Iowa Permit to Carry Weapons Frequently
Asked Questions (FAQ)
Iowa Permit to Carry Weapons and Permit to
Acquire a Pistol or Revolver
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Regarding
Weapons Permit Law Changes in 2017
‐ QUESTION: I have heard that
there are changes to Iowa weapons permit laws occurring in 2017.
the topics of the law changes?
ANSWER: House File 517 was passed by the Iowa
General Assembly during the 2017 legislative session and was
law on April 13, 2017. The law changes relate to
weapons permits and other topics, including but not limited to
of certain firearms, supervised possession of
handguns by minors, government authority relating to firearms,
and self defense.
‐ QUESTION: When do the changes in
Iowa law take effect?
ANSWER: Most of the law changes in HF 517 have
an effective date of July 1, 2017, however, two provisions have
effective date of April 13, 2017. It is
important to note that one provision of HF 517 related to
uniform permit cards cannot
be fully implemented on July 1, 2017. Often when
a new law takes effect, it is necessary for affected units of
to adopt new rules, develop new procedures,
reprogram computer systems, and sometimes purchase new equipment
materials, and then implementation of the law
change follows after the effective date of the law change. This
is the case
for the uniform permit card provisions of HF
IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATES
‐ QUESTION: Which are the two law
changes that have an effective date of April 13, 2017?
ANSWER: One provision relates to supervised
possession of a handgun by a minor. For many years, Iowa law has
that a person under the age of 21 must, in most
circumstances, have parent or guardian approval and supervision
possess a handgun. The minimum age for
supervised possession of a handgun by a minor had been 14. The
eliminates the minimum age provision, and more
explicitly states that the required supervision must be direct
and the person who is supervising possession of
a handgun by a minor must not be intoxicated or impaired by
drugs. The second provision relates to permit
confidentiality. Under prior law, most permit related
the application form, was a public record. The
new law makes permit information confidential and therefore not
for general release to the public.
UNIFORM PERMIT CARDS
‐ QUESTION: What is the “uniform
permit card” provision of HF 517?
ANSWER: The new law requires that weapons
permits be of uniform appearance, size, and content. For
standard permits have been large paper tear‐off
forms that are not durable or convenient to carry. A number of
rules adopted by the Iowa Department of Public
Safety allowed Sheriffs Offices to develop and print wallet size
cards of their own design and content. While
this allowed many counties to develop better quality permits, it
in wide variation in permit appearance and type.
In passing HF 517, Iowa’s elected officials established a
permit cards be standardized.
PERMIT CARD AVAILABILITY
‐ QUESTION: When will the new
cards be available?
ANSWER: As soon as HF 517 was signed into law,
work began to identify the options to have truly uniform,
secure permit cards. The Iowa Department of
Public Safety has been working closely with Iowa’s 99 Sheriffs
identify a method to generate uniform permit
cards, while still allowing Sheriffs Offices to use their
existing systems and
procedures for processing applications, issuing
permits, and storing permit records. To become operational with
to print uniform permit cards, it is necessary
to design the various permit card types (permit to acquire,
permit to carry, professional permit to carry,
etc…), acquire printing services and materials, provide measures
confidential permit related data, and develop
rules and procedures for issuance of the permits. Despite the
the initiative, DPS and Sheriffs Offices have
been working diligently to become operational with a new permit
system in just a few months following the law
change. Though Sheriffs Offices and DPS are working
cooperatively on the
uniform permit card project, ultimately, each
individual Sheriffs Office will have to proceed according to the
schedule specified by DPS. When the new permit
cards are available, a public announcement will be made.
VALIDITY OF CURRENT PERMITS
‐ QUESTION: I have a weapons
permit (carry or acquire) issued before the law changes
take effect, or before the law changes are fully
implemented – do I have to get a new permit card when they are
ANSWER: No, a permit issued prior to the change
in law or during the transition period to the new cards will
remain a valid
permit, unless suspended, revoked, or cancelled
as provided by law.
Prepared by the Iowa Department of Public Safety
2 Version 1: June 28, 2017
‐ QUESTION: I lost my permit, my
permit was damaged beyond recognition, or I have an older style
Can I obtain a duplicate of a current permit,
but printed on the new uniform wallet size card?
ANSWER: Yes, once the printing of NEW and
RENEWAL uniform permit cards becomes operational, a person who
obtain a duplicate can do so for a fee set by
law at $25.
for a person who is issued a permit ON OR AFTER JULY
1, 2017, but before the new uniform permit cards
are available for printing, a person will be given the
exchange their permit for a new card at no fee.
are being taken to ensure that the new card printing system will
able correctly process a “no fee” card exchange
for those people issued permits on or after July 1 but before
permit cards are available.
WEAPONS PERMITS & DL/ID RECORDS
‐ QUESTION: Instead of developing
new uniform permit cards, and all the systems
necessary to print the cards, could the
information simply be added to my driver’s license or
non‐operator ID file?
ANSWER: The new law does not provide for
integrating weapons permit issuance with driver’s license or
and doing so would have presented a number of
issues, including the fact that there are people who are
eligible for certain
types of weapons permits, but who are not
required to have an Iowa driver’s license or non‐operator ID
weapons permit information will remain separate
from driver’s license and non‐operator ID information.
‐ QUESTION: How do I apply for a
new, renewal, or duplicate Nonprofessional Permit to Carry
ANSWER: Under Iowa law, the Nonprofessional
Permit to Carry Weapons is issued to residents of Iowa by the
Sheriff of the
applicant’s county of residence. Several Iowa
Sheriff’s Office (including Black Hawk, Dallas, Dubuque, Polk,
Counties) are using an online version of the
application form. An applicant should check with the Sheriff’s
Office of the
applicant’s county of residence to obtain
details about the application procedure, including hours of
location, and forms of payment accepted.
‐ QUESTION: I have a Permit to
Carry Weapons that will be expiring soon. What do I need to do
to renew the
ANSWER: Effective July 1, 2017, there is a 60
day renewal window. A person wishing to renew a Permit to Carry
must apply within 30 days before the permit
expires, or within 30 days after the permit expires, otherwise
the higher NEW
permit fee must be charged. Please note that
while a permit can be renewed within 30 days after it expires, a
whose permit has expired should not go armed in
a fashion that requires a permit until a person has renewed
TRAINING FOR RENEWALS
‐ QUESTION: Do I need to complete
another training course to renew my Permit to Carry
ANSWER: No. A person who holds (or held) a
permit issued on or after 1/1/2011 is not required to complete
training course to renew or obtain a new permit
to carry weapons, however, please note that even though
not required, completing another training course
or taking other steps to learn about law changes could be highly
beneficial to a person who intends to go armed.
MOVE WITHIN IOWA
‐ QUESTION: I have moved since my
permit was issued or will be moving soon. Am I required to
notify anyone of the change of address and am I
required to obtain an permit showing my new address?
ANSWER: Iowa DPS has long been recommending that
a person notify the Sheriff’s Office that issued a permit when a
person has a change of address. However, if a
person moved from one county to another, a person has needed to
over to get a permit showing their new address,
as the Sheriff of the new county of residence cannot issue a
renew a permit that the Sheriff did not issue.
Under the new law, there will be a procedure to allow a person
their permit from one county to another after a
move. This transfer process is currently being developed and
available once the new permit cards are
TEXT OF NEW LAWS
‐ QUESTION: I want to read the new
law and understand the many different provisions of this law.
How can I get a copy of the law and where can I
learn more about the law?
ANSWER: Most of the changes were made in House
File 517. However, there were also some highly technical changes
made in another bill, Senate File 516. To see
the actual wording of the new laws, it would be necessary to
read both House
File 517 and Division V of Senate File 516. Both
bills are available online at the following web addresses:
HF 517: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=87&ba=hf517