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Is It Illegal To Copy A “Do Not Duplicate” Key?

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Have you ever come across a key with the words “DO NOT DUPLICATE” on it? Perhaps you’ve been wondering whether duplicating that key is against the law.

Many people are unsure about this, especially when it comes to obtaining new keys. You don’t want to be locked out of your own home, workplace, or other lockable places. When you lose your keys, you want to know that you can get a duplicate quickly.

The fact is that there is no law prohibiting you from making copies of “do not duplicate” keys. The engraved warning on many business keys isn’t enforceable; it’s simply a suggestion. Despite the fact that several chain hardware stores, such as Ace, may refuse to make a copy of these keys, a locksmith can quickly produce them.

What’s the deal with some keys being labeled “do not duplicate”? and, are they any more secure than non-marked keys if a locksmith can copy them?

No Law Regulates the Duplication of “Do Not Duplicate” Keys

The words “do not duplicate” do not actually have any legal weight. They are more like a request than an order or law. This is likely because there is no way to enforce such a rule. If someone really wants a copy of their key, they can go to a locksmith and get one made. However, many chain hardware stores where you buy locks with “do not copy” keys will most likely refuse to make a duplicate of your key because of corporate policy.

Why Do Some Keys Say “Do Not Duplicate”?

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We are requested to stamp this phrase on countless keys for homes and businesses every day in the locksmith industry, and it always raises the question: Why would anybody want this? This is a visual deterrent that has been used by many people. In other words, it’s something that gives the impression of security in order to deter possible robbers. The most prevalent example is a scarecrow on a field of crops, which gets its name from the fact that it serves as a visual deterrent to keep crows away from the harvest. Unfortunately, in the case of securing your businesses with locks and keys, thieves are not birds, and it takes more than a few words to deter them.

Landlords and managers started pressing the “do not duplicate” key message in an attempt to prevent security breaches caused by terminated personnel, former tenants, construction workers, and others who obtained a key. Unauthorized key duplication is still a major security threat, and it is the most frequently violated corporate security rule.

The inscription may reduce the number of copies in circulation since locksmiths will be required to duplicate them. The truth remains that keys stamped with “Do Not Duplicate” are no more secure than plain ones. If you’re looking for effective security, invest in a key control system rather than relying on a “Do Not Duplicate” marking. According to the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA), having a “do not duplicate” message on your company keys may give you a false sense of security.

The Association of Locksmiths in the United States (ALOA) explains that “Orders for keys stamped ‘Do Not Duplicate’ or similar wording will be handled in the same manner as any unrestricted key.”. Members of the ALOA should advise customers that using keys stamped ‘Do Not Duplicate’ or similar wording is ineffective security and that such words are deceptive since they give the impression of greater security. Consumers that need effective security should invest in a key control system rather than relying on a ‘Do Not Duplicate’ marking. This does not apply to keys that are legally protected.

You Can Still Copy Your “Do Not Duplicate” Keys

In the locksmithing business, being able to duplicate keys fast and inexpensively is a standard. While it’s aggravating for a client to learn that they’ve been given a “do not duplicate” key, the good news is that all sorts of keys can be duplicated. The phrase “Do Not Copy” on a key serves as a caution, but it does not prevent someone from duplicating the key. As a result, if you purchased your locks from a reputable local locksmith, you’d have to go back to the same business or locksmith and request new keys. While these keys aren’t meant to be copied, the firm utilizes code machines to manufacture new keys.

When it comes to buying any keyed locks, locksmiths always advise that you review the firm’s key duplication policy. If your lock is less than five years old, it will be replaced free of charge if it’s lost or stolen. Verify if the firm has “do not copy” keys or is prepared to make them for you. If you’ve already bought keys and aren’t sure if they’re “do not duplicate” keys, contact the locksmith that sold you the new hardware.

Understanding Restricted Key Policies

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Duplicating some keys is forbidden. These keys are known as “restricted” because the rights to duplicate them are limited to the original manufacturer. To make their products safer, lock makers have produced restricted keys, which are harder to duplicate since they require specialized equipment and incorporate a patented design.

The rights to restricted keys are protected by the United States patent laws, which safeguard the manufacturers of specialized lock and key systems. There’s a fine of up to $10,000 for breaking the law, as well as unlawful duplication of restricted keys.

Duplication of restricted keys is permitted only to authorized producers and locksmiths, and it requires the use of specialized equipment. The locksmith must ask for identification from the person requesting a copy and evidence that he or she has permission from the original owner before making one.

A restricted key may be the best option for businesses seeking to limit the number of copies available. It provides greater protection than unrestricted keys because they are more challenging to duplicate. Still, it’s crucial to remember that no key is entirely safe from being copied.

Ways To Enhance Security In Commercial Properties

If you have reason to believe duplicate keys are jeopardizing the safety of your company, consider hiring a professional locksmith to rekey the property’s doors. During rekeying, the lock technician replaces the internal mechanism that accepts keys, making previous keys useless and preventing them from operating the lock.

Some businesses choose to spend a little more for added security by investing in locks that are intended to be more difficult to pick. Some makers produce locks with tight tolerances or with extra pins or unique characteristics on the pins, such as dimples and angles. Locks should be made of high-strength metal to deter intruders or vandals from drilling them or breaking them with force. If you’re not sure what your locks are composed of, ask the manufacturer.

It’s advisable to use a technological solution like smart electronic locks for maximum safety. These are particular gadgets that allow you to lock, unlock doors, set the security system, and even inspect traffic in and out of the building all from your smartphone. Another option is electronic access control technologies, which allow organizations to limit access or cut it off for specific individuals without having to duplicate cards for other workers.

There are many ways to enhance security in commercial properties, but it’s important to work with a professional locksmith to ensure that the solutions you choose are appropriate for your needs. With their help, you can keep your business safe without compromising on convenience.

Where Can I Copy a “Do Not Duplicate” Key?

If you find yourself in a situation where you need a copy of a “do not duplicate” key, don’t worry! USA Lock and Key can help. We are experienced locksmiths in Las Vegas who can quickly produce copies of any kind of key, including those with the “do not duplicate” mark. We understand that you may need a spare key for your home, workplace, or car, and we are here to help you get the keys you need quickly and easily. We are a licensed and insured locksmith company in Las Vegas, and we are here to help you with all of your lock and key needs. Furthermore, if you want to learn more about security measures that can enhance the safety of your building, we are happy to collaborate with you to tackle this problem. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to get a quote for key duplication.

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We’re USA Lock and Key. We provide the quickest, most responsive locksmith professional service in Las Vegas. No matter what lock you need to be opened, we have more technicians and vehicles than any other locksmith service in the location. From your primary entry door to a car door, we can assist with anything that needs locking or unlocking in a hurry. We have tools, training, experience, and a large knowledgeable team with you for all your locksmith needs. 

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