How can I validate someone's PAL?


For restricted firearm sales, the buyer just needs to give the seller the name as it appears on the RPAL card, the RPAL number, and the expiry date. You don't need to send a photo of your license for a restricted transfer because when the seller gives the buyer a reference number to call the CFP with, it is the agent on the phone from the CFP which will verify that you are the actual holder of that RPAL. So we don't recommend sending photos of your ID for a restricted firearm sale.

For non-restricted firearm sales, the rules have changed in 2022. Now sellers have to obtain a reference number for each sale which proves that they did check with he CFP that the buyer's PAL is still valid. Part of that new process, the government has certain demands the seller must take 1 of 3 measures to check the PAL before even calling in to verify the PAL(1-800-731-4000), or using their new online PAL verification tool( Below are the 3 methods they accept as legal methods. We will also comment on the best way to proceed from the perspective of the buyer, who is trying to prevent having his identity stolen for the use of illegal activity.

1. For an in person transaction, the buyer can just show the seller the PAL, and the seller can just physically see the card in the buyer's hand, and then contact the CFP to verify that the PAL is still valid. This is great so that you are not sending your photo ID in the form of a photograph, and risking your PAL being used by someone else for illegal purposes.

2. For a remote deal, not in person, where the seller will ship to the buyer. We realize that our current government has made the idiotic suggestion of having the buyer send the seller a photo of the buyer's PAL with his/her driver's license. This is something that should be okay to do with a very reputable seller, who you would not worry about stealing your identity for the illegal usage.

3. But for all other scenarios, ie. a newer seller with less than (10) 5-star reviews. We suggest using the secondary suggestion that the government has deemed as an acceptable practice for viewing a buyer's PAL. Which is to use a live video call, such as Skype, Facetime, Zoom, Telegram or Signal app video chat, etc.  In a live video call the buyer can show the seller his/her PAL card, and the seller can view it that way. 

***Again, we highly recommend the video call method over sending a photo of your PAL and driver's license, unless it is a seller with several 5-star reviews, who you feel you can trust that this seller would not be out to steal people's ID for illegal purposes.***

Other ideas which in nothing but my own opinion, should qualify for the ever so vague legal requirement of "reasonable measures" to take to ensure that the buyer is NOT using a stolen PAL could include the following(though this is not legal advice, but considering how vague the law is, this seems to be justifiable and reasonable, and safer for the buyer who does not want to risk his photo ID being used by the other party involved):

  • The seller just emails the email address that is used to verify the buyer's PAL on the CFP website, then the buyer can respond and say "Yes. that's me who is buying this item off of you on GunPost". 
  • The seller can ask the buyer "What is the confirmation number that the CFP emailed you when I just verified your PAL?". If the buyer gives the seller the same confirmation number that the seller got when he/she verified the PAL, then the seller can say that reasonable measures were taken to ensure that the buyer is NOT using a stolen PAL to buy the gun with.