New York Locksmith License & Trade Regulations

Are you a New York city resident looking for a licensed locksmith to open a lock? Or, you are aspiring to become a trained & licensed locksmith in New York city? Here is the gist of basic terms & requirements for licensed locksmiths operating in New York.


Definition of Locksmith: The term "locksmith" shall mean a person dealing in the mechanical actions, and the correct operations of all locks, key or keyless, or similar devices, and whose trade or occupation is repairing, servicing, installing, inspecting, opening and closing such locks by mechanical means, other than with the regular key made  for the purpose, without altering, marring or destroying the original condition or effectiveness of such locks or similar devices in any shape or manner, or a maker or manufacturer of locks, pressure keys, skeleton keys, pass keys, jigs, or
any other mechanical device to aid a locksmith in the plying of his or her trade.

License Required: It shall be unlawful for any person to carry on the business, trade or occupation of a locksmith, or for any person employed in a hotel, apartment house, office building, store, garage, service station, luggage shop, or any other establishment, to perform the duties of a locksmith, without a license therefor.

Regulations: It  shall be unlawful for any person other  than a licensed locksmith to open any lock for which a key or combination may have been lost; or to make any repairs to, or change in, the mechanical adjustment or combination of any lock; or to make any  original key or any other device or contraption to open a lock.

Every licensed locksmith shall keep a book in which he or she is to record: (1) the name and address of every person ordering master keys, keys by number, or ordering the opening of a locked item and the date and time such work was done; and (2) the means relied upon to identify any person ordering the opening of a locked item and to verify ownership of a locked item or authorization to order the opening of a locked item.
Every licensed locksmith, except an itinerant locksmith, who is requested to open a locked it
em which is located on premises other than where the business is conducted shall, prior to opening such locked item, present a photocopy of the license issued hereunder to any person requesting the opening of such locked item. Every itinerant locksmith shall, prior to opening a locked item,
indicate the display of the license issued hereunder to any person requesting the opening of such
locked item.
Every locksmith shall make a good faith effort to: (1) determine the identification of any person requesting the opening of a locked item; and (2) obtain proof that a person requesting the opening of a locked item is the proper owner of the locked item or is authorized to request that the locked item be unlocked.
Every locksmith opening a locked item shall obtain the signature or mark of the person requesting the opening of such locked item on a form to be prescribed by the commissioner. Such form shall state, in such manner as the commissioner shall by rule establish, that the person requesting that an item be opened is authorized to open that item. The forms shall be retained by the locksmith in such manner as the commissioner shall require, and shall be available at all reasonable times for inspection by the commissioner, any departmental inspector, any police officer, or any person duly authorized by the commissioner or any judge of the criminal court.
Keys to be Marked: All keys made by a licensed locksmith shall be stamped with his or her name
and address or with the license number issued to him or her by the commissioner. All master keys in
addition shall bear the word "master", and duplicates shall be made only upon the signed order of the owner of the locks which such keys are designed to operate or his or her authorized agent. Master keys shall be made only by a licensed locksmith. 

Licenses to be displayed: Every licensed locksmith shall display the license issued hereunder in
a conspicuous place where it can be readily seen by anyone entering the premises where the business is conducted... In the case of an itinerant locksmith the license shall be on his or her person or
prominently displayed upon the working kit he or she may carry or upon any vehicle which he or she may use in the plying of his or her trade or occupation.
Prohibition as to itinerant locksmiths: It shall be unlawful for any licensed itinerant locksmith to
ply his or her trade or occupation or maintain a stand within five hundred feet of any store or other permanent place of business of a licensed locksmith, or at any other place upon the streets or highways of the city where police regulations will not permit.
Proof of qualifications: fingerprinting, furnish documentary proof that he or she is a qualified locksmith, or submit to any examination by at least two licensed locksmiths to be named by the
commissioner, to serve without compensation, and such licensed locksmiths, after examining the
applicant shall certify in writing to the commissioner whether or not the applicant in their opinion is
sufficiently qualified to be licensed as a locksmith.
No person shall be employed by a duly licensed locksmith as an apprentice or trainee unless such person shall have a trainee-license... and during the time in  which such person is so employed he or she shall be under the direct supervision of said licensed locksmith and such person may perform the
duties of a locksmith.

The unabridged version of the locksmith regulation in New York is available at