Gone Outdoors

How to Renew a FOID Card

by Marilyn Lindblad

A Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card allows Illinois residents to legally acquire and possess firearms and firearm ammunition. FOID cards are issued by the Illinois State Police (ISP) and are regulated by 430 ILCS 65, the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act.

How to Renew a FOID Card

Get an application for an FOID card. If you are living at the same address as when you got your last card or if you have notified the ISP of your current address, the ISP will send you a new FOID card application 60 days before your current FOID expires. Attach a head and shoulders photo of yourself measuring 1.25 inches by 1.5 inches to the application.

Fill out your FOID card application completely. The ISP reports the primary reasons applications are delayed are because applicants forget to check "yes" or "no" in all the question boxes and fail to indicate whether they are U.S. citizens. Write your Illinois drivers license or state identification number in the space provided. Be prepared to provide your name, address, date of birth, any previous names, your sex, race, height, weight, eye color and hair color. You must also answer a series of questions about your prior felony convictions, mental health, narcotics addiction, domestic violence, and citizenship or residency status. If you answer "yes" to any of these questions, you must provide detailed documentation with your application about your condition and circumstances.

Sign the FOID card application and mail it, along with the application fee in a check or money order payable to FOID, to the Illinois State Police. As of December 2010, the application fee was $10, and the mailing address to send applications to is Post Office Box 19233, Springfield, Illinois 62794-9233. The application fee is non-refundable. You should receive your new card approximately 30 days after you submit your application.

Notify the Department of State Police if you change your address while you hold an FOID card. State law requires you to keep the ISP informed of your current address. In nine years and ten months after you apply for your FOID card, you should receive another renewal application.

Items you will need
  • FOID card application
  • Head-and-shoulder photo of yourself
  • Check or money order for application fee


  • If you do not receive a copy of your FOID card application 60 days before your card expires, you can get an application at any store where firearms are sold.


  • Submitting an application that contains false information is punishable as a Class 2 felony. To avoid the risk of criminal liability related to your FOID card application, be sure all the information on your application is accurate and truthful.

About the Author

Marilyn Lindblad practices law on the west coast of the United States. She has been a freelance writer since 2007. Her work has appeared on various websites. Lindblad received her Juris Doctor from Lewis and Clark Law School.

Photo Credits

  • collectible handgun image by jodi mcgee from Fotolia.com