Illinois FOID Card - FAQ
1. Overview of the Firearm Owner's Identification Card
What is a Firearm Owner's Identification (FOID) Card?
The FOID card was created in 1968, by the FOID Act (430 ILCS 65), as a way to identify those persons eligible to possess and acquire firearms and firearm ammunition as part of a public safety initiative in the State of Illinois. The FOID card is NOT a "conceal and carry" card.
Who needs a FOID Card?
Unless specifically exempted by statute, any Illinois resident who acquires or possesses firearms, firearm ammunition, tasers or stun guns within the State must have in their possession a valid FOID card issued in his or her name. Non-residents are not required to have a FOID card.
Are there exemptions to the requirement of a FOID Card?
Yes, The FOID Act, 430 ILCS 65/2(b) outlines the following exemptions.
• United States Marshals, while engaged in the operation of their official duties.
• Members of the Armed Forces of the United States or the National Guard, while engaged in the operation of their official duties.
• Federal officials required to carry firearms, while engaged in the operation of their official duties.
• Members of bona fide veteran's organizations which receive firearms directly from the armed forces of the United States, while using the firearms for ceremonial purposes with blank ammunition.
• Nonresident hunters during hunting season, with valid nonresident hunting licenses and while in an area where hunting is permitted.
• Nonresident hunters during hunting season, with valid nonresident hunting licenses and while in an area where hunting is permitted; however, at all other times and in all other places these persons must have their firearms unloaded and enclosed in a case.
• Nonresidents while on a firing or shooting range recognized by the Department of State Police.
• Nonresidents while at a firearm showing or display recognized by the Department of State Police.
• Nonresidents whose firearms are unloaded and enclosed in a case.
• Nonresidents who are currently licensed or registered to possess a firearm in their resident state.
• Un-emancipated minors while in the custody and immediate control of their parent or legal guardian and the parent or legal guardian currently has a valid FOID card.
• Color guards of bona fide veteran's organizations or members of bona fide American Legion bands while using firearms for ceremonial purposes with blank ammunition.
• Nonresident hunters whose state of residence does not require them to be licensed or registered to possess a firearm and only during hunting season. The nonresident must have a valid hunting license and be accompanied by and be using a firearm owned by, a person who possesses a valid FOID card. This is allowed only while in an area within a commercial club licensed under the Wildlife Code where hunting is permitted and controlled, but in no instance upon sites owned or managed by the Department of Natural Resources.
• Resident hunters who are properly authorized to hunt and, while accompanied by a person who possesses a valid FOID card, hunt in an area within a commercial club licensed under the Wildlife Code where hunting is permitted and controlled.
• A person who is otherwise eligible to obtain a FOID card under this Act and is under the direct supervision of a FOID card holder who is 21 years of age or older while the person is on a firing or shooting range or is a participant in a firearms safety and training course recognized by a law enforcement agency or a national, statewide shooting sports organization.
• Competitive shooting athletes whose competition firearms are sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, the International Shooting Sport Federation, or USA Shooting. The use must be in connection with such athletes' training for and participation in shooting competitions at the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games and sanctioned test events leading up to the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
• Law enforcement officials of this or any other jurisdiction, while engaged in the operation of their official duties.
2. The Application Process
How do I apply for a FOID Card?
State of Illinois residents may apply for a FOID card by visiting the ISP website at www.isp.state.il.us and clicking on the following button under Agency Features.
What if I do not have a computer, is there a paper application?
Individuals that do not have access to a computer or device that can access the web-site, may submit an application through an alternative call-in method. Applicants may call the ISP at 217-782-7980 and a call-taker will complete your application over the phone, including payment in the form of a credit card, debit card or electronic check. Upon payment, the application will be mailed to you. Upon receipt, you will need to answer some criminal history questions, attach a photograph and sign the application. Applicants will need to return the application back to the Firearms Services Bureau for final processing.
What is the cost of a FOID Card?
A FOID application costs $10.00. The Illinois State Police uses the state of Illinois E-Pay program. A service fee of 2.35% or a minimum of $1.00 for credit cards or $1.00 for an electronic check will be applied.
How long is the FOID Card valid?
The FOID card has a 10-year expiration date.
What do I need to complete my application?
You will need to provide your full name, date of birth, street address of residence, Driver's License or Identification Card number, and a color photograph. A separate mailing address is optional for those applicants with a P.O. Box.
When should I expect to receive my FOID Card?
The Illinois State Police has 30 days to approve or deny the FOID application from the date of receipt. Please allow a few additional days for mailing before calling the Customer Service Center.
What are the photo requirements for the FOID Card?
Applicants will need to provide a color photograph, recently taken and in a likeness of the applicant. The face cannot be obstructed. If applying through the on-line application you will need to upload an electronic photograph that is a color head and shoulders shot with no obstruction of the facial features. If you are applying through the alternative call-in method, you will need to attach the color photo to the front of the paper application with clear tape. PLEASE NOTE: IN ACCORDANCE TO THE FOID ACT, FOR ILLINOIS RESIDENTS OVER THE AGE OF 18, THE ILLINOIS DRIVER'S LICENSE OR IDENTIFICATION CARD PHOTO ON FILE WITH THE SECRETARY OF STATE WILL BE USED TO COMPLETE YOUR FOID CARD. YOU MUST STILL PROVIDE THE ILLINOIS STATE POLICE WITH A PHOTO FOR VERIFICATION PURPOSES.
What if I am Amish. Can I apply for a FOID Card without a photo?
Yes, Amish applicants will only be able to apply for a FOID card through the alternative call-in application method. Applicants will need to provide a set of fingerprints using an Illinois State Police approved fingerprint card and federal form 4029 - APPLICATION FOR EXEMPTION FROM SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE AND WAIVER OF BENEFITS.
If I am a U.S. Military Member stationed in Illinois, can I apply for a FOID Card?
Yes. Follow the instructions for "HOW DO I APPLY FOR A FOID CARD?" You will need to provide the information for the base you are stationed at while in Illinois, a copy of your military assignment orders, your U.S. Military I.D and complete this following form: Out of State Affidavit.
Who is eligible for a FOID Card?
To be eligible for a FOID card, a person must be 21 years of age or have a parent or guardian sponsor that is eligible for a FOID card. An applicant must not be prohibited from possessing firearms in accordance with state or federal law. This requires the applicant is/has:
• Not been convicted of a felony.
• Not addicted to narcotics.
• Not been a patient in a mental health facility within the past five years.
• Not been a patient in a mental health facility more than five years ago, unless the applicant submits a Mental Health certification under 430 ILCS 65/8(u).
• Not intellectually disabled.
• Not an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States.
• Not subject to an existing order of protection.
• Not been convicted within the past 5 years of battery, assault, aggravated assault, violation of an order of protection, or a substantially similar offense in another jurisdiction, in which a firearm was used or possessed.
• Not been convicted of domestic battery, aggravated domestic battery, or a substantially similar offense in another jurisdiction.
• Not an alien who has been admitted to the United States under a non-immigrant visa; unless the applicant is an official representative of a foreign government or who received a waiver from the Attorney General of the United States pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 922(y)(3).
• Not a minor subject to a petition filed under Section 5-520 of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 alleging that the minor is a delinquent minor for the commission of an offense that if committed by an adult would be a felony.
• Not an adult who had been adjudicated a delinquent minor under the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 for the commission of an offense that if committed by an adult would be a felony.
• Is a resident of the State of Illinois.
• Not been adjudicated as a mentally disabled person.
• Not been involuntarily admitted into a mental health facility.
• Not a person whose mental condition is of such a nature that it poses a clear and present danger to the applicant, or any other person or the community.
• Not developmentally disabled.
• Not renounced their citizenship.
• Not dishonorably discharged from the United States Armed Forces.
• Not convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
• Not a person under 21 years of age and convicted of a misdemeanor other than a traffic offense or adjudged delinquent.
• Not a person who intentionally makes a false statement in the FOID card application.
If I am a qualifying patient or designated caregiver pursuant to the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act and hold a valid Medical Cannabis Card, are my Firearms Owners Identification Card and Concealed Carry License still valid?
Medical marijuana cardholders will not have their FOID or CCL cards revoked, or be denied issuance of a FOID or CCL card, due to their status as a medical marijuana cardholder. Such cards are State-issued, governed by State law, and State law requires that a person's status as a medical marijuana cardholder not result in the denial of any right or privilege.
3. Minor Applicants
Can I apply for a FOID Card if I am not 21 years of age?
Yes, a minor can apply for a FOID card with a parent or legal guardian sponsor. The parent or legal guardian must be eligible for a FOID card. The parent or legal guardian must also sign an affidavit and attach it to the application. (At this time, if you were born after January 1, 2000, you must submit your application through the alternative call-in method via the Customer Service Call Center at 217-782-7980.)
If I am not 21 years of age, but I am married, can my spouse sign as my sponsor?
No. A parent or someone who has been appointed as your legal guardian by court order must be your sponsor.
If I am not 21 years of age, my parents are not living, but I am over the age of 18, can I apply for a FOID Card?
If you are not 21 years of age and do not have living parents or a legal guardian, upon receipt, your application shall be deemed denied. Pursuant to 430 ILCS 65/10, you may appeal the Director of the Illinois State Police.
If the minor applicant cannot sign the application, can the parent sign it?
No. The parent or legal guardian cannot sign the application on behalf of the minor applicant. If the minor applicant is not able to sign the application, a copy of the applicant's birth certificate will be required.
4. FOID Card Replacement
How do I renew my FOID Card?
Your FOID card can be renewed through either the on-line method or the alternative call-in application process. Follow the instructions for "HOW DO I APPLY FOR A FOID CARD?" If renewing on-line, you will select the "RENEW FOID CARD" button after logging in.
How do I report my FOID Card Lost/Stolen?
You can report your FOID card lost or stolen by logging into the Firearms Services web portal from the Illinois State Police website, www.isp.state.il.us or by calling the Customer Service Center at 217-782-7980. You can apply for a replacement card at the same time.
What if I damaged my FOID Card, how can I get a replacement?
You may request a replacement card by logging into the Firearms Services web portal from the Illinois State Police website, www.isp.state.il.us or by calling the Customer Service Center at 217-782-7980.
What does a replacement FOID Card cost?
A replacement FOID card costs $10.00 plus a $1.00 service fee.
How do I change my name or address on the FOID Card?
FOID card holders may request a name or address change to their FOID card by completing the request through the ISP website at www.isp.state.il.us. and clicking on the "FIREARM SERVICES" button under Agency Features, then under FOID card, click Enter. Once registered, you will select "NAME/ADDRESS CHANGE." Your Illinois Driver's License or State Identification Card must match the name and address on your FOID card. You will receive a new card with the modified information. You will retain your current FOID card number and expiration date. You may also request a name/address change by calling 217/782-7980 for the call-in alternative application. The fee for the name or address change is $5.
What does a name or address change to the FOID Card cost?
A name or address change to the FOID card costs $5.00.
What if I did not receive my FOID Card?
Please allow 30 days plus mailing to completely pass before calling on the status of your FOID card. If at that time you have not received your FOID card, call the Customer Service Center at 217-782-7980. If the card was returned to the Illinois State Police as undeliverable by the USPS, it will only be mailed out again after you contact the Firearms Services Bureau at the number above. If you notify the Bureau within 6 months of application that you did not receive your card, a replacement card will be sent to you at no charge. After 6 months, you will need to re-apply.
What if I moved after I submitted my application but before I received my FOID Card?
If the FOID card has not yet been mailed, you can provide the new address by contacting the Customer Service Center at 217/782-7980 and it will be updated. If the card has already been printed and mailed, you will need to complete the procedures for a "NAME/ADDRESS CHANGE."
5. Out of State Resident Requiring FOID Card for Illinois Employment
Who is eligible for an employment endorsed FOID Card?
Non-residents who are employed as a law enforcement officer or an armed security officer in Illinois are eligible to obtain a FOID card.
How do I apply for a law enforcement or armed security endorsed FOID Card?
Individuals may apply for a FOID card by visiting the ISP website at www.isp.state.il.us and clicking on the "FIREARMS SERVICES" button under Agency Links. Applicants will be required to upload completed ISP forms Out of State Affidavit: and EMPLOYMENT REQUIREMENT CERTIFICATION