3 Tips For Hiring A Locksmith

Nothing could be worse than getting locked out of your home, office, or car. Resolving such an emergency generally involves hiring a locksmith--and the sooner the better. But before you commit to a given locksmith, it pays to prepare yourself with certain knowledge. If you would like to learn more about hiring a locksmith, read on. This article will provide three valuable tips. 

1. Verify the business address.

It's important to verify that the locksmith service you hire maintains a local business address. That way, should something go wrong later on down the line, you know you will be able to track them down again. Because most locksmiths are trustworthy professionals, most likely this won't be necessary. Yet there is always a risk, however slight, of encountering a less scrupulous provider. In this case, without an accurate business address, you risk becoming the victim of poor service or overcharging.

Be aware, however, that some legitimate locksmiths don't have a fixed business address. This may be either because the operate out of their home, or because they operate a strictly mobile business. If you can't find an address for the locksmith you've called, ask them the reason. An honest locksmith should be forthcoming with a reasonable explanation. 

2. Understand the licensing requirements in your area.

The more you know about licensing requirements in your area, the more thorough you can be when hiring a locksmith. For one thing, you can always contact your city or county to verify that the company has a valid, up-to-date occupational license. This is a requirement for small businesses almost everywhere. Avoid any locksmith who doesn't have a local business license.

In addition, there are nine states which require locksmiths to obtain a locksmith license:

  • Alabama
  • California
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Tennessee
  • Texas

If you live in one of these states, be sure to request to see a copy of the locksmith's license before you allow them to do any work. If they can't or won't provide one, move on to the next person on your list.

3. Get a second opinion before drilling your lock.

The most common reason people call a locksmith is in the case of a lock-out. A good locksmith should have the knowledge, the skills, and the tools to pick almost any such lock. In rare cases, however, less honest providers may claim that the lock has to be drilled--in other words, removed by force. This is often just a way to drive up their fees, by requiring you to have a new lock installed. If the locksmith you've called tells you that your lock will have to be drilled, say no thanks. Chances are you can find a locksmith who can get it open without force--and for a fraction of the cost.