A Locksmith’s Dilemma: The Copying of Restricted Keys

September 7, 2018 9:46 pm Published by 2 Comments

If you’ve ever been given a key for a housing property or a business, you’ve probably seen a key stamped with the words “Do Not Duplicate.” These keys imply that duplicating them is illegal, which helps to deter some people from duplicating the key when they are not supposed to.

However, a large majority of those keys are actually capable of being copied legally. This is because most of the Do Not Duplicate (DND) keys are considered “unrestricted” keys, meaning they are just like all other keys. While you may find a locksmith in Fairfax, VA who will not duplicate a DND key, many will without asking questions, making them a less secure option.

There is another type of DND key that is actually illegal to duplicate. These keys are called “restricted” keys and provide a much higher level of security for your home or business. Unfortunately, this also means that getting copies of your restricted keys is more difficult, even if you are the owner of the key.

What is a restricted key?

Restricted keys are often patent-protected and created by a specific manufacturer using specialized equipment. This makes duplicating the restricted key very difficult, if not completely impossible, if you are not working with the original locksmith in Fairfax, VA. If you attempt to have a locksmith duplicate your restricted key, but they are not the original manufacturer of the key, they will likely turn you away.

The reason for this is twofold. First, without the required equipment, a new locksmith who is unfamiliar with the process will simply not be able to produce a working key. Second, it is illegal to infringe on patent-protected keys, so locksmiths won’t copy them for fear of potential legal and financial repercussions.

How to duplicate a restricted key

If you need to duplicate a restricted key, you’ll need to receive permission from the owner or provide proper documentation that you are the owner of the keys. You’ll need to take this permission to the original locksmith, or to a dealer that has been authorized to duplicate this key type by the original locksmith. There, your locksmith will require specific sets of information, including your formal permission for duplication, the number of requested copies and more, before producing copies and making a record of the duplication.

This may seem like a hassle, but the extended duplication process is necessary in order to preserve the high level of security restricted keys provide. If the keys were easy to reproduce, your home or business would not remain very secure.

Work with a reliable mobile locksmith in Fairfax, VA for your lock and key needs

Are you in need of locksmith services for your home or business? Artie’s Lock and Key is your go-to locksmith in Fairfax, VA for full-service residential, commercial and automotive locksmith services. Visit us for rekeying, lockouts, lock installation and repair and access control systems. We’d be happy to help you promptly and provide our services with the ultimate level of care. Reach out today to learn more!

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  • Mindy Jollie says:

    That’s good to know that you need to have proof of ownership to duplicate a restricted key. My friend is always locking herself out of her car, just because she’s absent-minded about where she puts her keys. She’ll have to find a good mobile locksmith to help her out the next time she needs help getting in or if she loses her keys altogether.

  • I liked what you said about how you should get a copy of your keys. It is good to know that you can get a few different copies. My mother is always misplacing her house and car keys. It would be nice for me and my siblings to have extra ones for her.

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