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On-site Key Making

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What is On-site Key Making?

It is a common occurrence in America: a person becomes locked out of their home and has to call a locksmith to make a spare key right there on the doorstep.  On-site key making is just that.  A locksmith comes to a home or residence and creates a spare key right then and there for the person to gain access to the residence.  

The obvious problem is what if the person who called the locksmith doesn't belong at the residence?  In order to prevent unauthorized persons from gaining access to homes in this manner, many states have created laws to regulate on-site key making.  The majority of these laws regulate locksmith licensing and what requirements are necessary when a locksmith comes to a home to make a key.

What Are The Requirements for On-site Key Making?

Generally, a locksmith who does an on-site key making will have to do all of the following:

  1. Record the date the key was made, the address of the home, and signature of the person who called them,
  2. Collect the name, address, telephone number, date of birth, and driver's license number of the person who requested the locksmith,
  3. Keep such records for a certain amount of time, ranging from 2 to 5 years, and
  4. Make such records available to police officers without a search warrant.

What Punishments Can Someone Face for Not Meeting Those Requirements?

The failure to comply with the requirements for on-site key making is usually a misdemeanor.  Possible criminal punishments can include:

  • Mandatory fines,
  • Community service,
  • Loss of locksmith's license, or
  • Probation.

Do I Need an Attorney to Handle my On-site Key Making Case?

If you are charged with not meeting the requirements for on-site key making, it is strongly suggested that you contact a criminal defense attorney, because along with criminal punishment, you could face civil liability to the true owner of the property.  Only an attorney will be able to fully explain the issues and help in your defense.

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 11-09-2011 04:27 PM PST

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