When do I get my federal explosives license?

The Safe Explosives Act (SEA) requires ATF to act on a properly completed application within 90 days. ATF usually considers an application to have been properly completed when all required information has been provided to ATF in writing. This includes submission of the correct number of legible fingerprint cards, the correct fee, etc.

If material changes have to be made to an application (e.g., a change from one license type to another or the addition of or changes to the responsible persons, different business name, premises address, hours of operation, EIN, etc.) after its initial receipt by the Federal Explosives Licensing Center (FELC), then the 90-day processing period may re-start.

The FELC generates licenses and permits every day based on the receipt of field recommendations. Licenses and permits are sent first class mail to an applicant’s mailing address of record from the FELC in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

View current processing times

Last Reviewed April 12, 2022