Here is an update on changes to the application process.
People applying for their first CHL can either apply online, or they can use packets their instructors may have in class. I say "may" because they are not required to have packets. As you will see below, I strongly recommend that everyone use the online application. If you are renewing a CHL, you must use the online process.
Initial applications for first-time licensees:
Applicants for a NEW CHL (not a renewal), will be provided a checklist of any required supplemental documents (ex. CHL-100, fingerprints, photos, DD-214, criminal history disposition documents, etc.) that need to be provided. Since the application itself is completely online (except for supplemental docs that the applicant must provide) DPS will not be mailing anything to applicants.
Applicants who apply online for renewal will be presented with a checklist that includes any supplemental items they need to send to DPS to process their renewal. As most folks already know, DPS no longer requires photos (for in-state applicants) or fingerprints for any applicant on renewal, so for the majority of applicants they will only be sending in the CHL-100—and then only if they are in a renewal period that requires them to take the renewal course.
WARNING ABOUT PAPER APPLICATIONS:
If applicants send in a paper application but want to get digital fingerprints from FAST/L-1, they must take the CHL class, submit their application to DPS and wait to schedule their fingerprint appointment until AFTER they receive a confirmation from DPS. They cannot schedule with FAST/L1 until they are in DPS's system so that FAST/L1 knows they are a CHL applicant.
All L-1 a/k/a FAST locations are now doing fingerprints for CHL applications:
It was previously reported that some FAST locations were not doing fingerprints for CHL applicants. This has changed and every FAST/L-1 location is doing prints for CHL's
This is the latest information from DPS and it's a much better process. Prior to May 1st, I used to recommend using the online application for an initial application only if you had at least 21 to 30 days before you were scheduled to take the class. This was intended to make sure the applicant got the DPS packet prior to class day. Obviously, this changed on May 1st.
Good job DPS!