Perhaps you’ve decided to become a locksmith, and maybe you’ve attended a five day locksmithing seminar or a two-week course or a full-blown two-year training program and you’re itching to start up your own business. Before proceeding the best thing to do is to check your state’s laws about locksmiths: some states don’t require a license and almost anyone can set up shop. However, in some states, in order to ensure law and order along with a high degree of professionalism, locksmiths must be licensed or certified. Here is a list of states that require a license to practice or certification:
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
- Washington DC
As of July 2011, the above states require locksmiths to obtain a license from a state agency. This means that a person wishing to set up a business as a locksmith or wishing to call himself or herself a locksmith must meet state-defined and established credentials. In some cases, locksmith businesses and individual locksmiths are separately licensed. All of the necessary information about licensing laws for locksmiths should be researched before a person spends money on a locksmithing course; the skills taught in some courses may not meet the standards required by the state.
The state of Nevada can be considered a special case: in Nevada, locksmiths require local permits which are obtained from the county sheriff. There are no specific state criteria for who can obtain a license; the decision is left to the discretion of the county sheriff.
New York City and Nassau County, NY require locksmiths to get a license from the jurisdiction in which they work. In all states and counties where locksmiths require a license, locksmiths must undergo a criminal background check before a license will be issued. Competency qualifications also vary within the fourteen states; in some cases both practical and written examinations are required.
Some states also require that licensed locksmiths keep detailed records of all locksmith services provided for several years.
While at first glance this may all seem like quite a hassle, the truth is that it ensures locksmiths are upstanding citizens who are competent and skilled on the job.