what to do in dozens of situations, and how to best keep yourself tuned for everyday life as a new concealed carrier. And the best part is, these training exercises can be done in the comfort of your own home, at your own pace, on your own schedule, all while you are waiting during that time-frame to get your permit sent to you. So that by the time you receive your permit, you are going to be ready to go, already on your way to mastery.

[button link=”https://guardian.concealedcarry.com/”]Click Here to Learn More About Guardian Nation[/button]

Happy training to you all. Give it all you've got.

About Jacob Paulsen

Jacob S. Paulsen is the President of ConcealedCarry.com. ConcealedCarry.com provides in-person and online firearm training for American gun owners. The Company is currently teaching in-person classes in 25+ states with a team of more than 55 instructors. Jacob is a NRA certified instructor & Range Safety Officer, USCCA certified instructor and training counselor, Utah BCI instructor, Affiliate instructor for Next Level Training, Graduate and certified instructor for The Law of Self Defense, and a Glock and Sig Sauer Certified Armorer. He resides in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado with his wife and children.


  1. Rich on November 14, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    Good thoughts on carry, concealed or open! Just do it!

    • Tim Sweeney on December 11, 2019 at 7:49 am

      I had such a great instructor. He is on a mission to teach gun safety to every man woman and child in Texas, drawing from his real life experiences when his own grandmother was raped and assaulted and his own parents were victims. But he wound up the class with a couple of videos where people killed others when they had other options and deeply regretted doing so. Never draw your gun unless you or your loved ones LIVES are being threatened. Are you SURE you want to KILL another human being just for breaking into your car? I hope I never have to use my weapon. But glad I got the training I did. It is an awesome responsibility and an awesome right we all have. Use it wisely folks.

  2. Summer on August 31, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    I took my class on 1-31-16 and with the process of moving I had lost my paperwork, well I found it and am wondering if I will be able to still turn it in and get my permit to carry?

    • Jacob Paulsen on August 31, 2017 at 7:29 pm

      Summer what state do you live in?

      • Anthony Jackson on April 27, 2020 at 11:09 am

        if I first took my conceal online a pass the course do I have to wait for the certificate to turn in the application. And how do I get the application for my first time conceal carry I live Baltimore Maryland and my name is Anthony Jackson thanks.

        • Jacob Paulsen on May 6, 2020 at 6:54 pm

          Anthony, yes you need to wait for the certificate in order to apply. The website that sold you the online class you took should provide you with instructions on how to apply.

          • Charlene Carter on June 18, 2020 at 4:51 am

            What period of time do I have to turn in my paperwork after completely the class.?

          • Jacob Paulsen on September 18, 2020 at 8:58 am

            That depends on the state

          • Stanley on December 28, 2020 at 9:14 pm

            Why is florida so slow with processing ccw permits idid my application at DMV 96 days ago and still says we recieved your application and is being processed and when I call there’s a busy signal. Or sometimes says your wireless subscriber is not available.

      • Angie on August 8, 2020 at 4:37 am

        I took my safety class three years ago but haven’t applied for concealed carry permit. Do I have to take a class again?

        • Jacob Paulsen on September 18, 2020 at 8:53 am

          That would depend on the state Angie.

          • Angie on November 1, 2020 at 2:28 pm

            I have the same question. I took it in 03/2019 in Illinois. Is it too late to send in?

          • Mario on February 24, 2022 at 6:09 am

            I live in Texas, I took the online class 2 months ago but haven’t done the shooting class yet. How long do I have before I can’t do the shooting class? Thanks.

      • barbara Munday on February 28, 2021 at 2:16 pm

        I live in NC and I took my class in NC what is the time limit in turning certificate in to apply for permit took class 2017

        • Joshua Gillem on March 1, 2021 at 8:35 am

          I live in NC but cannot remember how long you have. I think the best bet would be to contact your Sheriff or the person you took the class from to see if it is still valid.

      • Tracy on February 27, 2023 at 4:26 pm

        I took the class 3 years ago and never applied for my permit. Do I have to take the class over can I still apply MN

    • James on December 28, 2017 at 12:23 am

      I took my safety training class and got all my paper work for my conceals on 01/27/2017 I’m now wondering if I can turn it in now and get my conceals although it’s been close to a year. I live in Florida.

      • Jacob Paulsen on December 28, 2017 at 8:52 am

        James there is no time limit on turning in the paperwork. You are good!

        • Adrian on June 17, 2018 at 10:05 pm

          There is a limit . Osbi states that your passport photo has to be no later than 7days old. So if it past that , then you have to get a new photo, but paperwork should be fine

        • Cherise Brooks on July 16, 2018 at 9:22 pm

          Question i stay in Florida took my class in 3/20/16 in still have not turn my certificate in will I have to retake the class in order to try to get licensed ?

          • Jacob Paulsen on July 25, 2018 at 7:01 pm

            As long as you have the certificate it is valid. It never expires.

          • Sebastian on April 7, 2023 at 8:40 pm

            Do I still need to take a class for my ccw in ca ? If I already have my gun license

  3. Daniel Conti on September 10, 2017 at 11:58 am

    I live in port angeles wa and waiting for my consealed permit

  4. Daniel Conti on September 10, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    I would like to take your safety class

  5. Megan on September 12, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    I like your tip about selecting a carry strategy while waiting for the permit to come. This is definitely something I will do while I wait for my permit. I am going to mention this to my husband as well.

  6. Hannah Schroeder on November 27, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    My dad bought me a gun for my birthday last week, and I’m not sure what I’m going to do after I take permit to carry classes. I’m glad you suggested choosing any position and engaging in regular activities to see how it feels. I think it will take me some time to get used to the feeling, but the classes might help me feel more comfortable, and wearing it during normal activities will too. [URL Removed]

  7. Kimberly on January 16, 2018 at 10:57 am

    Is there a time limit on turning in paperwork in Missouri? I took the class, and procrastinated, then MO became open carry state, but I would like to go ahead and get the permit.

    • Jacob Paulsen on January 16, 2018 at 11:52 am

      Kimberly, contact your county sheriff’s office (county of residence) and confirm with them.

  8. Darrell on January 23, 2018 at 11:32 pm

    Took class on 3/13/17 live in Arizona can I stop turn them in and be good

    • Jacob Paulsen on January 23, 2018 at 11:42 pm

      Yes, not a problem.

  9. Pablo Levine on February 6, 2018 at 5:09 am

    Can I conceal carry after class or do I have to wait for permit ,in texas

    • Jacob Paulsen on February 6, 2018 at 8:32 am

      You have to wait.

  10. Isabel Reyes on March 3, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    I don’t remember when I took my class for my CHL, and I can’t find my paper work, where can I look for it and, what would be my next step. I live in Texas

  11. Paula McGowen on March 23, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    Is there a time limit on submitting paper work and payment aft ER completing the class ..Illinois

    • Jacob Paulsen on March 24, 2018 at 11:03 am

      There is no time limit in Illinois

  12. Sierra Hudson on April 4, 2018 at 7:55 am

    Is there a time limit in Ohio?

    • Jacob Paulsen on April 4, 2018 at 7:59 am

      Yes, the training certificate is good for 3 years

  13. Ezequiel on April 10, 2018 at 11:21 am

    My wife took the class over 5 years ago and just found her paperwork is she still able to turn it in and get her license? Florida

    • Jacob Paulsen on April 10, 2018 at 11:53 am

      There is no time limit in Florida. She can still apply.

  14. Kristin Potter on April 13, 2018 at 9:53 pm

    What’s the time limit in virginia

    • Jacob Paulsen on April 18, 2018 at 10:55 am

      There is no time limit

    • Tammy on July 7, 2019 at 8:35 am

      Is there a time limit in Mississippi? Thank you.

  15. Wounded Warrior. on April 14, 2018 at 3:18 am

    Hello Jacob, I’m Kevin. Thanks fer the info an the time you take on yer research, vids, post an pages. I have been looking at conceiled carry magazine an videos, as well as many others for info fer a good spell now.. Let me explain I am a past Army Ranger, I was a well trained soldier. See here’s my problem Jacob..I was Wounded pretty bad in combat. I triggered a mine during opperations an blew myself up.. I came home in a wheelchair fer life, missing both legs, an a broken back as well as other injurys. Now I have searched everywhere on info about do’s and don’ts, how to an how not to on shooting from a wheelchair, conceiled carry in a wheelchair, shooting classes for someone in a wheelchair, ext,ext fer a few yrs now.. Like I told you Jacob, I am a past well tuned, well trained Army Ranger. I know how to in my Brian, I mean my mind is all there I remember all my training. But my body was broken an now life is completely different than it was, an those ways just don’t work anymore. Do you know or can you recommend someone, or somewhere to get some, most or all the information I seek?? I thank ya much fer time an troubles Jacob, an sorry bout the small book I wrote ya there..

  16. Douglas on April 16, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    My son has his CC class certificate dated Jan 2017 in state of Louisiana is it still good to complete application

    • Jacob Paulsen on April 17, 2018 at 10:28 am

      In Louisiana the class certificate is only good for 1 year. The fingerprints are good for 60 days. So it sounds like your son needs to retake the class.

      • Tamra on August 31, 2019 at 5:28 pm

        I took my class in June of this year. And I’m just now able to go turn it all in. Is it still valid? I’m in Louisiana.

  17. Carlos on April 24, 2018 at 9:51 am

    Is there a time frame in NC?

    • Jacob Paulsen on April 25, 2018 at 10:27 am

      The CCH class certificate technically doesn’t expire, but most NC Sheriffs will only honor it for up to one year. If it’s been over a year, most will require the person applying to retake the class.

      • Kristin Potter on October 6, 2021 at 5:43 pm

        What’s the time limit in ct

    • Derek Speed on August 8, 2020 at 4:06 pm

      Hi,i live in Roxboro NC
      I did a online application from our local sheriff office, how can i find out if everything was done correctly, been waiting for 1and a half months

  18. Chris on April 29, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    Is there a time limit after the class in ohio?

    • Jacob Paulsen on May 2, 2018 at 8:39 am

      3 years

  19. Betty on May 18, 2018 at 7:48 am

    So i took my class November of 2017. I still have my certificate but I have not turned in any paperwork am I still good on getting my license or has anything expired? I am from ohio.

    • Jacob Paulsen on May 29, 2018 at 1:17 pm

      The training certificate is good for 3 years in Ohio

      • Eric on April 9, 2020 at 3:13 pm

        Is there a time limit for turning in paperwork in SC?

  20. John on May 19, 2018 at 10:49 pm

    Hello Jacob, I received a ‘”Certificate of Completion” for a firearms safety training course in Florida on this month of May 2018 at the Miccosukee gun show, immediately after taking the class, and have yet to receive any mail as further proof of completion. Is this certificate enough to proceed to buy my gun for home use only, or am I missing something that has not yet arrived in the mail?

    Also, one more question, I have a misdemeanor marijuana charge from over 5 years ago, will this be enough to stop me from getting approved for the Concealed Carry License in Florida? Even though marijuana isn’t such a big deal anymore? Please clear my mind.

    Thanks for your time and help, it is really appreciated.

    • Jacob Paulsen on May 20, 2018 at 9:37 pm

      Nothing is required for you to buy a gun. Just go to a dealer and make the purchase. As to the misdemeanor I don’t think it’s an issue but I’m not as familiar with Florida law.

  21. Morris Harden on July 17, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    My name is Morris I took my concealed carry class but I hadn’t been to the sheriffs department it been 4 year Will I still get my-concealed permit

    • Jacob Paulsen on July 19, 2018 at 7:52 am

      Morris that depends on what state you are in. I’m sure you could call the sheriff’s office and ask.

  22. Anthony wilson on August 16, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    I live in Tennessee and I’m finished with the whole process i got my finger prints and they gave me a paper showing im finished Can I carry

    • Jacob Paulsen on August 17, 2018 at 4:45 pm

      Do you have a permit issued by the government?

  23. Walter Skellen on August 31, 2018 at 8:01 am

    I live in Arizona and I have my certificate but I had to go through multiple back surgeries and it has been quite awhile can I still file for my permit

  24. Meloguwop on September 2, 2018 at 2:43 am

    How long after I get my certification can I go purchase a handgun?

    • Jacob Paulsen on September 3, 2018 at 8:31 am

      In most states no certification is required to purchase a gun.

  25. Robert Cheek on March 16, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    Hi Jacob! I have the same question most here has but I can’t seem to find my state. I live in Texas and my question is how long do I have after completing the course and range qualification to send in my paperwork. It hasn’t quite been a year. Thanks!

    • jacob on April 4, 2019 at 9:01 am

      You have 2 years

  26. Rico on March 20, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    Just took the class in tn were do I go to get fingerprinted?

    • Jacob Paulsen on March 21, 2019 at 3:48 pm

      That would vary by state. I recommend asking your instructor who taught the class.

  27. Sharai Rogan on April 23, 2019 at 9:50 am

    I am from Oregon and have my certificates for completing my course, now what?

  28. Diane Davidson on May 25, 2019 at 1:52 am

    I live in the State of Iowa. I have done my class and received my certificate in the mail. Does my State have a expiration date on the certificate? How long should I wait before going to get my Permit to Carry?

    • Jacob Paulsen on May 27, 2019 at 11:19 am

      I’m not sure for Iowa how long you have to apply but I would recommend doing so as soon as possible.

  29. Greg Cardarelli on September 11, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    Is there a time limit in Nevada?

  30. Mathew Kegley on October 1, 2019 at 7:49 pm

    I live in mansfield ohio . I have my certificate, next steps would be to get my photo, where do i get that? And whats the cost i need ? And dies the sheriff office take my prints. Its been 10/20/2018 since i got my certificate.

  31. Paul on October 2, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    I took my class in kansas. Can i do the rest online to push it thru as im military and will be moving overseas soon.

  32. Darrin on March 16, 2020 at 1:43 pm

    Are you aware of Colorado having a time limit on the training certificates?

    • Jacob Paulsen on March 16, 2020 at 3:31 pm

      Yes, Colorado’s limit is 10 years

  33. Joe Alma on June 7, 2020 at 12:40 pm

    I took the class on 5/18/20 In Chicago, Illinois. As of Jun 2020 Is my certificate still valid to apply for my Concealed carry permit? Or would it be expired by now?

  34. Joe Alma on June 7, 2020 at 12:44 pm

    I am sorry my mistake on the comment Above. I took the class on 5/18/18 not 5/18/20.
    As of Jun 2020 Is my certificate still valid to apply for my Concealed carry permit? Or would it be expired by now?

  35. Alex Nolen on September 11, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    Hello, I got my certificate of completion from concealed carry. I’m just trying to get some clarification as to what I am supposed to do next
    Help? 🙂

    • Jacob Paulsen on September 14, 2020 at 8:09 am

      Alex, we don’t have any record of you taking any class from us so I’m not sure what certificate you received for what class and so it is hard to provide detailed instructions given that the application process for a permit varies by state and often by county in a given state. I recommend contacting your instructor directly or your county sheriff’s office. If you did take a class from us use the contact form link above to contact our customer service team. Provide as much detail as you can about what class you took where from whom and we’ll make sure to get you the info you need.

  36. Ricky on March 6, 2021 at 11:24 am

    Does sc gave a time limit?

  37. Drew on March 7, 2021 at 11:18 am

    What is the time limit for the state of Arkansas? I took my test back in December of 2020.

  38. Linda on March 28, 2021 at 6:24 am

    Can you carry on a plane or are their rules

  39. Zach on April 12, 2021 at 1:39 pm

    It’s been more than 60 days since completing my class and turning in my application and I haven’t received my license. What should I do?

  40. ramon molinet on April 19, 2021 at 6:13 pm

    I’m in Nevada and my certificate expired but I have not yet gotten my ccw. Do I have to retake the whole class or just the renewal

  41. Jeff Carbine on February 28, 2022 at 8:41 pm

    I appreciate that you explained following the receipt of your graduate degree, the first step is self-evident. You must obtain your concealed carry license. My best friend is looking for some info, this should help him. I appreciate that you helped me learn more about permit-to-carry classes.

  42. Mike G on April 15, 2022 at 1:15 pm

    My permit expired and the sheriff’s department says I have 60 days past expiration to reapply. But I need my certificate number. Is it the same as my concealed carry permit number? This is in North Carolina!

  43. Kate on August 7, 2022 at 8:32 am

    Sorry to ask the same question as most but I can’t seem to find the answer on here or anywhere else. My husband and I took our class Jan 2020 in WI but have yet to apply for the application. We have to apply for it in person in MN since that is the requirement of the state to have it be good there too. How long is the certificate of class completion good for?

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