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How To Obtain a Concealed Carry Permit in Delaware in 6 Steps

Updated: Jan 20

If you are thinking of getting a Delaware concealed carry permit, it helps to know the process and what to expect after you get it. We will give you the key information you need to know about how to get concealed carry in Delaware and how to approach the process with confidence.

Understanding Delaware Concealed Carry Permit Laws

Delaware is a "may-issue" state. If you are unfamiliar with this term, it means that the state might issue a CCDW permit to you if you meet all the requirements and follow the process correctly. It is different from a "shall-issue" law, which is when a state will issue a CCDW to you if you fall within certain parameters that are clearly defined. So, the bottom line is that you may get a permit if you meet the requirements, but meeting them is not a guarantee.

These are the basic qualification criteria for how to get a Delaware concealed carry permit:

  • Be at least 18 years old.

  • No felony convictions or violent criminal history in Delaware or any other state.

  • No juvenile delinquency record if you are under the age of 25.

  • Cannot have a history of using or dealing narcotics.

  • Cannot have an existing restraining order against you for physical abuse or firearm misuse.

  • Must not have a history of institutionalization for mental illness and must not have current mental health issues.

  • Must meet all other federal requirements to qualify for a concealed carry permit.

Delaware may also issue temporary CCDW permits to non-residents if they need them while temporarily working in the state. The Delaware Attorney General issues all CCDW permits. Delaware's laws require a public declaration, a permit application, references, a background check and proper training. After you satisfy these requirements, you may be granted approval.

The Process for Getting Concealed Carry in Delaware

Section 1441 of the Delaware Code outlines the requirements needed for a Delaware CCDW permit. In order to be approved, you must follow the rules precisely since the state is strict. The preparation and application process involves six key steps.

Step 1: Complete Your Training

You must complete an approved firearm training course, luckily there are many concealed carry classes in Delaware. Although you can register for it before you apply and complete it afterward, it helps to get it out of the way first. You will learn how to operate a firearm, how to safely store a firearm and more. You may attend any approved concealed carry classes in Delaware. Once the class portion is complete, you will have to go with your instructor to a gun range and complete the shooting portion of the training requirement, which is 100 rounds of live fire. You can check with a Delaware gun store or the court to find information about training. There are several types of Delaware concealed carry classes for all people and special classes for women as well. You can find a list of all approved trainers here. Send your proof of enrollment in a Delaware concealed carry class with your application.

Step 2: Collect References

Delaware's laws require you to produce five references. They must answer the questions on the Delaware concealed carry reference form. These are the main requirements for a reference to be valid:

  • Cannot be related to you.

  • Cannot live at the same address as you.

  • Must have known the person for at least a year.

  • Reference must reside in the same county.

  • Reference must be at least 18 years old.

It may strengthen your odds of approval if one or more of your references hold a distinguished title. For example, your application may be viewed more favorably if references from an attorney and a senator accompany it. Your references must declare why you want a permit, and they can simply state that you want it to protect yourself or your family. The reference form should state that you are seeking a Delaware concealed carry permit, are of legal age and are of good moral character.

Step 3: Publish Your Intention

Once you have your five references, you need to publish your intent. One reason to complete this step after getting your references is because it may take some people more time to fill out and return the Delaware concealed carry reference form. Since you are supposed to make a timely public declaration, plan on publishing it 10 business days before you submit your completed Delaware concealed carry application. The published notice of your intent to seek a permit should include your full name.

The notice should appear in a newspaper or publication that has a sizable reach in your zip code. For example, it is better to publish it in the main newspaper in your area than it is to publish it in a free circular that targets a niche audience. We recommend publishing in the News Journal because it is the main newspaper for all three counties, however some people would like to publish in a less popular newspaper for privacy reasons. Delaware provides you with a full list of acceptable publications per zip code. The newspaper should provide you with proof or an affidavit, which you will include with your application.

Step 4: Obtain a Background Check and Fingerprinting

To be a candidate for approval, you must complete and pass a background check. You must contact the State Bureau of Identification for information on nearby fingerprinting locations. You will pay a small fee for the background check and fingerprinting. The state requires you to provide proof of payment for your fingerprinting with your application. Since it must be completed within 45 days of your application, it is better to do it right before you are ready to submit the application and after you have all your reference forms ready to send.

Step 5: Complete Your Application

You must submit your Delaware CCDW application to the prothonotary office of your county of residence. One of the application requirements is to provide your reason for a permit. For your Delaware CCW reason for application section, keep it short. For example, instead of recounting an entire incident that may have inspired you to seek a permit, simply state that you want the permit to carry a weapon to protect yourself, your home or your family.

Once you complete the Delaware concealed carry application, make sure that you have all your documents and that they are complete. If even one answer is missing, it may be enough to persuade the person reviewing it to deny it. Your form must be notarized, so plan to sign it in the presence of a notary. You can search online or contact your local courthouse to locate a notary. Be aware that there is an application fee, which is currently $65. Notaries also charge a fee, and it is typically much less than the application fee.

You are also required to submit two recent, passport-style color photos. A large retail pharmacy may be able to take these for you. However, you can take them yourself if they are clear. Do not smile, remove any glasses and be sure that there is ample lighting. The photos should be printed and should not be larger than 2" by 2" in size.

Step 6: Submit Forms and Wait for Approval

Submit your Delaware Concealed Carry forms to your county’s Prothonotoary’s Office. The last step for Delaware’s concealed carry application is unfortunately often the longest - wait for your county of residence to approve your Delaware concealed carry permit. New Castle County has been known to take longer than Kent and Sussex Counties for approval, often more than 6 months.

Delaware Concealed Carry Renewal Process

Although your Delaware concealed carry permit is valid for three years after it is issued, you have up to five years to renew it. Try to submit your Delaware CCDW renewal application before your permit becomes invalid to avoid any issues and to ensure that you can carry with more confidence and peace of mind. According to the state's website, you can submit your Delaware CCDW renewal form as early as January 2 the same year your permit expires. For example, if your permit expires in July of 2022, you may submit your renewal form in January of 2022 to stay ahead.

You must comply with these Delaware concealed carry renewal rules:

  • Include two color passport-style photos that were taken within the last six months.

  • File a duplicate copy of your renewal application with your original renewal application.

  • Mail or hand-deliver your application with the $65 fee to the Prothonotary in your county.

If you pay by check, you can write it out to "Prothonotary." Some people want a receipt when they mail a check. If this applies to you, send along a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your application and fee payment.

Understanding Delaware's Reciprocity Rules

In Delaware, there is fair reciprocity. This means that if another state honors Delaware's CCDW permit, Delaware will have reciprocity with that state. If you move from such a state and want to carry a concealed weapon when you visit Delaware, you must carry according to Delaware's rules and laws. These laws may differ somewhat from other states, so it is important to review them. Many states have concealed carry reciprocity with Delaware, but many do not. Make sure to check Delaware concealed carry reciprocity map so you know where you can and cannot carry.

Concealed Carry Setup

If you have not yet decided on a firearm you like for self-defense, you can visit various Delaware gun shops to see which ones feel right or comfortable for you. X-Ring Supply has an entire section dedicated to conceal carry guns, holsters, belts, clothing and accessories. We have first hand experience with everyday carry (EDC) / conceal carry and are more than happy to offer tips and insight for people new to concealed carry and gear recommendations. Also, there are plenty of great accessories for concealed carry. Since women are often targets for crime, there are special classes that address the unique situations they face. Also, there are special holsters and concealed carry accessories designed to help women carry confidently and comfortably. Lastly, if you are not buying a firearm from a Delaware gun shop like X-Ring Supply, you are likely buying a firearm from someone else or receiving a firearm as a gift, be sure to understand Delaware firearm transfer laws.


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