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The Maryland Locksmiths Act, was enacted July 1, 2009. Previously, Maryland victims of locksmithing scams would call companies that advertised themselves as "locally owned and operated" only to learn later that the company didn't actually have offices in the state. They would often find themselves owing far more than the services of a reputable locksmith cost. The Locksmiths Act was created to address these concerns and to protect both Maryland consumers and legitimate locksmiths .

Title 12.5 of the  Business Regulation Article, Annotated Code of Maryland , also known as the "Maryland Locksmiths Act" sets forth the requirements for the licensing and regulation of businesses or commercial entities that "provide locksmith services" in Maryland. What constitutes the provision of locksmith services is defined as:

(h) "Provide locksmith services" means to engage professionally and for compensation in:
  (1) repairing, rebuilding, rekeying, repinning, recombinating, adjusting, or installing mechanical, electrical, or electromechanical locking devices, safes, vaults, or safe deposit boxes; or
  (2) operating a mechanical, electrical, or electromechanical locking device or opening safes, vaults, or safe deposit boxes by a means other than that intended by the manufacturer of such locking devices.

Locksmith businesses that must obtain a license to operate include corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, and sole proprietors. Employees who do hands-on work as defined above do not need a license to be hired or to continue working. However, employees are required to undergo a criminal background check.


As a consumer you should take the following steps to ensure that you engage the services of a reputable and licensed locksmith or their employee:

  • Contact the Department of  Labor, Licensing and Regulation ( DLLR)  They can verify that the locksmith is licensed by the State of  Maryland.
  • Ask to See a Photo ID   Locksmiths are required to provide each employee with a photo- identification card.  This identification must list both the license number and the expiration date of the license belonging to the licensed locksmith.
  • Get a quote   Make sure that the locksmith provides you with a quote of the cost of services before any work is started.
  • Get a receipt   Upon completion of the work, the locksmith must provide an invoice or receipt which documents the quote provided before service; the actual cost of the service paid ; the address where the service was performed; the type of lock serviced, and the vehicle identification number if applicable.

The Maryland Dept. of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) licenses locksmiths.  You can download a licensing packet here.

As a consumer, you should be aware of the following requirements for obtaining a locksmith license under Maryland's Locksmiths Act:

  • Application  The business owner or the owner's designee must apply for a license using an application supplied by the Secretary of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR).  A person must be over the age of 18 to receive a locksmith license.  Passport-size photographs of the owner and each employee must accompany the application, as well as the names, birthdates, residence addresses and driver's license numbers of these individuals.
  • Fixed Business Address   The licensed locksmith must have a single physical location in Maryland that is staffed during designated business hours.
  • Criminal Background Check   The business owner or a designee applicant must submit to a state and national criminal background check.  Employees who provide locksmith services must also be cleared for continued employment by undergoing a criminal background check.
  • Insurance   Each licensed locksmith is required to maintain general liability insurance of at least $300,000.
  • Records   Copies of recipts required by this law shall be kept at the fixed business address for a period of 3 years after the date of the service call.
  • Fines   The new law provides for monetary fines and/or criminal penalties for violations of Maryland's Locksmith Act.
  • Renewal  A license is good for two years and must be renewed at the end of that period.

If you would like to file a complaint with the Office of Consumer Protection, please use the links below to download a complaint form.

Please mail the completed form, with copies of all relevant invoices, receipts or correspondence to:

Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection
New Complaint Unit
100 Maryland Avenue, Suite 330
Rockville, Maryland 20850


Contact Information Description
Consumers' Checkbook  
1625 K Street, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20006
T: 800.213.7283
Nonprofit organization that provides ratings of local merchants and free articles and advice.
Read locksmiths article  here.
Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation
500 North Calvert Street #40
Baltimore, MD 21202 |
T: 410-230-6001
The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation licenses locksmiths.  Please check the DLLR website for further information on licensing requirements.