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Accepting Texas Handgun Licenses as Identification
Friday, September 25, 2015 6:45 AM

During the 2015 legislative session, the Texas legislature passed HB 2739 relating to the use of a concealed handgun license as valid proof of personal identification.

Effective September 1, 2015, the new law prohibits a person from denying access to goods, services, and facilities to a person who presents a concealed handgun license [“CHL”] rather than another form of identification such as a driver’s license.   The only exceptions to this rule include: 1) renting a vehicle, 2) passing through an airport security checkpoint, and 3) peace officer requests.

So what does this mean for credit unions operating in Texas?   All credit unions must update their policies, procedures, and any materials concerning acceptable forms of identification to include the Texas handgun license.  A credit union may not refuse to accept a valid Texas handgun license either during the Bank Secrecy Act Customer Identification Program (CIP) when opening an account, or when requesting identification to from an individual during a transaction.  For all purposes, the Texas handgun license is a valid form of identification for doing business.  This law took effect on September 1st, so all credit unions should accept this identification immediately.

Credit unions also need to train staff to properly identify and validate the Texas handgun license when it is presented.  An example of this can be found at the following link.

In case you are wondering, the process to obtain a Texas CHL is much more stringent than the process used to obtain a driver’s license.  Therefore, credit unions need not be concerned that such IDs are riskier than licenses.  The qualifications for obtaining a CHL include:

  1. Must be 21 years old (exception for military)
  2. Must have a clean criminal history
  3. Must not be under a protective order
  4. Must not be chemically dependent
  5. Must not be of unsound mind
  6. Must not be delinquent in paying fines, fees, child support, etc.
  7. Must be eligible to purchase a handgun by completing a background check which includes a scan of fingerprints
  8. Must complete required training (including a written exam and a shooting practical).

When the new “License to Carry a Handgun” (concealed OR open) is issued starting January 1, 2016, it will replace the concealed handgun license.  However, we anticipate that the alternate license will receive the same protections of the law as the CHL.