Concealed Handgun Permits

The Application

Any person 21 years of age or older may apply in writing to the Clerk of the Circuit Court in which he or she resides, or if he or she is a member of the United States Armed Forces, the county, or city in which he or she is domiciled, for a five-year permit to carry a concealed handgun. §18.2-308.02.

Concealed Handgun Permit Application (PDF).

First Time Applicants

You must (in person) provide the clerk with

  • The entire original completed application 
  • One valid form of photo identification issued by a governmental agency of the Commonwealth or by the U.S. Department of Defense or U.S. State Department (passport).
  • A copy of your certificate of competence with a handgun.
  • A copy of all addresses for the last five years

Renewal Applicants

Application for permit renewal should be submitted at least 90 days but no more than 180 days prior to the expiration of your existing permit.

You must provide the clerk with

  • The entire completed application.
  • A copy of your certificate of competence with a handgun OR a copy of a previously issued concealed handgun permit from any Virginia Circuit Court
  • A copy of your valid photo identification (i.e. driver's license)

Filing Fee

The application filing fee is $15 Payable by cash, check, money order, or credit card (Mastercard, Visa, and Discover are accepted - there will be a 4% convenience fee assessed on each transaction). Checks can be made payable to the Clerk of Court.

Competency With Handgun

As part of the police background check it will be required that the applicant demonstrate competence with a handgun pursuant to §18.2-308.02 of the 1950 Code of Virginia, as amended.

A photocopy of a certificate of completion of any of the courses or classes an affidavit from the instructor, school, club, organization, or group that conducted or taught such course or class attesting to the completion of the course or class by the applicant or a copy of any document which shows completion of the course or class or evidence of participation in firearms competition shall constitute evidence of qualification under this subsection.

How To Provide Competency Information

The applicant must provide such competence in the following ways

  • Completing any hunter education or hunter safety course approved by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries or a similar agency of another state.
  • Completing any National Rifle Association firearms safety or training course.
  • Completing any firearms safety or training course or class available to the general public offered by a law-enforcement agency, junior college, college, or private or public institution or organization, or firearms training school utilizing instructors certified by the National Rifle Association or the Department of Criminal Justice Services.
  • Completing any law-enforcement firearms safety or training course or class offered for security guards, investigators, special deputies, or any division or subdivision of law enforcement or security enforcement.
  • Present evidence of equivalent experience with a firearm through participation in an organized shooting competition or current military service or proof of an honorable discharge from any branch of the armed services.
  • Obtaining or previously having held a license to carry a firearm in this commonwealth or a locality thereof, unless such license has been revoked for cause.
  • Completing any firearms training or safety course or class conducted by a state-certified or National Rifle Association-certified firearms instructor.
  • Completing any governmental police agency firearms training course and qualifying to carry a firearm in the course of normal police duties.
  • Completing any other firearms training which the court deems adequate.

After Completion Of the Application

Background Check

After an application is filed at the Madison County Circuit Court, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office will conduct a background check on each applicant.  The Commonwealth’s Attorney will also review each application and background check prior to making a recommendation to the Circuit Court judge. After the Sheriff's Office has completed its investigation and the Commonwealth's Attorney has reviewed the application, the application and background information is sent to a Circuit Court judge. The judge will enter an order either granting or denying the Concealed Handgun Permit application.

Processing the Concealed Handgun Permit

The Clerk will make two photocopies of the concealed handgun permit: one copy for the case file, and the other copy for the Virginia State Police for further processing.  The State Police will enter the permit holder’s name and description in the Virginia Criminal Information Network so that the permit’s existence and current status will be made known to law-enforcement personnel accessing the network for investigative purposes.

Receiving The Concealed Handgun

The applicant will be called on the telephone number provided on the application once the order has been entered granting the concealed handgun permit and you will need to come into the Circuit Court Clerk's Office.  The applicant must sign the permit and a copy of the applicant’s signature is kept in the case file.

Denial Of Application

The most common reasons for denial of a concealed handgun permit, other than a criminal offense, is the failure of applicants to completely fill out question number two regarding the length of residence on the application and/or the failure to answer all questions. Failure to provide necessary information and failure to answer all questions results in an incomplete application.


If you have lived in your current home for less than five years, you must provide a separate listing of all addresses where you have lived within the last five years.

The Sheriff's Office or Police Department must be able to verify your residence.

Incomplete Application

Failure to answer any questions on the application may result in a denial of your permit.

Any questions that do not apply to your situation need to have an answer either of “N/A” or “not applicable”, if appropriate.

Request For Duplicate Permit


In some instances, a duplicate concealed handgun permit can be issued. The original concealed handgun permit must be current and issued by Madison County Circuit Court.


Change of Address: old permit will need to be surrendered prior to or upon issuance of a new permit.

Lost, Stolen, or Destroyed: If your permit is lost, stolen, or destroyed, you may request a replacement.

Change of Name:  old permit will need to be surrendered prior to or upon issuance of a new permit.

Documents Required

For a change of address, complete the SP-248A (PDF) Change of Address form to submit to our office.

If lost, stolen, or destroyed, a signed statement is required. Must be notarized or signed before a deputy clerk. 

If a change of name, complete the CHP Change of Name Form (PDF) to submit to our office.

Fees And Where To File

The fee to receive a lost permit is $5.00.  The fee to re-issue a permit because of a name change is $5.00. The fee to re-issue a permit because of an address change is $10. 

We accept cash, checks, money orders, or credit card (Mastercard, Visa, and Discover are accepted - there will be a 4% convenience fee assessed on each transaction). Checks can be made payable to the Clerk of Court.

Where To File

Madison County Circuit Court
1 Main Street, PO Box 220
Madison, VA  22727

You may also consult the portion of the Virginia State Police Website that describes the application process for a concealed handgun permit and provides a link to the application form itself.