Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your Locksmith License in New York City

If you’re currently scrolling around through several websites trying to piece together how to get a locksmith license in New York City, you’re lucky to have landed here! It’s important to know that although the state of New York does not require a locksmith license, New York City does. Depending on where you are in the process of becoming a locksmith or starting a locksmith business, if you don’t factor in the licensing process, you could possibly hurt your chances of finding a locksmith job or growing your business. 

This is where your search stops. We’ve done the legwork for you. Below is all the information you need to begin the process. 

How Do You Get a Locksmith License in New York City?

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

New York City locksmith licenses are administered by the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA). The following are required to apply for a locksmith license: 

  • Photo ID: Submit a photo of a passport, driver’s license, another DMV-issued license, government agency-issued permit, green card, or city, state, or federal employee ID.
  • Photo: Submit a passport-sized colored picture of yourself. If you file in person, you can get photographed at the DCA’s Licensing Center for free. 
  • Outstanding child support: (If applicable) prove you do not owe 4 months or more in unpaid child support payments by submitting a Child Support Certification
  • Authority to act: If someone else is applying on your behalf, submit a Granting Authority to Act Affirmation form that acknowledges your responsibility for the license. 
  • Criminal background check: Get fingerprinted at the DCA licensing center to pass a criminal background check.
  • Proof of locksmith qualifications: Submit ONE of the following documents:
  • A letter from Local Union No. 74 Service Employees International Union that states you’ve completed an accredited locksmithing course and one certificate recommending you for a license. 
  • A certificate from a New York State Education Department-licensed school stating you’ve completed a locksmithing course.

2. Pass a criminal background check.

Visit the DCA Licensing Center in person for fingerprinting at: 

42 Broadway

New York, NY 10004

DCA Licensing Center – Lobby

Office hours are 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

The processing fee is $75.

What criminal history can get you disqualified?

  • Falsely operating a locksmith business or lying about qualifications.
  • Failing to report prior convictions for which you’ve been imprisoned, fined, served community service, or put on probation.
  • Having a prior denied, suspended, or revoked license.

Note: Simply being convicted of a crime will not disqualify you. The seriousness of the offense, the amount of time that has passed, and your age are considered in the final decision, so know that there is some flexibility in this department.

fingerprinting for locksmith license

3. Pass an exam (applicable for apprentice license).

There is no exam for obtaining a locksmith license. However, if you’re going to take the apprenticeship route, you’ll need a locksmith apprentice license and might need to take an exam afterward.

How can you get a Locksmith Apprentice License?

Apply for your Locksmith Apprentice License online. Once you’ve been approved, you can start your apprenticeship. Training should not exceed 36 months. Then, you can apply for your general license.

Where can you study?

What do apprentices need to study?

The Department of Labor has outlined exactly what apprentices need to learn. As an apprentice, you need to accrue a total of 8,000 hours of study.

  • Keys and locks (4,000 hours): Identifying and understanding different lock types, learning how to fabricate keys, using hand tools, managing inventory, etc.
  • Keys, locks, closures, doors, and keyless entry systems (3,500 hours): Changing, picking, reinstalling, and repairing locks, etc.
  • Miscellaneous (500 hours): Maintaining, repairing, installing, and opening safes, etc.

Where and how can you pass your apprentice exam?

After an apprenticeship, you can receive a certification with the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) by signing up to take a test at one of its third-party locations. The exam consists of  250 questions, and is completed in two parts.

Study resources

ALOA offers plenty of training materials:

  • A practice test
  • Online class presentations 
  • An online bookstore where members can purchase books, CDs, videotapes, and view webinars

Once you become an ALOA member, you’ll have access to everything you need to pass the exam and become a certified locksmith.

locksmith license exam

4. Pay application fees.

A New York City locksmith license costs between $25-$125. According to the DCA, the price depends on whether you file your application in an odd or even year and the month in which you file. 

  • An odd year ends in an odd digit  (2017, 2019, 2021, etc.)
  • An even year ends in an even digit (2016, 2018, 2020, etc.)

Yes, we know what you’re thinking: this is confusing. Just remember, there are only two price options in any given year.

new york city locksmith license fee structure

5. Submit your application and payments.

You can download an application for a locksmith license or apply online through the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA)

In person:

42 Broadway

New York, NY 10004

DCA Licensing Center – Lobby

Office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

Online:

Create an account with the DCA and complete the online application. 

new york city locksmith license cost - Workiz

Get Licensed in New York City and Get to Work

If you’re looking to start a locksmith business in the future, getting licensed is the next step. Having a timeline in place will allow you to remain focused and inch your way closer to your dream. Without a license, you’ll idle around and delay the opportunity to start, market, and cash in on your locksmith business

Once you get licensed and launched, try Workiz’s Locksmith Scheduling Software. It’s the perfect tool to schedule jobs, communicate with clients, create and send invoices, receive payments, and more! 

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