How to Get Your Active Duty Concealed Carry License

Some of you may have heard or read our recent posts concerning a couple changes made to the legislation around New Mexico Concealed Carry. Specifically, the changes that exempt members of the military from having to take a New Mexico Concealed Carry Course and exempt from paying the NM Application fee for a NM CCL ($56). In a way, these changes have created an “Active Duty Concealed Carry License for New Mexico, or a Member of the Military New Mexico Concealed Carry License. While we may not have been the first folks to get the news out there, I believe we were the only instructors promoting and spreading the word as heavily as we have been. In fact, we have had several people remark how this change is a step in the right direction, but would hurt concealed carry instructors’ business(es). While, we may not see some members of the military in our concealed carry course, we wholeheartedly believe that these changes are an absolute correct step in the right direction for concealed carry and gun owners’ rights. Below are the steps that members of the military will need to complete in order to obtain their New Mexico Concealed Carry License without having to complete a NM CCL Course. And at the very bottom of this post we will address the main concern that people have (including ourselves) and what we are doing to provide a reasonable solution for it.

It has come to our attention that the NM DPS will require members of the military to show proof of handgun caliber and type (semi-auto or revolver) qualification – we will be hosting a course, specifically for this purpose, with details to be provided in the near future.

Step One: Print and Complete the Necessary Forms

Go to the New Mexico Department of Public Safety web site and print the necessary forms. You will need to print out and complete the following forms:

  1. New Applicant Application for a NM Concealed Carry License: Print this form out and complete it.
  3. Authorization To Obtain Health Information: Complete this form in front of someone who can sign it as a witness to you signing it.

Step Two: Gather the Other Necessary Documents

Once you have printed out and completed the above forms you will need to gather a few other documents that the New Mexico Department of Public Safety requires when accepting an application for a NM CCL. Those documents are:

  • New Mexico Driver’s License or Photo ID. If you are a member of the armed forces whose permanent duty station is in NM they will need some form of paperwork with your permanent duty station address listed on it. A military ID may suffice for this.
  • Your original birth certificate. If you will be mailing your application into DPS you will need to include a certified copy of your birth certificate. If you will be dropping your completed application off at the Darth Vader Building they will make a copy of your original birth certificate. The NM DPS will not accept photocopies of your birth certificate, it must be the original or a certified copy of your original birth certificate.
  • Your DD214 or proof of Active Duty Statues, this is the key difference for an Active Duty Concealed Carry License. Your DD214/Proof of Active Duty Status will act as your certificate of completion of NM CCL Course.
  • Proof of Handgun Qualification. You may have this from your military training, you may not. If you do have a handgun qualification from the military it is probably for a 9mm. If you would like to carry a larger caliber, or do not have this handgun qualification proof, you are more than welcome to come shoot with us on any of our range days to complete the NM CCL qualification drill. If you would to do, shoot me a text at (505) 944-5247 for more information on how to register.

Step Three: Register for Fingerprints and Get Fingerprinted

New Mexico now requires that fingerprints be submitted electronically for you CCL background check and they have partnered with Cogent ID to fulfill this requirement. Getting your fingerprints done is a pretty straightforward process:

  1. Go to the CogentID web site and click the link near the top, just below “Applicant Use” that reads “Register Online for a Background Check”. You will need to lookup the ORI number, click the “ORI lookup” then enter “concealed carry” in the agency name form at the top of that pop-up window. You should only see one result after hitting the search button, click “select” at the bottom of the form. This will automatically enter the correcy ORI number and reason on the form. Complete the rest of the form and registration process. If at any point you get lost or need some additional explanation, Cogent ID has a process overview page and a CCW Licensing FAQ page that both have some valuable information.
  2. Once you have registered you will need to go to a Cogent ID facility and get fingerprinted. You can search for Cogent ID facilities here.

Step Four: Submit Your Application (and All of Those Forms)

That’s it, you’ve done the majority of the work and now all that you have left to do is submit your application. I recommend that you drop your application, documents, and forms off in-person. If you forgot anything or filled something out incorrectly it can get taken care of the same day, without the back and forth. Take you application and paperwork with you to the Third Floor of the Darth Vader Building  (that’s the unofficial name, I am told) into the NM DPS office and hand it to one of the nice ladies working that day.

Step Five: Wait

Once you have submitted your application to the DPS you should either receive your NM CCL license (if you meet all of the requirements and none of the dis qualifiers apply to you) within a month or so. The official time frame is 60 or 90 days, however, most of our students have been receiving their CCL in a few weeks.


If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to give me a call or shoot me a text (505) 944-5247. Thank you for your service to Our Country.


Some Concerns That Have Been Raised.

The main concern that has been raised is that members of the military have not been trained in those topics and lessons directly related to New Mexico Concealed Carry. This is a reasonable concern, and a concern that many members of the military themselves would have when obtaining their New Mexico Concealed Carry License. Some will choose to seek out a New Mexico Concealed Carry Course to gain that knowledge and skill set that is directly related to carry a concealed handgun on a daily basis. Some won’t have the time or resources to complete a New Mexico Concealed Carry Course.


So What’s The Solution?

The solution is simple – well, my solution is simple. I will be posting a series of short, informational videos and articles on those topics and lessons most important for the responsible carrying of a concealed handgun. These videos and articles will provide the information that those men and women who served our country need to legally and responsibly carry a concealed handgun without having to devote a weekend or 15 hours right away. In addition to these short informational sessions, I will be hosting a concealed carry course for those members of the military who are active duty or were honorably discharged from the military. I am trying to work out the details on what the course will cost, however, at the very least, it will be significantly less than our normal concealed carry course, and a larger portion of the enrollment cost will be donated to a Veterans’ Support nonprofit. I like the idea of offering a course where the student will decide what the course was worth to them at the end of it and make a contribution in the amount of their choosing. Be sure to join our newsletter to stay posted on those details and offerings as they develop, as well as our short informational series on New Mexico Concealed Carry.