Locksmith Certification and Licensing Options
Working with a locksmith professional who is certified or licensed certainly makes consumers feel safer. However, the locksmith industry is not regulated by the government in any way. As a result, virtually anyone can perform services, regardless of education, training, background, motive, or competence.
States That Require Locksmith Licensing
There are some exceptions; 15 states do mandate locksmiths to be licensed. These include:
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
Key Information for Certification and Licensing
While not all states require professional locksmiths to be licensed, many ensure that professional standards and consumer safety within the industry are upheld. For the states mentioned above, exact requirements for securing a license vary. For the most part, a technician must submit an application, pass a thorough background investigation, and have fingerprints on file for both state and federal levels.
For certification, a locksmith can voluntarily complete the necessary education and testing to become professionally certified. Certifications are offered through Associated Locksmiths of American (ALOA), including Registered Locksmith (RL), Certified Professional Locksmith (CPL), Certified Registered Locksmith (CRL), and Certified Master Locksmith (CML). An individual must pass testing with a score of at least 70 percent; with the certification in hand, a technician is viewed within the industry and by the public as being qualified and credible.
In addition to certification and licensing, many professional locksmiths will take the time to continue their education. After all, locks are becoming more sophisticated all the time, so to stay up to date, this is important. If you are interested in hiring a locksmith without certification and/or licensing, sometimes it helps to learn about that person’s educational background.
There is a very specific process involved for a locksmith company to obtain a license. As part of the application, the person who will oversee the daily operations of the business must be listed, whether the company owner, a partner, or perhaps corporate officer. In addition, every individual applicant is required to undergo a criminal background check, through not only the state’s Department of Justice, but also the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Along with the application and fee, two recent photographs of passport quality must be provided. Also, a Locksmith Company Live Scan form has to be signed, which includes the ATI number, and submitted. The cost of this includes fingerprint processing. If the license is for a fictitious business name, a certified copy of that name must be filed with the County Clerk and included in the application packet.
A professional locksmith who works for a licensed company can become registered as an employee, which also requires a criminal background check through both state and federal levels and submittal of a complete application and fee. At that point, a 120-temporary registration is provided.
Highly reputable locksmiths companies will do everything possible to stand out and gain the public’s confidence. For this reason, it is always best to work with a licensed company that employs either certified or licensed technicians.