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Program News

March 2016

Capitol Access Pass Administrative Rules

Proposed Amendments

Rule 2.1 Definitions
In this chapter, and unless otherwise defined in this section, all terms are defined by Government Code, §411.171 and §6.1 of this title (relating to Definitions).

  (1) Capitol access pass (pass)--The authorization granted by the Texas Department of Public Safety allowing a person to enter the Texas State Capitol building and the Capitol Extension, including any public space in the Capitol or Capitol Extension, in the same manner as the department allows entry to a person who presents a concealed handgun license to carry a handgun issued under Government Code, Chapter 411, Subchapter H.

  (2) Concealed handgun license (CHL) License to carry a handgun — The license issued under Government Code, Chapter 411, Subchapter H.

  (3) Department--The Texas Department of Public Safety.

  (4) Pass holder--A person to whom a Capitol access pass has been issued.

Rule 2.2 Eligibility
To be eligible for a Capitol access pass, a person must be a resident of this state and must otherwise meet all eligibility requirements applicable to a concealed handgun license to carry a handgun under Government Code, §411.172.

Rule 2.7 Application Review and Background Investigation
(a) The review of an application for a Capitol access pass, and the background check of the applicant, will be based on a comparison of the eligibility criteria for a concealed handgun license to carry a handgun and the criminal history information available to the department. The statutory deadlines provided in Government Code, Chapter 411, Subchapter H, relating to the processing such applications, are not applicable.

(b) If an application is found to be deficient, the department will notify the applicant of the deficiency. The applicant will have 30 days from the date of the notice of deficiency to amend the application. After this period has expired, the application will be terminated.

Rule 2.8 Expiration
A Capitol access pass expires on December 31st of each odd-numbered year the fifth year following the date of issuance, regardless of when issued. An expired pass may not be renewed. A new application is required if the pass is not renewed prior to expiration.

Rule 2.13 No Relationship to Concealed Handgun License to Carry a Handgun
(a) The pass confers no rights or privileges beyond the access to the Capitol and the Capitol Extension otherwise provided to a person who presents a concealed handgun license to carry a handgun issued under Government Code, Chapter 411, Subchapter H. The possession of a Capitol access pass does not authorize a person to carry a concealed handgun.

(b) The approval of an application for a Capitol access pass has no bearing on a person's eligibility for a concealed handgun license to carry a handgun. All applications, fees, reviews, or adverse actions relating to a pass are independent of such matters as they may relate to a concealed handgun license to carry a handgun or application for such license.

January 2016

Training material related to the safe storage of handguns may be found on Safe Storage (PDF).

December 2015

As a result of House Bill 910, which becomes effective on January 1, 2016, the Department has begun issuing a modified design of the Concealed Handgun License (CHL) now referred to as a License To Carry Handgun (LTC). The new design contains all of the same security features as those utilized on existing CHLs.  For examples of licenses currently in circulation, see:  LTC sample.  Should you wish to receive the new-designed license, you may request a replacement license by submitting the CHL-70, located in downloadable forms. 

Information regarding training requirements is available in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) found on the department’s website at: FAQs

Training material related to the use of restraint holsters and methods to ensure the secure carrying of openly carried handguns may be found on Use of Restraint Holsters (pdf).

May 2014

DPS will begin issuing newly-designed Concealed Handgun Licenses (CHLs). The CHL will no longer display the weapon category, such as Semi-Automatic (SA) and Non-Semi-Automatic (NSA). This change was mandated by the 83rd Texas Legislature in House Bill 3142.   

Previous News & Updates

June 18, 2013

Passport-style Photos
For security purposes and processing efficiency, DPS is now utilizing the Texas Driver License or ID Card photo on file for Concealed Handgun Licenses.  The CHL-6 (Photo Holder) is only required to be submitted by applicants who hold an out of state Driver License or Identification Card.  A revised CHL-6 is now available in downloadable forms

February 2011

Program Update
Texas Administrative Rules relating to Concealed Handgun Licensing (CHL) was amended and became effective on Jan. 9, 2011.  Following is a brief summary of the rule changes:

  • Effective March 1, 2011, DPS will require applicants to submit electronic fingerprints with original applications.
  • DPS will attempt to utilize existing prints on file for renewal applications. However, if the prints on file do not meet current quality standards, new fingerprints must be submitted electronically.
  • Applicant photos will not be accepted if the applicant is wearing eye glasses.

See Administrative Code to view the affected rules.
CHL-16 (law books) are available for download and/or purchase. (See Downloadable Forms) OR (See General Services GS-5A Order Form to purchase)

October, 2010

Instructor Newsletter (PDF)
This newsletter covers: Applicants options, CHL lawbook, Fingerprinting, Instructor Opt-in information

October, 2010

Photo requirements/Signatures

TXDPS no longer requires signatures on the back of photos by either the applicant or the fingerprint technician. Photos will not be rejected for lack of signature.

July, 2010

Photo Requirements for Military Personnel; ages 18-20

Profile photos are no longer required. Military Personnel who are 18-20 years of age can now submit 2 photos of a clear frontal image.

April, 2010

Fingerprints & Photos Requirement Change for Renewal Applicants

As of May 1, 2010, CHL renewal applicants will no longer be required to submit fingerprints or photos as part of their renewal application. CHL can now resubmit good quality fingerprints and reuse previously submitted photos.

*note: TXDPS reserves the right to request replacement passport photos or quality fingerprints for renewing applicants, in the event that the previously submitted photos or fingerprints on file do not meet current quality requirements and/or guidelines.