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  • Writer's pictureWaypoint Defensive

There are TWO permits in Tennessee! :) What's best for you?

Updated: Feb 22, 2021

So there’s two permits in the state of Tennessee… and a lot of instructors do a horrible job of explaining them. We want people to make informed decisions so let’s hit the high points of them both.

To start we have TWO separate permits. One is the Enhanced permit (it is the traditional permit we have had for a long time, just with a new name). This permit requires a 6-8 hour in person course that also includes a shoot qualification. Once you complete the course, you’re eligible to apply for the permit at the local DMV.

Since Jan 2020, TN has allowed the SECOND type of permit. The online concealed carry permit requires only a 90 minute online video sessions, some quizzes and then a quick trip to the DMV.

So what’s the big differences?

Well there’s a few:

1. The Enhanced Permit allows for OPEN and CONCEALED carry. Meaning that with that permit you can carry a handgun concealed (covered by a shirt or jacket) or open (visible to the general public). The Online concealed carry permit allows for concealed carry only.

2. The amount of time devoted to each is quite different. The Enhanced permit requires 6-8 hours of in person time which also includes a range portion. Some instructors do this all at once, and others split it up over two days – also remember that most classes need to be scheduled. The Online course can be completed in 90 minutes at your own pace (during breaks, when you get home after 2nd or 3rd shift, or early in the morning over coffee).

3. There is a substantial difference in cost as well. Typically the Enhanced course costs $50-100 per student, plus ammo $40-50, plus a firearm rental if you don’t have one $10-25 then the DMV fee of $65-100. The online concealed carry permit course is only $24.99 then $65 at the DMV.

4. There are slight reciprocity differences – but we reference the page for the current listings. As of the writing of this blog, the only listed difference on the state page is that North Dakota isn’t accepting the online permit. With EITHER permit, always call the state you’re visiting for work or vacation since reciprocity does change at times.

Really, it’s up to the student as to which permit they need. Some want the ability to open carry, so they are willing to spend far more money and time. Busy family members or work professionals see the benefit of the Online permit since it fits their cramped schedule…. Or perhaps because they end up saving far more money.

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