So, you want to know how to get a locksmith license in New York? Then let’s get to it. First, it’s important that you brush up on the locksmithing laws for New York. And because I know you’re here because lockpicks are “cool” and “fun” and “definitely not something I will ever use illegally for any reason whatsoever,” I’ll point out that owning lockpicks in New York City is completely legal, as long as there is no intent to use those lockpicks for illegal activities.
Let’s move on, shall we?
New York is pretty relaxed on their education requirements. Relaxed, not in a “let anyone in” sort of way, but in a “either they went to school, or they learned it on the job, either way, as long as they know their stuff” sort of way. This is good. Some states require a high school diploma, or a GED, but New York isn’t one of those states.
Instead, New York City provides multiple paths to earning a locksmithing license. These can be considered the Traditional Trade, the Trade School, and the Higher Education paths. At the end of the day, you need to choose which is right for you, and realize that they all end up at the same destination: Getting your locksmith license in New York.
In your traditional trade, you would build relationships with other locksmiths and get them to sign certificates of recommendation. You’ll need two of these certificates before going to get your license.
I know, I know. How am I supposed to get those? Well, you have two choices. You can either leave New York City, build up a reputation out of state for being an excellent locksmith, and then come back to NYC with that reputation in tow, find a couple of locksmiths that are willing to vouch for you, and *bang* you’ve got your locksmith license in New York. Or, more realistically, you can become a locksmith apprentice for these locksmiths, and get the recommendation that way.
Maybe you’re not the self-teaching type. Maybe you do better reading out of books, and feel more comfortable in a classroom environment than you do learning on the job. For you, we have trade schools. The course has to be licensed by the New York State Education Department.
Once you’ve finished, however, you then reach out to Local Union No. 74 Service Employees International Union, and get them to sign off on you having finished your course work. From there, it’s as simple as getting just one locksmith to sign off on your certificate of recommendation. You didn’t think you were getting out of that, did you?
Note: If you find a locksmith shop that’s looking to bring on a second locksmith, you might have a shot.
If, in the end, you don’t want to deal with the Union (why not?), or you don’t want to deal with getting letters of recommendation, you will need to complete a course with a New York State Department of Education license, and get a certificate from the course indicating your completion. Honestly, this is the most expensive, but least difficult, path to take. So if you’re just in a hurry, you might as well go this route.