The Difference Between Restricted Keys and Common Keys

May 28, 2018 10:51 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

There’s a chance you have run into an odd dilemma: you want to make a copy of a certain key, only to find out that it’s a “do not duplicate” key. What does this mean? Is it illegal to make a key copy in Fairfax, VA, or is it merely requested that you not? Can the owner of the key take legal action against you if you do? The answer depends on which type of “do not duplicate” key you are wanting to copy, as one is easier to safely copy than the other. Additionally, it depends on the locksmith or key duplicator and their level of comfort about taking on the job.

The fact of the matter is that “do not duplicate” keys can be easily reproduced. Because this can lead to unauthorized entry, businesses have concerns about the security of their building and products and the safety of employees.

Do you need key replacement in Fairfax, VA for your home, business or other building? Before heading out to get duplicate or replacement keys made, you need to know the difference between restricted keys and common keys.

Common keys

Common keys are also called unrestricted keys and standard keys. These keys do not require any special equipment or permissions to be copied—in fact, anyone can copy a common key at any time. If you’ve ever walked your house key into an establishment that offers key copying and asked for a few extra keys to be made, it’s likely you did not have to present identification or proof of being the owner of the house key. How can you prove you own that particular standard key anyway?

In addition, keys can be created in just a few minutes at a self-serve key copying kiosk. When it comes to “do not duplicate” keys, an employee may not want to confront the customer, and instead may go ahead and copy it for them like they would a common key.

Restricted keys

Restricted keys are high security keys, which makes them difficult to duplicate. If you have a restricted key and you want a copy, it’s best that you get permission before duplicating it. These keys are harder to duplicate, as a key expert is typically needed to ensure the key is correctly duplicated. Also, the locksmith will want to adhere to the rules of the particular restricted key you have in hand—restricted keys often have patents that require approval from the manufacturer in order to be reproduced, or there are limits placed upon them when it comes to duplication.

Protection against copied keys

Some key copying businesses, like legit locksmiths, have very strict rules on their key copying protocol. But ultimately, there’s not much protection for homeowners or business owners when someone walks in to a local hardware shop with your standard key or restricted key wanting duplicates. Many new keys get cut with no questions asked.

Contact Artie’s Lock and Key to learn more about what goes into your request for a key copy in Fairfax, VA.

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