North Carolina Locksmith Licensing Board


Learning the Locksmith Trade
This link can provide some outside resources that may help individuals interested in learning the trade.

North Carolina Statute
The Statute (Chapter 74F) is the law passed by the North Carolina General Assembly.

North Carolina Administrative Code
The Administrative Code is the set of rules passed by the Board based on the NC Statute 74F (The Locksmith Licensing Law).

Application Instructions
This link will tell you how to apply for a locksmith license.

Myths and Facts (Published 2019)
Common Misconceptions about what the Board is and does.

Continuing Education Providers (Last Updated March 2024)
Do you need training credit to renew or reinstate your license? Do you want to learn locksmithing skills? Click this link for training opportunities.

License Renewal Training Log
Attach this to your renewal with 16 hours of CEU credit, unless exemptions apply.

Training Instructor Sponsorship Form
If you are interested in providing CEU courses complete this form.

Applicants with Criminal Backgrounds
Learn how recent legislative changes may affect your application.


These forms have been approved by the Board to guide you in your business practices. The forms are only recommendations and should not be considered as granting you absolute immunity from liability.


Q: I am a homeowner. Does the locksmith law mean that I can’t install or service locks on my own house?

A: NO. Property owners and their employees (not independent contractors!) may still provide locksmith services on their own property, even if they are not the occupants. There is also an exemption for “good Samaritans” offering assistance without pay or other consideration.

Q: I know someone who is providing locksmith services without a license. What should I do?

A: You should tell the person about the law and pass along our contact information so that they can apply for a license. You should also report that person’s name and contact information to the Board. We will begin with a warning letter advising them to obtain a license or cease providing locksmith services.

Q: I have spoken to an unlicensed locksmith multiple times. He, or she, refuses to obtain a valid license. I have also reported this to the NC Locksmith Licensing Board. What should I do now?

A: At this point you should contact local law enforcement. After October 2013, providing locksmith services without a license is a potential Class I Misdemeanor. Any subsequent arrests for providing locksmith services without a license may be charged as a Class I Felony. If you have knowledge of locksmith who are ignoring Chapter 74F in your area, you should contact your local District Attorney and local law enforcement.

Q: I suspect someone is doing scam locksmith activity without a license. What should I do?

A: You should report this activity to law enforcement. After October 2013, providing locksmith services without a license is a potential Class I Misdemeanor. Any subsequent arrests for providing locksmith services without a license may be charged as a Class I Felony. If you have knowledge of locksmith scams in your area, you should contact your local District Attorney and local law enforcement.

Q: I have a complaint to provide about locksmith services that were provided to me. I believe that the work was shoddy or the business practices of the locksmith were unfair. What should I do?

A: Send a letter to the Board, along with a copy of your invoice. If you have their license number, that would also be helpful. Please provide as much detail as possible; time and date of work, type of work performed, quoted and billed price, physical description of locksmith, etc. Providing the Board with only the phone number of the company you called is not sufficient. The Board will attempt to get the other side of the story and either arbitrate a fair solution or initiate disciplinary action.

Q: I would like to apply for a license. How do I get an application?

A: You may download it from the home page.

Q: I am interested in becoming a locksmith. Are there any locksmith schools in North Carolina?

A: There are no locksmith schools in North Carolina. The NCLLB does not regulate HOW you learn locksmith skills. You may learn from a licensed locksmith, attending a trade school, or by purchasing an online or correspondence course.

Q: I am interested in bringing on a locksmith apprentice, but cannot be with him at all times. What does the Board consider direct supervision?

A: The Board wants locksmiths to be able to grow their businesses. Licensed locksmiths can have up to 2 locksmith apprentices at a time, and may receive 8 hours of continuing education credit for each apprentice that becomes licensed. The Board does not expect your apprentice to be with you at all times; they may go out and do service calls at your discretion. A good measure of whether you are meeting the Board’s standard for supervision is that the licensed locksmith should know where their apprentice is and what locksmith services they are providing during business hours. The apprentice should check in with the licensee when arriving and leaving every job site.

Q: I live and work primarily outside North Carolina but sometimes provide locksmith services inside North Carolina. Do I need a license?

A: YES. If you intend to provide locksmith services in North Carolina, you must obtain a license.

Q: I am a locksmith company and have unlicensed tech’s doing lockouts. Do I need a NC Locksmith License?

  1. “Lockout services” are locksmith services, and therefore require a locksmith license or locksmith apprentice license.

Q: I am interested in opening a roadside assistance company and will be providing lockout services. Do I need a NC Locksmith License?

  1. “Lockout services” are locksmith services. That means you need a locksmith license to provide them, unless you fall under some very specific exemptions outlined in statute. Some roadside assistance companies are able to provide lockout services because they only take referrals from motor clubs, which are exempt from the NC Locksmith Licensing Law. However, if a roadside assistance company is advertising lockout services directly to the public, then they need a locksmith license.

Q: Where can I take the exam?

A: The exam is offered throughout the year at Community Colleges and other state agencies on a regular rotation. These exams sessions are Saturday. Please review the exam schedule here.

Q: What is on the exam?

A: General Locksmithing – 75 Questions
Automotive Locksmithing – 20 Questions
Safe and Vault – 15 Questions
Access Control – 5 Questions
Rules/Ethics/Law – 35 Questions

Q: How many hours of continuing education do I need?

A: You need 16 hours of continuing education. However, there are some exemptions. If you have a medical condition that prevents you from earning your CEU, you may submit a doctor’s note and be exempt up to 8 hours. If you have been deployed, you may provide documentation and be exempted up to 8 hours. If you are over 62, have held a NC license for 9 years, have 15 years experience, and are not currently under investigation by the NCLLB, you are exempt from the CEU requirements.

Q: What counts as continuing education anyway?

A: Any class on a technical subject related to the practice of locksmithing can count. There are many sources for classes. Classes are offered regularly by both state and national trade associations (such as ALOA and NCLA). Also, product and tool manufacturers and locksmith distributors also sponsor classes. Check this website regularly for listings of upcoming continuing education classes. Just be sure to retain a certificate proving your attendance and listing the instructor, sponsor, topic and the date and time of the class.

Q: Do correspondence courses or independent study qualify as continuing education?

A: Some online courses have been approved and they are listed on the website.

Q: Are there any exceptions to the continuing education requirement?

A: Yes. Please see the first question on this page.