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Waiting for Your New Concealed Handgun Permit? What to Know in Virginia

What do you do if something has happened to your Concealed Handgun Permit (“CHP”)? Maybe you let it expire, or perhaps you lost your wallet with your CHP inside it. You have now submitted an application for a new CHP, but you are stuck waiting for it to come in the mail.

What options do you have? Can you continue carrying while waiting? Generally speaking, you may not concealed carry a firearm in Virginia without actually having your CHP with you.


If your CHP is lost or was destroyed before it expired you may apply to the circuit court in your county for a replacement. The circuit court will charge you a small fee and require a copy of your driver’s license, as well as a notarized form stating that your prior permit was lost or destroyed.

If your CHP expired, you need to reapply for a new permit. You may do this through the mail in Virginia.


While you wait for a new or replacement permit in Virginia, you may not continue to carry a concealed weapon unless you fall within a narrow exception for someone who was deployed outside their county of residence when their CHP expired. Even this exception covers you for only 90 days after you return from your deployment, and you would have to carry papers proving your deployment, such as deployment orders.


While you wait for a replacement or new CHP, you may continue to open carry. A firearm is considered openly carried in Virginia when it is not hidden from common observation. This means it has to be readily visible to others.

When open carrying, make sure you do not carry a centerfire rifle or pistol designed to accept a silencer, equipped with a folding stock, or equipped with a magazine capable of holding over 20 rounds of ammunition, in public areas and streets of the Cities of Alexandria, Chesapeake, Fairfax, Falls Church, Newport News, Norfolk, Richmond, or Virginia Beach; or in the Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Henrico, Loudoun, or Prince William.

Individuals without a CHP are also prohibited in the aforementioned areas from openly carrying a shotgun with a magazine that will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered.

While waiting for your replacement CHP, you may open carry in a vehicle by having the weapon set out conspicuously, or you may store the weapon in a vehicle by placing it inside a secured container, including a latched center console or glovebox.

If you have any other questions about replacing a CHP, please call U.S LawShield and ask to speak with your Independent Program Attorney.


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