As a locksmith, how do you want people to see you when you walk into a room? At the least, you want every customer to feel relief that you’re the one who showed up. And when you leave, you want customers to speak highly of your finished work and integrity. Building up your reputation as an expert takes time, and if you haven’t gotten your locksmith license, you need to get started.
First off, without a locksmith license, you cannot operate your own business in 15 states, including California. Secondly, when you have a license, customers and leads see you as an authoritative and credentialed technician and therefore are more likely to trust you. Lastly, advanced licenses help you work in specific areas or with sophisticated electronic security systems. Getting into these areas can offer a major opportunity to double your prices and market your locksmith business in a specific niche that’s profitable!
The process of getting a California locksmith license is straightforward, and we’ll answer every important question to get you started.
When applying for a locksmith license in California, companies and employees have two options:
You can find employment as a locksmith with a general locksmith license. However, a business entity will have to get an additional contractor’s license if they want to charge over $500 at a single site and work with complex lock systems.
California locksmith licenses are administered by the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS). You can download and fill out the application here.
You’ll need the C28 Lock and Security Equipment Contractor License to work on more expensive and advanced jobs. Visit the Contractors State License Board for applications.
General requirements for both licenses:
For a contractor’s license:
After submitting and paying for your application, you’ll need to visit your nearest Live Scan location for fingerprinting, and the Department of Justice and FBI will run a criminal background check. You can request the Live Scan service here.
What criminal activities will get you denied?
Price: DOJ and FBI fingerprint fees are $32 and $17, while the Live Scan operator fees vary by location.
For a regular locksmith license, there is no exam. However, a contractor’s license does require you to pass a test. The test is closed-book and contains multiple-choice questions.
The sections of the test include:
We’ve gathered the best options for you to study and ace the exam.
Resources to study
Contractors Intelligence School is the #1 prep program for California licenses and offers an online course, live classes, and home study material.
All books mentioned come from the Contractors Board’s recommended reading list, so you’re in good hands! You can purchase the books on Contractor Resource, Amazon, and Google Books.
For a locksmith license, the fee is $250 for the application and $250 for the license, for a total of $500. Note: This fee is nonrefundable and if you do not pay when submitting, your application will be rejected.
For a contractor’s license, it’s $330 for the application and a $200 activation fee after passing the exam, totaling $530.
You can submit and pay for your locksmith license two ways: online and by mail.
Bureau of Security and Investigative Services
P.O. Box 989002
West Sacramento, CA 95798-9002
Contractors State License Board
P.O. Box 269074
Sacramento, CA 95826-9074
There you have it! We’ve made it easy, and now it’s time for you to sharpen your locksmith knowledge with a Ginsu knife, pass your examination, and get the necessary qualifications to command more respect and higher prices in your business. Once you’ve done that, use Workiz’s locksmith scheduling software to handle all of your new customers!