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Firearm License Renewal Dates


A license for a firearm issued for self defence is valid for 5 years and the competency certificate is also valid for 5 years.

You need to apply for renewal at least 90 days before expiry.

You don’t need to do any training for the renewal.

Where a license is issued for 10 years the relevant competency certificate would also be valid for 10 years.


The renewal of privately owned firearms has been going on since 2005 with the due dates for licence renewal in accordance with the birthday of the current owners.

Business owners who possess firearms were obliged to renew their licences from 1 January 2006 to 31 December 2006. These businesses include security firms, firearm training institutions, game ranches, professional hunters, any other type of business which possesses firearms such as liquor stores, as well as businesses using firearms in theatre, film and television productions. All these businesses, security firms excluded, had to apply for accreditation at the South African Police Services (SAPS) before they could apply for renewal of licenses. Security firms had to apply for renewal of their firearm licences. All security officers employed by these companies had to obtain competency certificates from the SAPS before they can be issued with firearms.    

Previous dates for the renewal of privately owned guns were as follows:

  • 1 January to 31 March – 1 January 2005 to 31 March 2006
  • 1 April to 30 June – 1 January 2006 to 31 March 2007
  • 1 July to 30 September – 1 January 2007 to 31 March 2008

 Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question. It will be answered as soon as possible via email.

33 comments to Firearm License Renewal Dates

  • Andre


    My licence to possess a handgun expired on 21 July 2013 and the competency certificate on 20 May 2013. Can you assist with the late renewal process?

  • Gerrit

    My fire arm license expired more than a year ago. Totally forgot to renew it. How can you help? Just don’t know how to go about renewing it. Your help will be appreciated. Regards

  • Ockert

    My competency certificate expires soon. My handgun license expires late 2014 and my 2 rifle licenses only exprires in 2019. Should I renew my competency certificate in 2014 with my handgun license or wait till 2019 with expiry of the rifle licenses?
    Many thanks for your help in this regard.

  • Chris

    Good day, I want to find out what am I to do. Well actually my wife. She still has got the old green license, never applied for a new one, but now, she has lost the green one as well. Please help

  • Themba

    I am still in posssess of green card licence is it still accepted until when. Secondly can you assist me to renew and what is expected and how much is it cost.

  • Simon

    My license has expired September 2012 and i forgot to renew.
    What are my options?

  • Shelley

    What does a company do with regards to the green licensing?
    I have been told that it is still accepted and we will then fall under the old Firearms Control Act. This doesn’t sound right obviously. Will there be a penalty if we now apply for new licensing?

  • Tommy


    I live most of the time overseas and I think my firearm license expired in April 2012. Can you assist me in applying for a new license? Also I might be consider getting rid of my pistol as I am considering living overseas indefinite. what is my options??

  • mike40

    Hi my competency certificate expires december 2012 and my license January 2015 hand gun for self defense do I renew my competency now or with my gun license in 2014

    • admin

      Art 10 of the Firearm Act states:

      “A competency certificate remains valid for the same period of validity as the licence to which the competency certificate relates”.
      Thus the competency for your handgun must be renewed within 90 days from date of expiry of the license for the handgun.

  • Riaan

    Good day
    My rifle licence is valid for 10 years but my competency certificate is only valid for 5 years, is this correct?

    • admin

      The Amendment Act on the Firearms Control Act, 2000, which came into operation on 2011-01-10 aligns the validity of the competency certificate to that of the relevant licence, e.g. licence for occasional hunting is valid for 10 years – competency certificate will also be valid for 10 years.

  • collin

    What must I take with me for licence renewal?

    • admin

      Hi Collin
      It is basically the same as a new application, you need to motivate, etc. you do not need to redo the training but you have to add a copy of your training certificate to the application for renewal.

  • collin

    Hi while I’m reading the comments,I just realized mine had also expired on 04 JUNE 2012.What must I do now?

  • Margaret


    I have “mislaid” my licence. When I went overseas, I took it out of my purse and put it somewhere safe but now, I can’t remember where. I feel sure that it is coming up for renewal shortly – can you advise how I can get this info? If I provide my ID number, can it be checked? Please help!
    Many thanks.

  • Rodger Ward

    Hi – I only now noticed that my license has already expired – what do I do now

    • admin

      You can still apply for renewal, in the application you need to provide the reason why your application is late. We can help you with this, send us your detail via the contact form on the left and we will send you a quote.

      • Naomi

        Good day, my husband forgot to renew his licence, it expires on the 16 November 2013, what reason can we give, for the 90 days due date? All the questions are driving me crazy, please help.

        Kind Regards

  • Mark

    Hi. My license expires Jan 2013, but I am going to be overseas till mid 2013 – am overseas since May 2011…. what should I do about the renewal? The firearm is at a gun dealer in storage… THanks

    • admin

      The SAP and current legislation do not make any exception for license holders living / working overseas.

      They still need to hand in their applications for renew of their licenses and competency certificates 90 days before the expiry date.

      I spoke to guys in the SAP who are working with firearm licenses. Their advise is to hand in the application as soon as you are back in south Africa. In the application documents you need to include an explanation of the circumstances and that it was impossible to hand it in as required as you were not in South Africa at that time.

  • Hi i am in a predicament my handgun license expired on the 28 of March 2012 and forgot completely about it.Please what to do for renewed

  • sheridan adolph

    Dear sir I bought my firearm in 2ooo I need a copy of my licence for it was stolen along with my car
    where do I get a
    duplicate card licence or is it expired should I reapply
    Pls advise thanx

  • bobby garewal

    sir, as per rule, renewal of a expiring gun license has to be initiated 90 days prior to the date of expiry. However, it is noticed that even though a renewal application is mooted in time, the renewal takes much more time and generally goes beyond the date of expiry of the weapon. May i know – a) If using/carrying the weapon for which an application for renewal has been mooted, but the license has not not been renewed, permitted? & b) is there a time limit within which the Police authrity to which the renewal application has been made, has to complete the process and renew the license? An early response is solicited.

    • admin

      You can still carry and use the firearm while your application for renewal is pending.

      The SAP has no time limits for attending to the renewal of applications.

  • Abdullah


    What if my birthday is in January and i never applied for the renewal at all?

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