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Home > Requirements to Buy a Firearm in VA
This information is provided for you prior to purchasing a firearm, if you do not comply or cannot meet the requirements below, we WILL NOT transfer a firearm to you.  That includes any transfers that you have already paid for via other sites, ie gunbroker, buds, etc.  (You will be liable for shipping charges to return any item that you are not qualified to purchase that come from third party sites)


The dealer shall determine residency and verify the prospective purchaser's identity as required in Section B of the SP-65 form by requiring a primary and a secondary form of identification that denote the address of the prospective purchaser. Only the forms of identification listed shall be acceptable to establish identity and residency.

A. Primary ID

The primary form of ID shall consist of a valid photo-ID form issued by a governmental agency of the Commonwealth (residents) or of the prospective purchaser’s home state (nonresidents) that denotes the individual’s name, sex, and date of birth.
1. Where the primary form is a photo-ID issued by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the dealer shall not transfer a firearm to the prospective purchaser until 30 days after the date of issue of an original or duplicate driver's license unless a copy of his/her DMV driver's record is presented showing that the original date of issue was more than 30 days prior to the attempted purchase.
2. A State Department Driver's License is an acceptable primary form of identification: a photo-identification issued by a [Federal] Governmental Agency that indicates the individual's name, address, sex, and date of birth.
3. The DMV will not issue an original license, permit, or ID card to any applicant who has not presented evidence that he/she is a citizen of the United States, a legal permanent resident, or an authorized temporary resident alien of the United States. In the instance of temporary residence (nonimmigrant status), the driver’s license or ID card will only be valid during the period of authorized stay in the United States.

B. Secondary Identification

The secondary forms of ID must show an address identical to that shown on the photo- identification form. The following are acceptable forms of secondary identification:
1. A current lease.
2. Evidence of currently paid personal property tax or real estate tax.
3. A current utility or telephone bill.
4. A current voter registration card.
5. A current bank check.
6. A current passport.
7. A current automobile registration.
8. A current hunting or fishing license.
9. Other current identification allowed as evidence of residency by Part 178.124 of Title 27 of the Code of Federal Regulations and BATF Ruling 2001-5 or other documentation of residence determined to be acceptable by the Department of Criminal Justice Services that corroborates that the prospective purchaser currently resides in Virginia.

C. Social Security Card or Birth Certificate

A social security card or birth certificate is not an acceptable secondary form of identification as it does not include and address and under no circumstances will be accepted as any form of identification of the prospective purchaser.

Military Personnel

1. Identification Requirements - A military photo-identification card issued by the United States Department of Defense and proof that Virginia, including the Pentagon, is the permanent duty station via "signed and current" military assignment orders is acceptable identification and residency documentation to establish military personnel as residents of Virginia.
2. Mobile Unit Assignments - If permanently or temporarily assigned to mobile units in Virginia, the mobile unit's address should be considered when establishing residency. If the individual's home state is not Virginia, he/she shall be considered a nonresident and the transaction conducted pursuant to nonresident procedures. If, however, the homeport is listed as Virginia, the transaction may be processed as a Virginia resident the same as any other permanent military assignment to Virginia supported by military assignment orders.

Nonresident Transactions

1. Handguns - The sale of handguns to nonresident buyers is prohibited by federal law, with the exception of the purchase of a handgun by law enforcement officers (see E.3.)
2. Rifles and Shotguns - Rifles and shotguns may be purchased by persons who are residents of other states under the terms of subsection A and B, Section 18.2-308.2:2, Code of Virginia; i.e., one photo-identification form issued by a governmental agency of the purchaser's state of residence and one other documentation of residence, any of which must show an address identical to that shown on the photo-identification form.
3. A nonresident redeeming a pawned handgun(s) must meet primary and secondary ID requirements. Refer to Section X for additional information pertaining to pawn redemption transactions.


A. State Requirements

1. Pursuant to Virginia Code Section 18.2-308.2:2, a criminal history record information (CHRI) check is required prior to the transfer of a firearm.
2. The transferee must consent to a CHRI check by signature on the Virginia Firearms Transaction Record/Consent (SP-65) Form. It is the dealer’s responsibility to ensure that the SP-65 form is complete prior to requesting a CHRI check.
3. The making of any false oral or written statement or the exhibiting of any false or misrepresented identification associated with a criminal history record information check for the purchase or redemption of a firearm is a crime punishable as a felony.

B. Federal Requirements

In accordance with the Brady Act, Public Law 103-159, the FBI implemented the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) which must be queried by all federal firearm licensees to determine whether receipt of a firearm by a prospective transferee would violate section 922 (g) or (n) of Title 18, United States Code, or State Law. The Virginia State Police agreed to serve as Point of Contact (POC) for the NICS and for firearms dealers licensed in the Commonwealth, and incorporated NICS into the Virginia Firearms Transaction Program. All firearms transactions conducted by the Firearms Transaction Center include query of this national database.