Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How long does it take to process my CCW renewal application once I've submitted it to your office?
    The renewal process can take up to 120 days.
  2. When should I call the office to check on the status of my CCW application?
    Our office cannot provide the completion status of an application.
  3. Can you recommend a CCW instructor?
    Our office approves each instructor on the list; therefore, we cannot recommend anyone specifically.
  4. How do I get a CCW permit in Nevada?
    Take a class from an authorized instructor, present to our office IN PERSON, complete the application.
  5. How can I apply for a CCW permit in another state?
    Our office does not have that information. You must contact each state for their requirements.
  6. How early can I submit my CCW renewal application?
    We can accept a renewal application as early as 120 days prior to the current permit expiring. (i.e. if your current permit expires on 5/10/12 we can accept your renewal application between 1/10/12 – 5/10/12).
  7. I was arrested for a DUI five years ago. When am I eligible to apply for a CCW permit?
    You cannot apply for a Nevada CCW permit until five years after the conviction date.
  8. How do I update my address with the CCW office?
    You can either come into the office or mail the following to us:
    1. Written notice that you have moved. A form can be found on our website.
    2. Proof of the new address (i.e. rental agreement, utility bill, Driver’s License)
    3. $15 payment to process the request.
  9. How can I add a revolver or a semi-automatic to my CCW permit?


    Effective October 1, 2013, a person only has to qualify with one handgun (revolver or semi-automatic) to be eligible to apply for a CCW permit.

  10. I’m a retired law enforcement officer, how do I apply for the HR218, Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA) permit?
    You must apply in the county where you reside. We cannot issue this permit to out-of-state residents. The LEOSA “Retiree Information Packet” notes eligibility and requirements to obtain the LEOSA permit.
  11. How do I renew my LEOSA permit?
    Washoe County will accept renewal applications & firearm qualifications via mail or in-person for a period of up to five (5) years. On the fifth year of a renewal the retiree MUST present to our office for an updated photo, along with the two completed documents.
  12. There is an abandoned vehicle in my neighborhood. Who do I call to report it?
    If the abandoned vehicle is located in the unincorporated areas of Washoe County, you can report an abandoned vehicle on a public street to the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Front Desk at 328-3001. If the abandoned vehicle is in Reno, call Reno Direct at 334-4636. If the abandoned vehicle is in Sparks call the Sparks Police Department at 353-2231.
  13. I have a friend or family member who is an inmate. When is the court date or outcome of the court appearance?
    Click on Inmate information to the left. Information on charges, court dates and times are available under Inmate Search.
  14. How will the inmate know that I have placed money on their books or that I have sent them an e-mail?
    All inmates are able to check the Kiosk in their housing unit during "tier time;" time when inmates have access to common areas outside of their cells. The Kiosk provides them with information on account balances, email, etc.
  15. Do you have a Frequently Asked Questions area for the Forensic Sciences Division (Crime Lab)?
    Yes we do. Click here for the Forensic Sciences Division FAQs.
  16. What are the laws regarding underage drinking? What about in a personal residence? Can my teen be arrested if s/he doesn’t drink, but is around those that do?
    Click HERE to view the Nevada Revised Statutes NRS 202.020 & 202.055 regarding underage drinking.
    Regarding allowing alcohol in a personal residence; in the State of Nevada, it is legal for a parent, legal guardian or a physician to give alcohol to a person under the age of 21 while in their presence (including a private residence). If the minor who consumed the alcohol moves from their private residence to a public forum, they can be cited if they are not in the presence of their parent or legal guardian. There are a few other exceptions as well (see the NRS for a complete list). If your teen is around any juvenile that is legally consuming alcohol, and your teen has not consumed any alcohol, s/he would not be arrested. It is common practice to have all those underage, and suspected of having consumed alcohol illegally, be given a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT). The PBT would let the officer know if s/he had consumed any alcohol. If s/he had consumed alcohol, then they are guilty of a misdemeanor and could be cited or arrested. If s/he had not consumed alcohol, s/he is not violating the law and will not be arrested.
  17. My neighbors play loud music throughout the night. Can I call Non-emergency dispatch to help?
    With regards to addressing the matter, you are the affected party and a call for service would be warranted. The options you have are as follows: 1. You can request that the law enforcement agency contact the person(s), explain the violation and request that the music be turned down to a reasonable level; as not to disturb the peace of the neighborhood. The officer/deputy would then come to your residence and explain what was discussed at the residence. 2. You can request that the law enforcement agency contact you, then the person and a citation can be issued on your behalf. This would require you to appear in court and testify to the noise level, time etc... The officer/deputy that authored the citation would also be subpoenaed to appear in court and state what he/she observed and heard. 3. You can request that the law enforcement agency contact the person, explain the violation and request that the music be turned down to a reasonable level; as not to disturb the peace of the neighborhood. You can also request not to be contacted and remain anonymous. As law enforcement, we do not have the ability to author a citation on our behalf and appear in court without your testimony. This is based upon the aspect that you are the complainant in the matter. For more information, you can review NRS 203.010 Breach of Peace, Washoe County Code 53.140 Disturbing the Peace, or Reno Administrative Code 8.12.020 Disturbing the Peace.
  18. I have a question about Alarm Ordinances, can you help me?


    We have a page set up specifically for Alarm Ordinance FAQ's. Click HERE for more information.

  19. Why is RAVEN flying over my house?
    RAVEN conducts several different missions while airborne. Primarily, RAVEN conducts a patrol function just like the Sheriff’s vehicles you see on the street. If you see RAVEN in an orbit, the deputies onboard are likely providing support to ground units. This can range from providing an extra set of eyes on a suspicious vehicle or person, to directing deputies on the ground who might be searching for a suspect. RAVEN also performs security checks on various high value infrastructure in the Truckee-Meadows area. RAVEN will often orbit the infrastructure while checking its security.
  20. If I see RAVEN, does it mean I should stay inside?
    Generally, the short answer is no. RAVEN may well be conducting one of many types of patrol missions stated in the previous question. If there was a dangerous situation in your area, you would be contacted via reverse 911 and given details about the incident. Bottom line, seeing RAVEN in your area should be considered a good thing, because the deputies on board are conducting patrol functions that make your community safer.
  21. How high does RAVEN fly, and why?
    RAVEN typically operates at an altitude of 800 to 1500 feet above the ground, depending on the location, the situation and the sensors being employed. There are certain circumstances that may require lower altitudes (such as Air Traffic Control mandated altitude separations from other air traffic). In those circumstances, the RAVEN crews minimize the time at those altitudes, returning to normal patrol altitudes as soon as they can. Regardless of the reason, RAVEN crews are trained to conduct their operations is the safest possible manner, minimizing the time the aircraft is at a lower than typical altitude.
  22. How much does it cost to operate RAVEN?
    Although costs for operating helicopters may seem expensive, the cost compared to the benefit that the program provides is actually quite low. RAVEN operates two different types of helicopters. The smaller OH-58 is about one third the cost to operate compared to the bigger HH-1H “Huey”, which is why the Huey is used for specialized missions such as Firefighting and Search and Rescue. Overall, in the big fiscal picture, RAVEN is one half of one percent of the Sheriff’s overall operating budget. If RAVEN were to be privatized, the cost would be close to ten times its current cost. The citizens of Washoe County are getting an incredible bargain. It is also important to understand that RAVEN receives much of its funding using drug seizure funds and donations, and receives many of its required parts and maintenance supplies at no cost through the Department of Defense’s Law Enforcement Support Office.
  23. What kind of missions does RAVEN perform?
    RAVEN conducts the following missions: Law Enforcement Patrol, Department of Homeland Security checks, Search and Rescue, and Firefighting.
  24. What qualifications does RAVEN have for conducting Firefighting missions?
    RAVEN goes through an annual inspection by the Office of Aviation Services arm of the Department of the Interior. This inspection includes all ground support equipment, maintenance practices and procedures, aircraft materiel inspections, and pilot check flights with federal inspection pilots. Once the inspections are successfully completed, the aircraft and pilots are “carded” for federal firefighting duties. RAVEN is used only for initial attack missions. This means that if there is a commercial operator enroute to the fire, as soon as that asset arrives, RAVEN will depart the scene. This is because RAVEN, as a public use aircraft, is prohibited from competing with commercial enterprise in accordance with public law 103, the Pressler law.
  25. CONGESTED SHOOTING AREA: What is a Congested Shooting Area?


    Nevada State Law (NRS 244.364-3) states that “A board of county commissioners may proscribe by ordinance or regulation the unsafe discharge of firearms.” The Congested Shooting Area is the area determined by the Washoe County Commission wherein the discharge of firearms would result in the greatest risk of injury to people.

  26. CONGESTED SHOOTING AREA: What is considered a “firearm”?


    By county ordinance the term “firearm” means any weapon the discharge of which in the ordinary manner contemplated by its design and construction will or is likely to cause death or great bodily harm. This includes the following: • Pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun, submachine gun, muzzle loading firearm, black powder weapon, b-b gun, air rifle, bow, or crossbow.

  27. CONGESTED SHOOTING AREA: Why did the County Commission change the current boundary?
    Residential areas within Washoe County have been growing and in many locations subdivisions containing multiple residences are outside the congested boundary. Additionally annexation of lands by the City of Reno, where discharge within the city limits is prohibited, are not properly identified. Another factor is the increase of outdoor recreation that the citizens in this area enjoy, increases the density of people in areas where safety conflicts have been reported. The County Commission takes its role of providing a safe area to live very seriously and the existing boundary is not adequate.
  28. CONGESTED SHOOTING AREA: The old boundary had square edges, but many locations of the new boundary are not straight, why is that?
    The old boundary followed section lines laid out and used for surveying. Those work well if you have a map, and more importantly know how to navigate with the map. Many people rely on smart phones these days, and do not use maps. The new boundary in locations where it was possible use landmarks to denote the boundary. An example of this is the use of the main Peavine Peak access roadway which now serves as the congested area boundary.
  29. CONTESTED SHOOTING AREA: I understand that I cannot shoot in an area designated as congested; does that mean that I can shoot everywhere else?
    Along with the congested area boundary, Washoe County Code includes safety regulations for areas outside the boundary. In Washoe County the following also applies: • It is unlawful to discharge a firearm across a federal highway, state highway, county road or highway. • Except in the Warm Springs Defined Area you cannot discharge a gun, pistol, rifle or other firearm, with the exception of shotguns, air rifles or B-B guns, within 5,000 feet of any occupied dwelling. • Except in the Warm Springs Defined Area you cannot discharge any shotgun, air rifle or B-B gun within 1, 000 feet of any dwelling.
  30. CONGESTED SHOOTING AREA: Can you shoot in the Warm Springs Defined Area?
    In the Warm Springs Defined Area you may discharge any firearm as long as you are not within 500 feet of a dwelling located on another parcel.
  31. CONGESTED SHOOTING AREA: How do I know if I am in the boundary or out of it?
    The Washoe County Technology Services Department administers geospatial data through the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) division. This information is available in a web version as well as a mobile version for use on your smartphone. http://wcgisweb.washoecounty.us/CongestedAreas/
  32. CONGESTED SHOOTING AREA: What about Hunting?
    The ordinance now contemplates that there are areas within the congested shooting boundary that may be well suited for big game hunting. Due to the increased education specific to Hunter’s Safety and the ability to obtain a license an exemption specific to large game hunting has been inserted to allow active hunting within the congested boundary: • If you are in the possession of and while lawfully hunting under the authority of a valid big game tag issued by the Nevada Department of Wildlife and are further than 5,000 feet from a dwelling you may hunt with any legal weapon. • Additionally you may hunt by the use of archery equipment as long as you are further than 1,000 feet from an occupied dwelling.
  33. CONGESTED SHOOTING AREA: What about bird hunting?
    The ordinance does not allow for hunting birds and small game within the congested area boundary.
  34. CONGESTED SHOOTING AREA: If I see someone shooting illegally, what can I do?
    The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office should be immediately contacted at 775-785-WCSO (9276).

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