The New FOID Already Has A Problem

Last updated on October 20th, 2023

The Illinois State Police have released a new version of the Firearm Owner Identification card, and there is already a problem. This new FOID card, released in January 2022, is a combined identification card. The ISP has merged the Concealed carry License and the Firearm Owner ID into one card. Let us take a look at the new FOID card and see if we can spot the problem.

2022 FOID reduced
“CAUTION: This card does not permit the bearer to UNLAWFULLY carry or use firearms.

What’s the Problem With the new FOID?

If you examine this new combined FOID and Concealed Carry License, you’ll notice it is conflicting. Remember, this is a combined card. This particular new FOID card actually allows the bearer to carry a concealed firearm in Illinois. In the upper right-hand corner of the card, it states “Indicator: CCL” But wait! It also clearly states in big red bold letters, “the card does not permit the bearer to UNLAWFULLY carry or use firearms.”

It is understandable what the ISP was trying to accomplish. One can’t “unlawfully” carry firearms. That means if your card doesn’t indicate “CCL” you’re probably carrying your firearm unlawfully. With proper training, law enforcement will understand this secret code. What’s the likelihood that a police officer in another state will understand this secret code? Just as there have been arrests for Illinois residents carrying concealed in other states with concealed carry licenses indicating “expired”, I predict there too shall be arrests for carrying firearms in other states with the new combined FOID/CCL.

Don’t Drown in Muddy Waters

There is a solution to this problem of vague ambiguity. We are suggesting to our students to apply for a Florida concealed weapons permit and/or Arizona concealed weapons permit. The Florida and Arizona concealed weapons permits are accepted in dozens of states and do not have conflicting markings upon their cards. Carrying one or both of these non-resident permits might just keep you out of trouble with law enforcement in another state. You’ve got to expect the law enforcement officer to handle the situation at face value and be prepared for it. Of course, if you never leave Illinois this is a non-issue.

Due to our instructor credentials, the 16 hour concealed carry class, offered by Alpha Koncepts, allows the student to apply for the Illinois, Florida, and Arizona concealed carry licenses. That’s like 3 classes in one. In addition, our 8 hour Alpha Pistol Basics allows the student to apply for Florida or Arizona concealed weapons permits.

Suggestion to the ISP

Instead of “indicator: CCL”, why not change what the bottom red line reads based upon the status of the person’s license. Instead of CCL, which out of state law enforcement may not understand, change the bottom line for those who are licensed to carry, to read: “This card does permit the carrier to carry a concealed firearm in accordance with Illinois law.”? For clarity of my suggestion… The bottom line can be changed just as easily as the top line, based upon the person’s status, and would prevent problems while interacting with law enforcement.


44 thoughts on “The New FOID Already Has A Problem”

  1. This is a good article but there’s more than this issue on my new CCL card. As you statwd. My new card says…”Caution: this card does not permit bearer to unlawfully carry or use Firearms.”. But my card also says….”This does not authorize the carrying of a concealed weapon.” My card has 2 red lines or sentences on the bottom of my new card. My card also has my CCL indicator in the tip right. I have no idea why my card has 2 red sentences. This needs to be fixed by the state police

    1. Received my new FOID today. I am a CCL holder. My new FOID card has the letter “Y” in lieu of CCL as shown above. Any idea what this means?

    2. Maurice Gatewood

      When it said this card does not permit the bearer to unlawfully carry or use firearms,
      Now here’s what you miss , when it said unlawfully carry, it means open carry or walk around outside with it in your hand, when it said unlawfully use, it means using your firearm to rob someone or shoot someone for no reason.

      1. Is that what it means? The fact that we have to debate this means that it means whatever the reader wants it to mean.

        Open carry is legal in Illinois without a concealed carry license, with only a FOID, under very limited circumstances. Those circumstances are on your land, abode, legal dwelling fixed place of business, or on the land of another as an invitee with their permission.

  2. Robert Calcut

    I just received my FOID card. the indicator says N, can you tell me what that means ? I am also a CCL card holder. thanks

      1. I tried to call the ISP FSB and could not get anyone to answer, I pressed every option and none of the options led me to a human that could hear the problem and help me. Maybe you’ll have better luck. If not, then know that I contacted my State Representatives (all 3 of them) and 2 of the 3 answered (the 3rd of 3 will be voted against by anyone running against him), and the one that answered my email first did contact the ISP FSB and it took about 14 emails and 4 weeks to get the ISP FSB to correct my “N” indicator. I didn’t give up, even though up till the 13th email it seemed hopeless. I remained calm, nice and professional with the clerk in the Reps office and he understood I needed help and with persistence and not giving up I finally got my card with the CCL indicator and not the N indicator.

        1. Brittany Jones

          What was the email you used to get through to them because I have the same problem. My letter that came with my new foid card says attached is my concealed to carry indicator but the indicator on the card is still N. So yeah, I need that email like ASAP if you don’t mind. I am highly pissed!

      2. Brittany Jones

        So I’ve applied for my ccl’s, it’s been about 4 months I’ve been waiting. I updated my foid card’s address to my new address and it just came in the mail, now this is where I am concerned, my letter states that it’s my new foid card with concealed carry indicator but my address is updated but the indicator is still N, does this mean they made a mistake?

  3. I’m more concerned about them not having expiration dates. Anyone can honestly forget to check online for their expiration date and I feel that’s a melting pot for trouble. Seems like it was done on purpose to me.

    1. I am encouraging all my students to put the renewal reminder in their electronic calendar immediately. Further, my previous advice to students was to check their wallets (all their cards) once per year, usually on their birthday or Newyear’s or one day a year they won’t forget. I’m now also recommending they also check their online portal on that day.

      1. I used Sharpie marker on the top front where the card sticks up in my wallet to write the expiration date. Not pretty but it’s effective.

      2. Normally, this would be great advise. However… the expiration date is 5 years away. How many new devises will be purchased during that time? So easy to miss a date you intended to copy to the new phone/computer when it’s that far into the future.

    2. I agree! There is no expiration date for the CCL either, this may falsely lure someone to believe that the CCL NEVER expires either. Setting up so many people for major issues.

  4. My new foid says, Indicator: CCL.
    And the bottom in red,
    CAUTION: This card does not permit bearer to UNLAWFULLY Cary or use firearms. Wouldn’t unlawfully mean carry openly, or flash your gun waving it around? Please inform me!

    1. Unlawfully means whatever the responding officer wants it to mean. I don’t mean that facetiously. You can be arrested for any reason; the officer simply needs to believe what you did might be against the law.

      In my layman opinion I would agree with you and also add in that if the indicator doesn’t say CCL, one would also be unlawfully carrying. The problem is, if the officers isn’t properly trained on the different indicators, some people are going to get caught up. This is especially true in other states where I expect the police to receive zero training on our funky contradictory licenses.

  5. michael k clark

    my card was revoked..i recently had them returned…my foid was active til may2022…i applied and received a new foid…..but my ccl expired in nov 2019…on the renewal says my ccl…active…but yet expired in nov 2019…unable to renew…i sent a letter and my 16 hr refresher to th isp….ythey mailed me a new foid my renewal…with the ccl indicator…but i also have the red warning at the bottom not to carry…i cant renew and pay for a new ccl until they clear the portal that states active yet expired ..i need that portal to say renew….what a mess

  6. michael k clark

    my card was revoked..i recently had them returned…my foid was active til may2022…i applied and received a new foid…..but my ccl expired in nov 2019…on the renewal says my ccl…active…but yet expired in nov 2019…unable to renew…i sent a letter and my 16 hr refresher to th isp….ythey mailed me a new foid my renewal…with the ccl indicator…but i also have the red warning at the bottom not to carry…

    1. N means it is a FOID card only and is not a concealed carry license. Contact the state police to issue a proper CCL and don’t carry until you receive the proper CCL.

    1. N means it is a FOID card only and is not a concealed carry license. Contact the state police to issue a proper CCL and don’t carry until you receive the proper CCL.

  7. I just got my new FOID card this week after waiting 6 months for my CCL renewal. My last name is not on the card.

  8. I’m still awaiting my CCL in the mail. I printed a virtual card from the ISP website. Can I use that until the actual card arrives? It has the same number as my current FOID.

    1. I received two Illinois foid/CCL cards. One says (indicator:CDL). The other says (CCL:Yes.) Why two cards and are they both valid?

  9. at the very least, I would suggest having the website bookmarked and your password memorized on your phone. Hopefully if an officer out of state gives you any trouble, you can bring that up to help the confusion.

  10. Melissa Ackley

    I just got my new foid card after 6 months of waiting for an address change and they messed up my address. As part of my street address it should say Trlr 27, instead it says Trlr 2. Is this an issue that I need to have corrected? Also I have read that a combination card will only be issued if I also had a concealed carry License, however I received one anyway. ‍♀️. I never had a CCL, just a foid card so why did I get the combination card?

  11. After a month of receiving my FOID/CCL with “Indicator: CCL” in the RH corner, I received another today with “CCL: Yes” in the RH corner.
    What’s going on?

  12. Conrad Zimmerman

    The portal days both are active. The paperwork says they are combined and active on the card I received. On the card it says is this screwed up or what. I printed out the portal info. I’ll email them. Took since 3/6/22 to get it this messed up.

    1. EXACTLY. These nitwits issued the new combined FOID / CCL card with no expiration dates noted on the card and FOID cards are valid for 10 YEARS whereas the IL CCL card is valid for 5 YEARS. What a cluster…

  13. My old FOID card said it exprires 11/03/31
    My new FOID card has no experation date, so does that mean it expires in 2031 like my old one stated? It also states CCL: yes
    My concelled carry expires in 11/2024. Does that mean I need to renew my CCL card before 11/2024 or does it stay the same as my old FOID card and expire in 2031?
    Very confused!

  14. Hi,

    I see you guys are talking about students; however, I am not one.
    I do have a couple questions if you guys would be willing to help?
    I am not worried about the Red statement on the bottom as it clearly indicates “UNlawfully” and I know what I can and can’t lawfully do…lol

    It seems they must have changed how these cards look quite a few times? Mine shows CCL: No, which makes sense to me, as I do not have a CCL at this time. But for someone to show Y or N or other stuff is confusing to me.

    My other concern is about the 2 different Number strings. Trying to find pictures of the new FOID’s, I see some only have the FOID# but mine also has an AL# and I have NO clue what that is and so far, haven’t found an answer so I thought I would stop and ask here.

    I also did not understand why I did not have to pay when submitting my renewal application? I tried to contact them several times, and even got auto-replies, never got to speak to anyone on the phone the times I tried to call. So, I gave up figuring if they wanted money they would request I remit payment then send the card. Wrong.

    As for someone else saying it looks like they purposely left the expiration dates off, I agree wholeheartedly. BUT, I was also reading above to go to the portal to verify the expiration date. Well, when I just signed in and looked, it says status active, printed 3/8/2023 and expires 5/1/2023…what the heck?!

  15. Michael T David

    Thanks, but I’m haveing all kinds of problems trying to pull up my information for both cards. Maybe I should start all over and re-register both cards. I think I might have to just go to a gun shop to have them help me.

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