You may have landed here with two questions in mind:
- Is becoming a locksmith right for me?
- How do I get a locksmith license in Texas?
To address your first question, more demand is being created for security professionals as the locksmith industry is evolving and becoming increasingly high-tech. In several states, locksmiths earn an income comparable to those with a bachelor’s or master’s degree, considering that the majority of locksmiths study in school only for a short period of time.
If you want to start working as a locksmith in Texas, keep in mind that obtaining a license is mandatory. To get one, you need to submit your application, pass a criminal background check, and get fingerprinted. Business owners need to pass an examination and fulfill continuing education requirements. Keep reading to learn how it all works.
How Do You Get a Locksmith License in Texas?
1. Ensure you meet the requirements for a locksmith license.
Locksmith licenses in Texas are administered by the Private Security Bureau of the Texas Department of Public Safety (TOPS). Here’s what you need to apply:
To obtain an Individual or Business License:
- Complete your application: Create an account with TOPS and complete the required forms. You can find applications for individuals and businesses here.
- Age: Applicants must be at least 18 years old.
- Training and certifications: Complete 2 years of experience as a locksmith or take a 48-hour locksmith course, a 600-hour fundamentals course, pass a test and complete a full year of work experience.
- Criminal background check: Submit a fingerprint card, complete a background check, and pay a fee.
- Military service discharge: If applicable, must not have been dishonorably discharged.
- Pass an exam: Only managers of a locksmith business must complete and pass a licensing exam.
- Business insurance: Submit proof of liability insurance if you are a business owner.
2. Pass a criminal background check.
Schedule a fingerprinting appointment at an IdentoGo location, submit your fingerprints electronically through IdentoGo, and pay a fee of $28. You will also have to complete an FBI background check. See the official FBI website for more information about the process.
What criminal history can get you disqualified?
- Felony conviction
- Class A misdemeanor
- Addiction to illicit drugs or alcohol
3. Pass the Texas locksmith licensing exam.
An individual locksmith is not required to take an exam for a professional license. If you are a qualified manager of a locksmith business, you’ll need to take an exam with TOPS, once you have completed your training and education of at least 2 years. After you pass the exam, you will need to complete 16 hours of continuing education every 2 years, at a cost of $361.
Study material for business managers:
4. Pay application fee.
A Texas locksmith license costs $30 for individuals and $400 for business owners.