Slow Texas CHL renewal process


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StephenT
April 17, 2008, 01:16 AM
Hi everyone,

I'm in the process of renewing my CHL for Texas and sent in all the paperwork almost 8 weeks back (I mailed it on 2/25). I called Austin last week to confirm that they'd received my envelope, and they had. They told me to call them again if I didn't receive anything within 2-3 weeks. I don't remember the process taking so long in years past. An email from TSRA mentioned many recent complaints about it taking a very long time to renew concealed handgun licenses. Anyone know what's going on in Austin? :cuss:

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Double Naught Spy
April 17, 2008, 09:25 AM
Why aren't you asking the TSRA since they were the ones who informed you that there had been problems. Why aren't you asking DPS about your application since it is YOUR application and since you haven't contacted them since you verified receipt?

There is no rule that says the renewals will be consistently quick. They try to complete the process within 60 days, but have up to 180 to do so.

You haven't passed 60 days yet and certainly not 180.

I find it amusing when there is a standard deadline, but when it has been beaten for a while, people come to expect the better time as the standard and complain when it isn't met. LOL, people get spoiled easily.

Go read paragraph 411.176 in your CHL handbook. You should be familiar with this anyway.

bps3040
April 17, 2008, 09:31 AM
I mailed mine in 1/28. I received my pin on the 60th day. So, I think I am in the slow pile.

csmkersh
April 17, 2008, 10:09 AM
I'm in the process of renewing my CHL for Texas and sent in all the paperwork almost 8 weeks back (I mailed it on 2/25). I called Austin last week to confirm that they'd received my envelope, and they had.

Why aren't you asking the TSRA since they were the ones who informed you that there had been problems. Why aren't you asking DPS about your application since it is YOUR application and since you haven't contacted them since you verified receipt?
The OP said he called Austin, which for those who don't know, is where the Texas Department of Public Safety aka DPS is located. The TSRA is located in a 'burb of Dallas.

State law says that DPS will complete and return new CHLs within 60 days, renewals within 45 days. Ever since Texas has had a CCW law on the books, DPS has done as it pleased on licensing, not what the law requires.

What TSRA did was e-mail it's members asking if anyone was currently having problems with slow turn around by DPS or if they have had problems in the past. Our legislature goes into session in 2009 and TSRA is apparently getting ready to lead the charge to kick start DPS over this foot dragging.

TexasRifleman
April 17, 2008, 10:29 AM
Mine renewal went in December, expired in February, and I still don't have it.

They told me flat out on the phone that they received my application, processed it, and failed to issue the license. They said it was all finished March 1, which is still past the 45 day deadline required, but somehow it didn't get mailed to me.

The nice lady apologized and promised to expedite my license. At first she wanted me to pay for a lost license charge but finally admitted that since they never even sent it that it would be OK... sheesh.....ya think?

That was last Monday, no idea how long that takes.

So there is clearly a problem down there. Their online system was hosed as well. I logged in with my PIN number several times, and even after March 1 when they claim it was finished and it always said "no application or license on file" or something similar, can't remember the exact wording.

I emailed with Ms Tripp from TSRA and there is certainly something wrong down there in Austin from the sound of it.

I find it amusing when there is a standard deadline, but when it has been beaten for a while, people come to expect the better time as the standard and complain when it isn't met. LOL, people get spoiled easily.

You can find it amusing, but there is clearly a problem there when they don't even know whether the permits are getting mailed.
That's not an unreasonable expectation of me, that I'd expect them to mail it after they say they issued it.

TIMC
April 17, 2008, 10:52 AM
You guys are scaring me. I mailed mine on 3/28 hoping to get it back in early May. Last renewal only took 2 weeks, we'll see how long it takes this time.

MechAg94
April 17, 2008, 11:28 AM
I renewed mine last summer. I think it took about 30 days after I mailed in the paperwork. Sounds like something has gone fubar at DPS.

Art Eatman
April 17, 2008, 12:28 PM
If I had to guess, it's probably some internal budget allocation thing. Reduction in personnel doing the license work.

Could be that there are a lot more people applying or renewing than were expected.

Overall, DPS has been very much in favor of the CHL program.

Art

csmkersh
April 17, 2008, 12:51 PM
Art,

Texas' CHL program is a money making deal for DPS, yet ever since 1996 DPS has done as they pleased without regard to the law. Fees range from $70 to $140 (http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/crime_records/chl/CHLwebupdatefees.pdf) for mere citizens and a little a free for cops, courts and other royalties. Renewal fees are less, but the courts and cops are still treated as the elite.

We've had DPS commanders who were openly opposed to licensed CCW and fought reciprocity so much that that responsibility was transferred to the State Attorney General's office.

No, it's not budget constraints, it's attitude by the brass.

Guillermo
April 17, 2008, 01:03 PM
As one who is quite familiar with the problems and processes at DPS I can agree w Sam. It is their attitude. They have No budget constraints.

TexasRifleman
April 17, 2008, 01:12 PM
Could be that there are a lot more people applying or renewing than were expected.

I suppose that's possible but the feeling I got from TSRA was that there was either some deliberate or incompetent dragging down of the process, not just a money problem.

That's why they are gathering facts for a fight.

csmkersh
April 17, 2008, 02:06 PM
I just received this from TSRA. I'd contacted them and told TSRA about this thread. I also suggest we e-mail Alice and thank her for her hard work. Past experience has shown getting DPS to the table is a real chore.


From: AGTripp@aol.com [mailto:AGTripp@aol.com]
Sent: Thursday, April 17, 2008 11:06 AM
To: jimdark@tsra.com
Subject: CHL Delays as of April 17, 2008 (put this one out, please)



Yesterday, April 16th, Chairman Joe Driver of House Law Enforcement Committee asked DPS to a meeting regarding complaints from Texas CHL licenses and renewals that licenses are running well beyond the length of time listed in statute.

TSRA collected information over the weekend from members responding to an email alert sent out on Friday. A large number of responses supported the problem.

Information gathered went well beyond finger print problems. Most of these folks had returned perfect packages to DPS and were running as much as 100+ days. The time allowed for a renewal is 45 days and original applications have 60 days.

Jan Coffey, Valerie Fulmer, and Chief Burton Christian represented DPS. Chief Burton was the highest ranking DPS person attending.

Former Senator Ken Armbrister attended at Chairman Driver's invitation. Ken Armbrister is currently Governor Perry's Legislative Director.

In December 2007 a large and unexpected spike occurred in new CHL applicants. The bottle neck was blamed on this sudden surge in applications plus a litany other problems: 5 data processing jobs unfilled, flawed licenses due to a new license fabrication process, fewer applications on line than expected causing more data entry by staff, finger print rejects, incomplete packages returned, etc.

TSRA brought up the fact that we have this meeting with DPS on late CHL applications every two years and asked what could be done to help the situation so it would not happen in the future.

We were told that currently 25% of the all applications and renewals with perfect packages (good pictures, good finger prints, and everything correct) are running beyond statute.

It appears that the entire DPS process is broken at least for now. By this we mean, there is something wrong at every step.

The universal complaint from DPS, which may be justified, was more money and authorization to hire more employees. They have added 12 temps to the 40 full time employees working only on CHLs. We were also told the number of employees has not increased since the beginning of the program in 1996.

For now, Chairman Driver will be receiving a weekly status report on the CHL backlog problem.

We appreciate Rep. Joe Driver and his staff taking the lead on this problem and for Ken Armbrister gathering information for Governor Perry.

Guillermo
April 17, 2008, 02:12 PM
Joe Driver is a good man.

He is the head of the law enforcement sub committee so he carries more weight than the average State Rep.

I would also bet that the incomparable Alice Tripp is working hard behind the scenes.

Thank you TSRA

Double Naught Spy
April 17, 2008, 05:37 PM
You can find it amusing, but there is clearly a problem there when they don't even know whether the permits are getting mailed.
That's not an unreasonable expectation of me, that I'd expect them to mail it after they say they issued it.

Well I do find it amusing when folks complain about things being slow before things are actually behind schedule yet. What is it, a "Boohoo I didn't get my permit back early" complaint? Come on.

It is a shame that yours went long, but you weren't complaining about a slow process before the 60 day deadline. You weren't complaining because your submission had a problem that caused it to go beyond the original 60 review process for investigation. You do have a valid complaint - not so with the OP.

TexasRifleman
April 17, 2008, 05:48 PM
It is a shame that yours went long, but you weren't complaining about a slow process before the 60 day deadline. You weren't complaining because your submission had a problem that caused it to go beyond the original 60 review process for investigation. You do have a valid complaint - not so with the OP.

Very true, you are right, as you often are.

csmkersh
April 17, 2008, 05:52 PM
From Double Naught Spy's first post
There is no rule that says the renewals will be consistently quick. They try to complete the process within 60 days, but have up to 180 to do so.

From Texas Government Code 411.185(c) (http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes/docs/GV/content/htm/gv.004.00.000411.00.htm#411.185.00)
(c) The department shall renew the license of a license
holder who meets all the eligibility requirements and submits all
the renewal materials. Not later than the 45th day after receipt of
the renewal materials, the department shall issue the renewal or
notify the license holder in writing that the renewal application
was denied.

DNS, when you can't even get the simple stuff correct, it's extremely hard to take you serious.

TexasRifleman
April 17, 2008, 05:58 PM
Well see there's a problem with that.

The code says 45 days after receipt of renewal materials.

This could be interpreted to mean completed FBI fingerprint checks.

If so, then it's 45 days AFTER FBI is done, which might take longer.

Not sure if that's been argued really but I have heard that's the interpretation DPS makes of it.

csmkersh
April 17, 2008, 06:00 PM
And that may be the interpretation the TSRA will work to get fixed in 2009.

Folks, this isn't a new problem. It's been going on since September 1995 when the law went into effect. It wasn't unusual for them to run 100 days or more. Reading this thread, it's still running that long but with renewals.

I called DPS today and asked about getting a packet. Their computer refuses to send one if it's over 180 days to your expiration date. Also, their short on agents answering the phone. Be prepared for a 10 minute watch in the queue and no elevator music.

TexasRifleman
April 17, 2008, 06:12 PM
Be prepared for a 10 minute watch in the queue and no elevator music.

If you got in in 10 minutes its approaching miracle status. :)

I waited 40 minutes one day.

Oddly enough my emails were returned very quickly so who knows whats up down there.

primlantah
April 17, 2008, 06:22 PM
i heard on talk radio this morning that austin law enforcement is having a big problem with their accounting ledgers. dont know if the state or city level or both. might be related.

csmkersh
April 17, 2008, 06:27 PM
It's been a week since I e-mailed them, that's why I called today.

Jax
April 17, 2008, 08:03 PM
This is one of the primary reasons I maintain my Florida non-res CWP in addition to my Texas res CHL.

Regardless of delays in renewing one I am covered by the other - and continue to enjoy my carry "priviledge".

My last Texas renewal took around 90 days.

I also understand CHL's are a money tree for DPS.

TexasRifleman
April 17, 2008, 08:23 PM
Regardless of delays in renewing one I am covered by the other - and continue to enjoy my carry "priviledge".

Very good point. It's the very reason I keep renewing my Florida license.

In my case I'd be unable to carry concealed if I didn't have another states to fall back on.

MechAg94
April 17, 2008, 08:53 PM
I can't remember. Is there any rule that says a Texas resident can't use an out-of-state permit? From what y'all are saying, I'd guess not, but it sounds like something they would try to put in there.

TexasRifleman
April 17, 2008, 10:09 PM
I can't remember. Is there any rule that says a Texas resident can't use an out-of-state permit? From what y'all are saying, I'd guess not, but it sounds like something they would try to put in there.

Currently there is no law or anything remotely prohibiting it. Not to say they won't do something like that in the future but for now it's well documented that it's acceptable.

StephenT
April 17, 2008, 10:19 PM
I've just got home tonight and checked my stack of mail. Still nothing from the Texas DPS. :cuss:

Art Eatman
April 17, 2008, 10:51 PM
"In December 2007 a large and unexpected spike occurred in new CHL applicants. The bottle neck was blamed on this sudden surge in applications plus a litany other problems: 5 data processing jobs unfilled, flawed licenses due to a new license fabrication process, fewer applications on line than expected causing more data entry by staff, finger print rejects, incomplete packages returned, etc."

And

"The universal complaint from DPS, which may be justified, was more money and authorization to hire more employees. They have added 12 temps to the 40 full time employees working only on CHLs. We were also told the number of employees has not increased since the beginning of the program in 1996."

Looks like I'm a pretty good guesser when it comes to state bureaucracies. Oughta be; I spent fifteen years around all that...

Folks, you better feel lucky the system works as well as it does. The DPS pay scales would make schoolteachers feel smug.

Art

ndolson
April 17, 2008, 10:58 PM
Geez, and I thought we had it bad where I live, with the Sheriff's Dept making us wait the maximum waiting period of 45 days (in almost every case) and charging the maximum fee allowed by law.

Rayden
April 18, 2008, 02:56 AM
While I am waiting on my Texas CHL, is it possible to apply for an out-of-State one from a reciprocal state?

And if the reciprocal state license arrive first, can I use it to carry?

TexasRifleman
April 18, 2008, 10:00 AM
Rayden: Yes and Yes.

Florida is probably easiest.

ghschirtz
April 18, 2008, 11:15 AM
I am one of the problems, forgot a piece of paper in my app. I sent it in, checked progress once (and got a courteous reply) and finally have my license. As I reside in CA, I am just happy I have it and can carry when I am out of CA. Can't carry here...not trustworthy enough...mostly only cops, criminals and campaign contributors/other glitterati can.

primlantah
April 18, 2008, 02:20 PM
http://www.texasshooting.com/TexasCHL_Forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=14391&sid=d86a1cdaa4536d2766e47c736c28427e

csmkersh
April 18, 2008, 02:41 PM
Charlie Cotton, the owner and admin of http://www.texasshooting.com/ web site, is a lawyer and a shooter who works closely with Alice Tripp and Jim Dark, TSRA's ExDir, on legislative matters. If you have applied or going to apply for a Texas CHL, please pass the time to completion info to Charlie. It will be used in the 2009 Texas legislative session to resolve the problem.

Double Naught Spy
April 23, 2008, 09:06 AM
Yes, DPS has had a glut of applications of late. Fiscal 2007 saw 91000 application. That is up from Fiscal 2006 that saw 68000. In other words up by 34%.

Here are some neat stats on the progression of licensing. The number of active permits at the end of each year...

2002 224K
2003 240K
2004 240K
2005 249K
2006 258K
2007 289K

No doubt the work load has increased fairly significantly in the last year or so.

cedjunior
April 24, 2008, 02:34 AM
I think people get upset when they mail in their application and the $140 check gets cashed 2 days later, but when they call a month and a half later asking where their PIN is, they're told sorry your app isn't even in the system yet.

I did my application online, payment was instant and I received my PIN with my completed application a week later. It took the DPS website 57 days after they received my prepaid application for the status to go from "Packet Mailed to Applicant" to "Processing application.

Others, like myself, have a problem with the inconsistency of the DPS. One person's experience over on the Texas Shooting forum was that he had his license in hand within 70 days, and that was including having to send them additonal documentation about half way through those 70 days. I'm currently at day 75 with no license in hand, and no additional documentation requested. That is very inconsistent.

T J
May 8, 2008, 01:12 PM
Texas CHL applications and the related delays are still on the increase. I absolutely do not agree that there is any sort of a conspiracy to find ways to reject or delay licenses. On my last renewal there was a problem with the picture not being of good enough quality, and the DPS gave me a phone call to let me know. Since I was working in Austin, I went and had a new picture taken and hand delivered it to the DPS to the lady that called me. She was extremely nice and helpful and I received my license within a few days of giving them the new photograph.

May 8, 2008, 12:29AM
Texas caught off guard as more seek handgun permits
Some point to anti-gun politics as applications rise 39 percent and swamp the state
By JANET ELLIOTT
Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau
Available Online: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/5762984.html
AUSTIN Demand for concealed handgun licenses has risen nearly 40 percent in Texas in a year, an increase being attributed to many factors, even presidential politics.
Though the exact cause may be unclear, what's certain is that the spike in applications has caught the Department of Public Safety unprepared.
The state is taking a month longer than the 60 days allowed by law to process original applications and 80 days longer on renewals, which are supposed to be handled within 45 days.
"We're trying really hard, but there have been delays because of the tremendous increase in applications," said Tela Mange, a DPS spokeswoman.
She said the department is paying overtime and hiring temporary workers to reduce the backlog. Mange said she doesn't know why applications last month were 39 percent higher than they were in April 2007.
But Ross Bransford, who trains 1,000 Texans a year to qualify for a concealed handgun license, said he believes the looming 2008 election is a big factor.
"People are not sure what's going to happen after the election," said Bransford, who owns Austin-based CHL-Texas.com. "Both Democratic candidates are anti-gun in one fashion or another."
He said Sen. Barack Obama, who is leading the race for the nomination, is a "friend of (Democratic Senator) Ted Kennedy, and that scares everybody to death."
Other instructors mentioned an increased interest from young adults after last year's Virginia Tech massacre and recent changes in Texas law about carrying concealed weapons.
In 2007, lawmakers granted privacy to the 258,000 license holders by closing records that had been public since the concealed handgun law passed in 1995. They also extended the so-called "castle doctrine" defense to persons who use a gun to protect their vehicles, in addition to their homes.
45 minutes on hold
Alice Tripp, legislative director for the Texas State Rifle Association, the state affiliate of the National Rifle Association, said she hears daily from frustrated members about the delay in getting licenses.
She said some have been put on hold for 45 minutes when they called DPS to inquire about their licenses.
"They are really quite alarmed and annoyed," Tripp said. "They sat on hold, and had gotten no answers."
Last month, she took her group's concerns to a meeting with DPS officials, Gov. Rick Perry's legislative director Ken Armbrister and House Law Enforcement Chairman Joe Driver.
Driver, R-Garland, is demanding weekly reports from DPS on license applications. During the week that ended Friday, DPS said it processed 1,043 original and renewal applications but received 1,871 requests.
"I was very surprised at how far behind they are," Tripp said.
Renewal every 5 years
She said she can't understand why it is taking so long for renewals, because people with handgun licenses are continually checked against criminal databases and other records. Licenses must be renewed every five years.
"If you find yourself subject to a protective order, someone will knock on your door and take your license," she said.
Mange urged license applicants to use the DPS Web site to enter basic information required on the permit. Tripp said her members who have used the Web site tell her it does not speed the process.
Tripp said there is no grace period for expired handgun licenses.
Everyone seeking a license, and certain renewals, must take classes that cover safety, state law and conflict resolution. They must submit fingerprints, which DPS sends to the FBI for a background check, and a photo. They must carry their license when they carry a concealed handgun. There are some restrictions as to where concealed handguns can be carried in Texas.
Applicant's suspicions
Ron Freeman, a CPA who lives in Wimberley, said he was asked twice to redo fingerprints that were taken at a local constable's office.
He finally agreed to DPS' suggestion that he use an electronic fingerprint device run by a private company.
"I have a feeling that the Department of Public Safety is using the process as a filter to keep people from even having a gun," said Freeman, 60, who moved to Texas from Arizona last year.
Marsha McCartney, who represents the North Texas Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said she was surprised to learn that so many more Texans are applying to carry guns.
However, McCartney said she is more concerned about an expected battle in the next legislative session over whether the law should be changed to allow college students to carry guns on campus.

RESOURCES
ONE STEP FORWARD, TWO STEPS BACK
During the week that ended Friday, DPS said, it processed 1,043 original and renewal applications but received 1,871 requests.

TexasRifleman
May 8, 2008, 01:14 PM
An update on mine. From my original post:

Mine renewal went in December, expired in February, and I still don't have it.

They told me flat out on the phone that they received my application, processed it, and failed to issue the license. They said it was all finished March 1, which is still past the 45 day deadline required, but somehow it didn't get mailed to me.

The nice lady apologized and promised to expedite my license. At first she wanted me to pay for a lost license charge but finally admitted that since they never even sent it that it would be OK... sheesh.....ya think?

That was last Monday, no idea how long that takes.


It's now 4 weeks later and still nothing. This from a "lost license" process that is supposed to take 2 to 3 weeks.

StephenT
May 9, 2008, 01:18 AM
Well, mine arrived in the mail at long last (of course, I've been out of town for the past two weeks). Nice to be able to pack again!

TexasRifleman
May 9, 2008, 03:59 PM
Mine arrived today, almost 3 months after the renewal date.

So glad I had the Florida to carry my over the gap.

I was going to let the Florida lapse the next time it came up but I'm going to go ahead and keep it renewed also.

csmkersh
June 5, 2008, 03:11 PM
A friend's wife got her renewal today. Time from DPS signing for packet (registered mail) to license in her possession was 39 days. Michael mailed his the same day but to a different PO Box as he had gone the on-line registration route. DPS signed for his 4 days later and he's still waiting.

I do my training the 14th of June and will have the packet in the mail the 16th. Even though I could by-pass the class and range, I'm going whole hog because on instructor is Judge Harle and another is a ADA and the primary is a DA's investigator. I'll perster them on "no retreat" and unlicensed possession in a vehicle per the changes Sept 1 2007.

calaverasslim
June 5, 2008, 04:23 PM
Took the class on 13 Apr, mailed packet on 14 Apr. and received the CHL on the 31st of May. 6-7 weeks? My friend took the class the day before I did and mailed his packet on the 15th and got his chl on Tuesday. Both were renewels.

Not as bad as I had read that it was going to be.

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