(PIKESVILLE, MD) – As applications for Maryland Wear and Carry Permits continue to be received in unprecedented numbers, the Maryland Department of State Police (MDSP) Licensing Division is issuing the following information to help applicants navigate through the online application process on the Licensing Portal.

According to the recent Supreme Court ruling, on July 5, 2022, Governor Larry Hogan directed the Maryland State Police to suspend the ‘good and substantial reason’ standard to wear, carry or transport a regulated firearm on your person. Before you may legally wear and carry a regulated firearm, you must possess and maintain on your person at all times; the Maryland State Police issued Handgun Wear and Carry Permit. Submission of the application does not authorize you to wear, carry, or transport a handgun.  Maryland law does not recognize handgun carry permits issued by any other state.  Further, Maryland law does not authorize the State to enter into reciprocity agreements with any other states concerning the recognition of out-of-state handgun carry permits.

Many things have changed regarding documentation requirements to complete the application process. In Maryland, wear and carry permit applicants are still required to meet the training and fingerprinting requirements for approval of their application.  The suspension of the “Good and Substantial Reason” requirement does not change any other aspect in reviewing applications for issuing a Maryland Wear and Carry Permit.

Personnel in the Maryland State Police Licensing Division continue to work extended hours to promptly investigate and approve those eligible for wear and carry permits while ensuring those prohibited by law are not approved.  All required documentation, including the digital passport-sized photograph, certificate of training or documentation of exemption, and a “Live Scan” fingerprint receipt, must be uploaded by the applicant before submitting the application.  

A common error applicants make while working through the Licensing Portal process includes uploading expired fingerprints. Fingerprints must be taken within one year of the date of application submission, and the fingerprinting provider must be approved by the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. A list of approved fingerprint offices can be found here.

Another common error that applicants make includes meeting the approved training requirements. Training must be completed within two years of applying. Wear and Carry Permit training requires 16 hours of instruction for an original application and 8 hours of instruction for a renewal application. More information on exemptions and were to receive training by an approved certified handgun instructor can be found here.

Failure to upload documents required to complete the permit background investigation at the time of submission prolongs the application process. Acceptable document formats include:

  • PDF • JPG • JPEG • PNG • DOC • DOCX

Applicants must have a valid email account and create an account in the MDSP Licensing Division online portal before applying.  Applicants with a Licensing Division online portal account will not be required to create a new one. Those applicants with an existing online portal account will continue to use their current 77R portal account login credentials to access the Licensing Division portal.

Please note that Licensing Division cannot begin processing your application until the application fee has been paid electronically at the time of application submission on the Licensing Portal. Once payment has been credited to your application, your application will be reviewed by the Handgun Permit Section for completeness of all required information. If your application is missing any of the required information or documentation, your application will be returned to you, via the Licensing Portal, for correction/addition of the items noted. When the application is complete, you will receive an email notification stating that your application status has changed to “Application Accepted” and that processing of it has begun. 

Paper Wear and Carry Permit applications will not be accepted. They will be returned to the applicant with instructions to submit the Wear and Carry Permit application via the Licensing Portal.

The online system is designed to inform the applicant at every process step.  The applicant will receive the following email notifications: Application submitted, Application accepted, Application requires corrections (referred to as “shortages”), Application is assigned to a background investigator, and Final disposition has been made on the application. 

   For those applying for a Maryland Wear and Carry Permit (original or renewals), the MDSP Licensing Division has a mandated window of 90 days to act on wear and carry permit.  Typically, before the recent surge in applications, the processing time was approximately 30-60 days, depending on the type of permit; however, with the influx of applications, the processing time could take longer than the 60-day average.

The MDSP Licensing Portal is designed to allow the applicant to see the most current application status and allow the Maryland State Police Licensing Division to send automated email notifications, follow-ups, and reminder correspondence.

Please visit our website by clicking on MDSP Licensing Division for additional information.


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