Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your Locksmith License in Illinois

Illinois is currently ranked 6th in locksmith market size, according to CareerExplorer, which means that the market is pretty competitive but there may still be enough demand to find employment or get a few vehicles together to start your own locksmith business!

Without a locksmith license, there is absolutely no way for you to operate as a locksmith in Illinois. To obtain a license,  you have to apply and pass an examination. In 5 steps, we are going to answer every question to get you on your way.

How Do You Get a Locksmith License in Illinois?

1. Ensure you meet the requirements for a locksmith license.

Illinois locksmith licenses are administered by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). Here are the requirements to obtain a license:

  • Minimum age: 21 years or older for a business owner; at least 18 years old for an employee.
  • Criminal background check: Pass a background check and get fingerprinted. Your license will not be issued until you complete these steps. 
  • Pass an examination: Take and pass a locksmith licensing exam and pay a fee of $50.
  • Insurance: Business owners must prove they have liability insurance.

2. Pass a criminal background check.

To pass the background check in order to obtain your locksmith license, you must get fingerprinted. The IDFPR, the licensing authority, provides a massive list of fingerprinting vendors with whom you can schedule an appointment.

Fingerprints must be taken within 60 days from the date of submission of the application to the Department or to its testing vendor. Once completed, the Illinois State Police will send results electronically to the IDFPR.

The submission fee is $32.

What criminal history can get you disqualified?

You can get disqualified based on your criminal history if you have:  

  • Been convicted of a felony within the last 10 years
  • Been previously denied a locksmith license or permit
  • Been previously denied from taking the locksmith license examination
  • Previously had a license or permit disciplined by a licensing authority in Illinois or elsewhere
  • Failed to file a tax return, or pay taxes, penalties, or interest shown in a filed return
  • Been dishonorably discharged from the military 
  • Been more than 30 days late in child support payments 

However, it should be noted that convictions and other past criminal activity do not mean an automatic denial of licensure. 

fingerprinting for locksmith license

3. Pass the Locksmith Licensing Exam.

To obtain your locksmith license in Illinois, you need to register and pass the Locksmith Licensing Examination. The exam is held in March and September each year and costs $50. 

Where and how to pass the licensing exam?

You can access and take the Locksmith Licensing Examination online at Continental Testing Services. You must complete the exam within 4 hours. 

IDPFR also allows you to take a test with the Associated Locksmiths of America (AOLA). However, this exam requires payment of a $500 fee, and it must be taken within the three years prior to submitting the application. 

You do not need formal training certification. But, that does not mean you should go in unprepared. IDPFR recommends the following resources to prepare for the exams: 

PRP Resource Guide. Code No.: AL-PRG 

Life Safety Codes and the ADA Manual Code. No.: TS-LSCM 

Basic Electricity. Code No.: LPC-816

Illinois Locksmith Licensing Study Package. Code No.: A-ILL-LLSP4 

Includes: Locksmithing 101, Study Guide for Basic Electricity, Life Safety Code Manual, PRP Resource Guide

Reference material is available online through AOLA

locksmith license exam

4. Pay an application fee.

To obtain an Illinois locksmith license, you must pay an application fee of $174 to the IDFPR.

locksmith license fee

5. Submit your application.

Submit your locksmith application and required supporting documents in person to the IDFPR, at the following address:

Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation

Division of Professional Regulation

P.O. Box 7007

Springfield, Illinois 62791

illinois locksmith license cost - Workiz

Get Licensed and Watch Your Career Take Off

Locksmiths provide an essential service, helping keep people’s homes, offices, and vehicles safe. In order to start practicing as a professional locksmith in Illinois, or to start your own business, you must start by obtaining a license. Once you get licensed, you can help your business grow by making sure you find the best locksmith wholesalers to provide effective and professional service. 

You should also try using Workiz’s Locksmith Inventory Software to manage, organize, and track where all your supplies are located. Showing up on site missing a part can cost you a job, but when you’re using the right software to alert you when parts are running low, located in another vehicle, or out of stock, you can jump on it quickly and not waste days waiting on inventory, complete more jobs the same day, and earn more income.

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