As of early 2010, the locksmith industry in Florida was unregulated--there were no requirements or licenses needed to work as a locksmith in the state. The lack of control led to fraud by people posing as locksmiths, according to media investigations. Florida's legislators responded by drafting proposed bills, one in the House and one in the Senate, to regulate the industry. If you are affiliated with the locksmith business, you should be aware of these bills.
In order to work as a locksmith, a background check and fingerprinting will be required by the state. The criminal history in both Florida and with the FBI will be checked. Also, the applicant will be required to pay for these services.
An applicant will have to show a certain level of proficiency before being granted a license. Ways to prove proficiency will include work as a locksmith before the regulations are put in place or work as an apprentice locksmith. However, a license will not be required for an apprentice locksmith or a locksmith working for a license-holder.
Any locksmith who advertises services will have to include his license number in the advertisement. Those failing to do so will be fined.
A license will be good for two years, at which point the holder of the license will have to renew it. Proof of insurance and an updated criminal history will be required at renewal. Working as a locksmith without a license will carry a fine of up to $10,000.
- lock image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com