How to Become a Locksmith: Obtaining an NYC Locksmith License


Understanding that, while the state of New York doesn’t mandate a locksmith license, New York City does, is crucial. If you want to become a locksmith in NY City, the initiation of a locksmith business significantly impacts the importance of incorporating the licensing process. Neglecting this aspect could potentially hinder your chances of securing a locksmith job or expanding your business.

Your search concludes here. We’ve conducted the necessary groundwork on your behalf, providing all the essential information to kickstart the licensing process.

How to Get Your Locksmith License in NYC

Meet the Requirements

To obtain a locksmith license in New York City through the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), you need to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Photo ID: Provide a photo of your 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 applying in person, you can have your photo taken for free at the DCA’s Licensing Center.
  • Outstanding child support: If applicable, demonstrate that you do not owe four 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, acknowledging your responsibility for the license.
  • Criminal background check: Undergo fingerprinting at the DCA licensing center to pass a criminal background check.
  • Proof of locksmith qualifications: Submit ONE of the following documents:
  1. Two Certificates Recommending an Applicant for a Locksmith License signed by two New York City-licensed locksmiths.
  2. A letter from Local Union No. 74 Service Employees International Union indicating completion of an accredited locksmithing course and one certificate recommending you for a license.
  3. A certificate from a New York State Education Department-licensed school confirming the completion of a locksmith course in NYC.

Pass Background Checks

For fingerprinting, go to the DCA Licensing Center in person. What can disqualify you based on criminal history?

  • Operating a locksmith business falsely or providing false qualifications.
  • Not disclosing previous convictions that led to imprisonment, fines, community service, or probation.
  • Having a history of a denied, suspended, or revoked license.

Pass an Exam (For Apprentice License)

To obtain a locksmith license, no exam is required initially. However, if you choose the apprenticeship path, you must first obtain a Locksmith Apprentice License and may need to undergo an exam later. To secure the apprentice license, apply online, get approval, and begin an NYC locksmith training period lasting up to 36 months. Subsequently, you can apply for the general license.

There are various study options, including attending the Charles Stuart School of Locksmithing or the New York City College of Technology, both located in Brooklyn, NY, or finding a local licensed locksmith for apprenticeship. The Department of Labor specifies that apprentices must accumulate 8,000 hours of study, covering areas such as keys and locks, closures, doors, and keyless entry systems.

To pass the apprentice exam after completing the apprenticeship, you can obtain certification through the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) by taking a 250-question test at one of its third-party locations, conducted in two parts.

Pay Application Fees

The fee for obtaining a locksmith license in New York City varies from $25 to $125. The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) states that the cost is contingent on whether you submit your application during an odd or even year and the specific month of submission.

To simplify, an odd year concludes with an odd digit (e.g., 2017, 2019, 2021), while an even year concludes with an even digit (e.g., 2016, 2018, 2020). We understand it might seem a bit perplexing, but keep in mind that there are only two pricing options in any given year, making the decision-making process more straightforward.

Submit Application and Requirements

Acquiring a locksmith license is a breeze with the option to download the application or conveniently apply online via the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA).

For those preferring an in-person approach, visit the DCA Licensing Center at 42 Broadway, New York, NY 10004, specifically the Lobby. Office hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Alternatively, for a streamlined online experience, establish an account with the DCA and effortlessly complete the application through their online platform.

Become a Locksmith in NY City with a License

Embark on your journey to becoming a licensed locksmith in the vibrant city of New York! Recognize the critical importance of obtaining a locksmith license, especially in NYC, where it’s a mandatory step for locksmiths and locksmith businesses. Neglecting the licensing process can hinder your professional growth.

Your search for comprehensive information concludes here—we’ve done the groundwork for you. Now, follow the outlined steps to meet the requirements, pass background checks, and pursue an apprenticeship if desired. Take charge of your locksmith career—submit your application, fulfill the requirements, and make your mark in the locksmith industry of New York City!


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