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Applying for a New Possession Only Licence (POL)

A Possession Only Licence (POL) is valid for five years and allows firearm owners to possess firearms, including borrowed firearms, of any class their licence allows. Restricted or prohibited firearms require a registration certificate from the Canadian Firearms Program (CFP). The POL does not allow for the acquisition of more firearms, only the Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) does.

New Initiative

A new policy initiative, which encourages holders of expired POLs to return to compliance with the Firearms Act and firearms licensing regulations, was launched and will continue to be in effect until May 16, 2017. Firearm owners whose POL expired on or after January 1, 2004, may be eligible to apply for a new POL, if they meet the following criteria:

  • They previously held a POL which expired naturally (was not revoked or refused);
  • They are in possession of at least one firearm; and,
  • They meet all public safety requirements in order to possess firearms.

There is no fee for the new POL. Eligible individuals should call the CFP's toll-free number: 1-800-731-4000.

Previous POL holders with a PAL application still in process may apply for a new POL under this initiative. Individuals who have had a POL refused or revoked are not eligible to apply for the new POL.

Grandfathering privileges for prohibited firearms are permanently lost when a POL expires. They cannot be reinstated after obtaining a new POL. In these situations, prohibited firearms must be lawfully disposed of. Guidance on how to lawfully dispose of a firearm can be obtained through one of the contact options listed at the end of this fact sheet.


For more information, contact the CFP.

This fact sheet is intended to provide general information only. For legal references, please refer to the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act and their corresponding regulations. Provincial, territorial and municipal laws, regulations and policies may also apply.