Handgun Safety Certification (Blue Card)


As of January 1, 2023, a blue card or hunter education card is needed to purchase both a handgun and any ammunition.

Possession of a Pistol/Revolver Safety Certificate, also known as the "blue card," is a required document as part of the process to purchase a handgun and/or ammunition in Rhode Island. The blue card certifies that the applicant has successfully passed the State's requisite safety exam. Booklets, testing, and certification are offered free of charge. There is no fee for the exam.

Schedule a Testing Date

The Blue Card test is administered at RIDEM-approved firearms dealers and sporting clubs throughout the state.In-person exams are also administered Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 AM-3:00 PM at the DEM's Permit Application Center (PAC) at DEM Headquarters, 235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI. The PAC office is located in Suite 260. Registration is required. Schedule an exam testing date. The Blue Card testing locations cannot issue the blue cards and must submit them to RIDEM for grading and issuance of the results.

List of Blue Card Testing Locations

Any citizen of the United States and/or lawful resident of this state who is twenty-one (21) years of age or older, and any nonresident member of the United States armed forces, may apply to purchase a pistol or revolver. At the time of application to purchase a pistol or revolver, among other requirements, the applicant must present to the dealer a Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) Pistol/Revolver Safety Certificate (“blue card”).

No. The blue card is not equivalent to the Concealed Carry Permit. The Concealed Carry Permit is issued through town halls and the RI Attorney Generals Office.

The blue card certifies that the applicant has successfully passed the State’s requisite safety exam. Active military personnel are not required to have a blue card to purchase a firearms, but may acquire a blue card by presenting their active military identification card at either the RIDEM Division of Fish & Wildlife Great Swamp Field Headquarters at 277 Great Neck Road, West Kingston or the RIDEM Headquarters at 235 Promenade Street, Providence.

Persons exempt from the Blue Card Certification requirement are active military, active military reserve, or persons on active duty paid status in the RI National Guard as long as they remain in active status.

Law enforcement professionals, such as sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, state police, prison wardens or their deputies, city or town police, environmental police officers, airport police and officers of the United States government authorized by law to carry a concealed firearm shall be issued a Blue Card Certification without taking the test. At the Department's discretion, persons who can satisfactorily establish that he or she formerly held one of these offices or were so authorized shall also be issued a Blue Card Certification without taking the test. Proof of current or prior employment must be accompanied by a photo ID to obtain a Blue Card.

No. A Rhode Island Hunter Education Course Card (“orange card”) issued by the RIDEM Division of Fish & Wildlife Hunter Education Program can be used in lieu of a blue card to purchase ammunition and/or a handgun (RIGL §11-47-35). The Hunter Education Course Card is proof of successful completion of a R.I. Hunter Safety Course required of hunters. Learn more about the Rhode Island Hunter Education Program.

If you have a RI Hunter Education card and would like to request a blue card, please contact the RIDEM Division of Fish and Wildlife at DEM.DFW@dem.ri.gov.

Note: A Hunter Education Course Card issued by another state will not qualify for a Blue Card. However, it may be used to receive a RI Hunting License. Contact the RIDEM Division of Fish & Wildlife's Outdoor Education Office for more details: 401-539-0019.

The 50-question exam is comprised of multiple choice and true-or-false type questions based on information contained in the study booklet entitled Today’s Handgun Safety Basics" and Rhode Island Firearms Laws. The booklet is available at participating firearm vendors or by emailing the RIDEM Division of Fish and Wildlife at DEM.DFW@dem.ri.gov. The examination and study booklet is available in Spanish.

After completion of the exam, it will be sent to the RIDEM Division of Fish & Wildlife for processing. A score of 80 points or higher is required to pass. More than two (2) cross-off, self-corrections on the test will result in an automatic fail. In the event of a failing score, a notice of failure will be sent instead of a blue card.

The tests are typically processed within one business day after being received from the vendor. It can take a few weeks to travel in the mail. To ensure the quickest possible processing time, please be sure to print your name and mailing address clearly, in block letters on the test answer sheet. Be sure to include an apartment or floor number if applicable.

If it has been more than 3 weeks, you can check the status of your blue card by emailing DEM.DFW@dem.ri.gov

In general, records of blue card tests are not kept and you may need to retake the test if you have lost your blue card. If you have a picture or photocopy of your bluecard and need a replacement, you can email the picture to the Division and have a new one mailed to you. Blue cards can be laminated to prevent damage. Contact the RIDEM Division of Fish and Wildlife at DEM.DFW@dem.ri.gov to verify if you need to retake a test due to a lost card or to replace a worn blue card.

To request a replacement blue card, contact the RIDEM Division of Fish and Wildlife at DEM.DFW@dem.ri.gov.