Honor System

Nov. 18, 2020

Licensing for locksmiths was a hot topic 10 years ago. The latest information is that about 28 percent of the 50 states and a few cities and counties have some type of locksmith licensing. These numbers haven’t changed in several years.

Locksmiths who are against licensing mention a cost with no benefits. For them its only a moneymaker for the government. This newsletter isnt an advocate for or against licensing. But one benefit of locksmith licensing is that the government has some control concerning who can become a locksmith.

For the 72 percent of states where there are no locksmith licensing laws, any person can set themselves up in the security business. Locksmiths in these states operate completely on the honor system. Customers only can assume that any locksmith they call is honest and knowledgeable. This might not always be the case.

Although reports of criminal actions by locksmiths arent rampant, a few cases come to mind. Several years ago, a person in the Midwest began a locksmith business. He had a successful business until the government found that he apparently was using charge card numbers from his customers and adding charges on their credit cards. Another locksmith case on the East Coast occurred when a locksmith was apprehended while inserting super glue in commercial store locks. He had hoped to receive service calls to repair the malfunctioning locks.

Not all locksmith news is negative. A locksmith on the West Coast recently received national attention when he helped to rescue a woman in distress. This locksmith was called to change the locks at a residence. After completion, this locksmith presented his bill. A man and a woman were inside the home at this time. The woman seemed distraught and secretly held her hand up which had 911 scrawled in her palm. After leaving the job, this locksmith decided to call 911 and explain what he had witnessed. The police arrived and found that the man was holding the woman in the home without her consent, and an arrest was made.

As locksmith procedures become more complex, were being affected by other regulations beside locksmith laws. Licensing to perform wiring, installing door operators and inspecting fire doors are just some of the regulations governing contemporary locksmiths. This will help weed out scammers and miscreants while adding an extra amount of pride for every honorable person in this business.