What’s the Difference Between a POL, FAC and PAL?
POL – FAC – PAL. What’s the Difference?
A POL, or Possession Only License, allowed a firearm owner to legally possess but not acquire new firearms. It has been invalid since 2015. If you had a valid POL at the time of this transition (September 2, 2015), then your POL automatically became a PAL (Possession Acquisition License). If your POL was expired, you would need to take the PAL course and apply for the license.
FAC, or Firearms Acquisition Certificate, is no longer valid. It was the license used in Canada from 1977 to 1995.
PAL, or Possession Acquisition License, is the license that is required for firearm ownership and acquisition. It is valid for 5 years. When it expires, you only have to renew it, you never have to take the CFSC again. But don’t wait for it to expire before you renew your PAL. A valid PAL can be renewed with a simple online renewal form. If you wait until your PAL expired you will have to send in another application through the mail.
FAQs about PALs
What is the difference between a PAL and CFSC?
PAL is the acronym for the Possession Acquisition License. CFSC is the initialism for the Canadian Firearms Safety Course. The RCMP requires the successful completion of the CFSC in order to apply for your PAL.
What is the CFSC like?
The CFSC consists of 8 hours of classroom instruction including 2 tests – one written (true/false, multiple choice) and practical handling of firearms (with deactivated firearms). You are required to correctly answer 80%. There are 50 questions.
The practical portion requires you to be able to identify certain types of firearms and answer questions about them.
What’s the difference between a PAL and an RPAL?
The PAL is the non-restricted firearms license. It allows you to purchase and acquire non-restricted firearms.
The RPAL is the restricted firearms license. It allows you to purchase and acquire restricted firearms.
Can I take the RPAL and not the PAL?
No. You need to complete the CFSC and have a valid PAL if you want to complete the CRFSC and get an RPAL.
How old must you be to get a PAL?
18. A person may not be younger than 18 to hold a firearms license. A person between the ages of 12-17 may hold a minor’s license which permits the borrowing of firearms for target practice or firearms instruction, among some other activities.
See the RCMP site on minor’s using firearms for details.
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