Below is a brief overview for those interested in a quick glance at the laws and requirements for becoming a locksmith in California.

If you’re interested in the details of how to actually follow through, you should look at our article “How to Become a Locksmith in California

Locksmith License Requirements Rating

Strict and thorough

Definition Per State Law

Locksmith: “Locksmith” means any person who, for any consideration or compensation whatsoever, engages, directly or indirectly and as a primary or secondary object, in the business of rekeying, installing, repairing, opening, modifying locks, or who originates keys for locks, including, but not limited to, electronic cloning of transponder keys and any other electronic programming of automotive keys and electronic operating devices, such as key fobs, door and ignition key devices, and successive electronic and other high-security key technology. A “locksmith” does not mean a person whose activities are limited to making a duplicate key from an existing key.

Background Check

  • Two sets of fingerprints required, which will also be used for FBI background check
  • A statement as to whether the applicant has been arrested or convicted of a misdemeanor, excluding minor traffic violations.
  • A statement as to whether the applicant has been convicted of a felony.

Locksmith Training and Experience Requirements

  • None

Misc Rules

  • License is valid for 2 years.
  • When a locksmith has to open any lock etc at a residence, business location or vehicle, he/she should obtain various information about the owner and vehicle on a work order for, and keep these forms for 2 years
  • Application and license fee of around $75

Use of Lockpicks and Similar Tools

Legal to own unless the intended use was to gain illegal entry or for theft; or used on a lock for which you didn’t obtain permission. You could also be charged with possessing burglary tools if you are in possession of lockpicks while committing a crime. Want to know if lockpicks are legal? We have a post for that.

Note: We are not lawyers. Make sure you verify this with your lawyer.