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Locksmith Regulations - How to Avoid Locksmith Scammers

Traced back to Ancient Egypt, locksmithing is a trade that most people usually take for granted today until they are confronted with a real lockout or home break-in scenario. Nonetheless, this profession has become incredibly important for our safety needs, which are growing increasingly complex as we own more valuable things and become more vulnerable to security threats.

When dealing with any type of missing or broken key emergency, lock installation, upgrade need, or anything of the sort, most people will usually hire the first locksmith service that pops in their search engine - without putting too much thought into it. While there are plenty of quality locksmith services on the market, it is also easy to come across quite a number of scammers who may try to trick you into paying extra or provide you with poor-quality services. This is why it is important to know how to protect yourself against potential con artists and scammers. The golden rule of thumb is: only hire locksmiths who fully comply with the locksmith regulations and requirements.

So what are these regulations and why are they important for you as a consumer of locksmith services? Read on to find out.

locksmith regulationsWhat Are Locksmith Regulations?

Locksmith regulations are generated to guarantee that tradesmen who exercise their professional rights as locksmiths have obtained a license and fully comply with the highest industry standards and job requirements. The same requirements guarantee that these individuals perform their duties while honoring the trade itself and acting with full caution and respect for all local, federal, and state requirements.

However, not all US states legally ask locksmith technicians to get a license in order to do their jobs, which is why it is important to hold the right information and know just what to expect for your own safety.

Which Bodies Regulate the Locksmithing Industry?

Locksmiths are allowed to request certificates for voluntary professionals through the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA). Registered Locksmith and Certified Registered Locksmith certificates are some of the most popular options. In order to obtain these certificates, locksmiths need to go through a number of tests and obtain at least 70 points to pass each of them. ALOA is not the only organization regulating the trade and offering skill improvement courses in the country. The Texas Locksmith Association, the Tennessee Organization of Locksmiths - TOOL, the West Tennessee Locksmith Association, the Society of Professional Locksmiths - SOPL, or the Institutional Locksmiths Association - ILA are just a few more examples of different regulatory organizations that allow members to attend seminars, webinars, tradeshows, and social networking events in order to continue and earn education credits, read new product reviews and much more.

Who Is Eligible for a Locksmith License and How to Obtain One?

US locksmithing regulations require licensees to prove they are at least 18, do not show any questionable traits, suffer from any physical impairments or mental problems, and have not been charged with any felonies. Ex-army personnel discharged dishonorably are also less likely to be granted a license, along with alcohol, substance, or drug addicts. Another category of people who may be denied a license are locksmiths who have had their titles revoked in the past due to one of the previously mentioned reasons.

In order to obtain a license, an individual must pass a number of testing phases and trials, along with hands-on learning and an apprenticeship. On top of that, they must also have their files completed, send their scanned fingerprints to their record, and have their practical and theoretical knowledge checked by regulating bodies.

Which US States Require a License?

Only a handful of US states require locksmiths to show proof of licensing prior to offering their services to the public:

  • Alabama (Electronic Security Board of Licensure)

  • California (Department of Consumer Affairs/Bureau of Security & Investigative Services)

  • Connecticut (Department of Consumer Protection)

  • Illinois (Division of Professional Regulation)

  • Louisiana (State Fire Marshal’s Office)

  • Nebraska (County Clerk’s Office)

  • New Jersey (Division of Consumer Affairs)

  • New York City (Department of Consumer Affairs)

  • Nevada (County Sheriff’s Office)

  • North Carolina (Locksmithing Licensing Board)

  • Oklahoma (State Department of Health)

  • Oregon (Department of Commerce & Insurance)

  • Tennessee (Department of Commerce & Insurance)

  • Texas (Department of Public Safety Security Board)

  • Virginia (Department of Criminal Justice Services)

Locksmiths from states where licensing is not mandatory can obtain a voluntary certificate to prove their trustworthiness and reliability.

How Will Lockmsith Regulations Help You Stay Safe from Scammers?

For starters, locksmiths who are part of a legitimate professional organization have their work regulated and their skills tested, receive access to ongoing education opportunities, and are connected to legal representatives provided they are sued by a client. They also benefit from more advantageous bonding and insurance alternatives. Together, these benefits recommend them as fully trustworthy technicians who are worth hiring for your own peace of mind, as well as fair, high-quality services, with a very low risk of scams.

As a consumer hiring a locksmith who is licensed and thus fully complies with the industry regulations, you will avoid being over-charged, receiving poor quality or unsatisfactory services, or simply being lied to by unscrupulous companies that have set up fake storefronts with unlicensed individuals.

The same regulatory bodies and associations that issue these requirements encourage locksmiths to report unscrupulous companies that have set up fake storefronts with unlicensed individuals and promote their services as local businesses. In reality, their work is subcontracted with the help of assumed business names and fake contact information. While both locksmiths and consumers are encouraged to report these fake companies and scammers, locksmiths who are members of these associations are backed up by them to seek legal action against them.