Renewing your Iowa Permit to Carry Weapons

It's been five years since Shall Issue was signed into law, renew your permit today!

Friends don’t friends’ permit to carry expire.
It’s been five years, renew your permit today!


I can hardly believe that we are quickly approaching the 5th year of Iowa’s “Shall Issue” Permit to Carry Weapons Law that went into effect in January of 2011. Thanks to the Iowa Firearms Coalition, lots of dedicated individuals, and outspoken firearms owners like you, for a few years now we have enjoyed what I believe to be one of the best permit to carry laws in the country.

Now that many Iowans’ have had their permits for a few years, there are plenty of questions and a bit of confusion concerning how to renew a permit, and what that process involves.  In this article, I am going to attempt to clear things up for everyone.

A Permit is valid for five years and the time frame in which you must renew is important.  Let’s start off with what renewing a permit actually means. For definition purposes, renewing an Iowa Permit to Carry Weapons means:  to grant or gain an extension of.  So in renewing you are extending the permit to where there is no expiration or lapse in coverage. The Iowa Law on issuance of permits under code section 724.11 is actually pretty clear. Let’s break it down in sections and explain.

Under Iowa Code 724.11 Section 3 it states:

724.11 sect. 3. “Renewal permits or duplicate permits shall be issued for a fee of twenty-five dollars, provided the application for such renewal permit is received by the issuing officer at least thirty days prior to the expiration of the applicant’s current permit.

This is pretty simple; the cost to renew a permit for an additional five years is $25. To renew a permit the applicant must apply for that renewal 30 days or more BEFORE expiration of their current permit.  This is where a bit of the confusion can kick in. If you do NOT apply at least 30 days or more prior to your permit expiration date, then you cannot actually renew. Any application less than 30 days before a permit expires will be considered an application for a NEW Permit and the cost will be $50

724.11 Sect 1. “For renewal of a permit the training program requirements in section 724.9, subsection 1, shall apply or the renewal applicant may choose to qualify on a firing range under the supervision of an instructor…”

This simply says that in order to apply for renewal permit, an applicant needs to have met the training requirements in Code 724.9, meaning demonstrating knowledge of firearms safety  (IE a class) , or the renewal applicant can choose to qualify on the range. Your original training certificate will not work for a renewal permit due to the 1 year time frame (see below).  Range qualification is only available as an option for a renewal, (qualification is not required for a NEW permit).

724.11 Sect 1. Cont. “Such training or qualification must occur within the twelve-month period prior to the expiration of the applicant’s current permit.”

Towards the end of this section is where it refers to a renewal permit and gives a time frame as to when the training requirements must be met in order to renew. A permit holder has one year before their permit expires to meet the training requirements (take a class or shoot on the range) to be able to apply for a renewal. Your original proof of training will not work here, again due to the time frame. For purposes of a renewal permit in my opinion this should be called or referred to as “re-training”, but it is not.  It is also of my opinion that a DD-214 will not work for a renewal due to the time frame in which the training occurred. (NOTE: this is just an opinion. When in doubt it’s best to contact your local sheriff’s office to confirm any questions you may have).

So let me try to sum up the renewal process for you. To RENEW a permit a person needs to:

1. Show proof of training in the form of a class or shooting test that occurred one year (or less) from their current permit expiring.

2. Apply for the renewal permit 30 days or more before their current permit expires.

3. Pay $25 for an additional 5 years. (some counties offer a wallet type permit card and charge more for that)

Hopefully you now understand the renewal process. You may have also heard some different opinions and rumors concerning renewing a permit. Well, as usual, very few things in the law are outright and simple. Just like the laws on carrying a weapon, there are some nooks and crannies in Code 724.11 that aren’t always obvious.  Let me explain.

If you allow your permit to expire, or don’t apply in time to renew, you must start all over and get a new permit. Starting over means you have to show proof of training and then pay $50 along with a new application for a new permit. There is no time frame written into the law as to when training needs to occur for a new permit.  A person with a current permit could essentially just let their original permit expire, then use their original training certificate to apply for a new permit. Taking this route though could pose some different problems.

The first potential issue with letting a permit expire and applying for a new one vs. renewing is that you could end up being without a permit for a month. This could be as many as thirty days due to the time frame allowed in the law. Some sheriffs intentionally take the entire time allowed in the law to issue. This may leave you without a permit for the period between the expiration of the current permit and the issuance of the next one.

The next potential problem could be with providing your original proof of training. When applying for a new permit there is no time frame as to when the training needed to occur. That training course that you took in 2010 would work to get a NEW permit, but not for a renewal. Many people do not keep their certificate of training and many Sheriff’s Departments do not keep them on file.

I fully understand why there is always a lot of grumbling over taking and paying for another class or more instruction. While I don’t believe that continued training should be mandatory, I do believe it is something every permit holder needs to seriously consider. Not all permit courses are the same, some are oriented towards weapons handling and tactics, while others cover just the basics of safety. Other classes are more in depth and geared towards discussion of the laws and justifiable use of force.  The cost of a refresher class spread over five years to expand your knowledge and bag of skills may end up being pretty cheap?

So there is the lowdown on renewing your Iowa Permit to Carry Weapons. With that said, this is not to mean that some Sheriffs, Instructors or others won’t interpret, convey or apply the law differently. No different than when the “Shall Issue” law went into effect in 2010, I expect there will be some confusion on all of this as I mentioned early on in this article. I imagine the time frame of when you must apply to renew and the one year to take “re-training” is the issue most likely to trip people up. Hopefully gun owners will continue to exercise their rights through sustaining and increasing the number of permits issued in Iowa

Go Safe

Steve Hensyel


Steve Hensyel is a guest writer for the Iowa Firearms Coalition. Hensyel is the owner of Hawkeye Firearms Instruction and an IFC past president.

Iowa Firearms Coalition is an entirely volunteer, grassroots, Second Amendment advocacy group. Responsible for bringing uniformity to Iowa’s Concealed Weapons Permitting process, IFC’s members work to protect and enhance Second Amendment rights in Iowa. An affiliate of the National Rifle Association, the IFC actively seeks to foster and promote the shooting sports. Sign up for our email list for the latest on Second Amendment issues in Iowa. You can support our work by becoming a member, or making a donation. 

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  1. Zach says:

    The DD214 nor being acceptable for a renewal doesn’t make sense. There’s no stipulations on how recently separated from the military an individual is when applying for a new permit.

  2. Jerry Dickinson says:

    I’m somewhat confused on the requirement that the renewal application be filed at least 30 days before the expiration of the old one. I certified on a range in October and took that certification to the Story County Sheriff’s Office in late October. Twenty minutes later I had my new permit. The only hitch is that my old one did not expire until January 31, 2016, and the new one expires October 21, 2020, five years from my application/issuance date. She explained that I would have to wait until nearer to my expiration date if I didn’t want to lose that three months (10/21/15 to 1/31/16). So, is everyone going to lose at least one month if they apply more than 30 days before the expiration of their permits, as the law states?

  3. Bob says:

    When I went to the County Sheriff’s I was given so much conflicting information that, by the time I left, I really had absolutely no idea what I was actually supposed to do. I thought I was told that I should just let my current permit expire, then just go in a renew. Now I see that I should have gone in yesterday (Dec 2nd) to be within the 30 day window.
    Not very happy right now and still confused.

  4. Raymond Harris says:

    Are the classes you take online usable to renew your permit

  5. Ryan says:

    Raymond, yes online classes that meet the state requirements are usable for renewal. I just used one, 10-8 ($15 renewal) but there are others.

  6. Mike Dorrell says:

    So I do I have to go to the County Sheriffs Or can I file on-line?

  7. Terry Vrieze says:

    I can’t believe that after 26 years in the military that by DD 214 doesn’t count for a renewal the rest of my life. terry

  8. john says:

    If you have a dd214 – just let permit expire and go in and get a new permit – total cost around $50 just like the first time you used the dd214

  9. Kathleen Silvan says:

    Cannot transfer to “join up” page of IFC. Has it changed?

  10. Dave Knox says:

    I was advised to let my permit to expire by a Mahaska Co. Deputy. Then go in the next day to renew. What do you think?

  11. Duane Baier says:

    What are the basic range requirements for renewal or do vary with each instructor
    My permit is up in march of 2018. Looking forward for your answer thanks

  12. Duane – Since your permit is not up for a year the requirements are likely to change with the bills now being considered in the Iowa Legislature. Wait until the end of this legislative session to see what the requirements are then.

  13. Jay W says:

    It may be a hassle getting a permit renewed here, but I’m sure glad that I’m not attempting it back in IL.

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