How to Find and Hire a Reliable Locksmith

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The best way to choose a locksmith is by searching for one who’s licensed and insured.
Finding a locksmith that you can rely on is important. You never know when you might lock yourself out of your house or car, and you’ll want to be sure that you get an experienced locksmith who won’t cause further damage to your car or home.
In addition to looking for a locksmith in your area, you also need to find one with the proper accreditation.
Read this guide from Jerry to learn how to find and hire a reliable locksmith.

Traits of a reliable locksmith

When seeking a reliable locksmith, you need to look for professionals who are licensed, insured, and bonded. This protects you if something goes wrong when the locksmith is opening a lock for you.
A licensed locksmith is one who has received the necessary certification. Unfortunately, only 15 states in the U.S. currently require a locksmith to receive certification to do business. The states that require a locksmith to obtain a license are:
  • Alabama
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
In addition to looking for a licensed locksmith, you want to find one who also has the proper insurance. A reliable locksmith carries general liability insurance to help protect their customers in case something goes wrong.
Whether there is damage to a car or an injury to a customer, liability insurance should foot the bill. Otherwise, you run the risk of having to pay for any damages yourself, including medical bills if the locksmith is hurt on your property.
When a locksmith is bonded, an insurance company or bonding company guarantees their work. This protects you if the locksmith damages your lock and the area around it, or fails to complete the work you both agreed to. When acquiring a bond, a locksmith is required to get either a commercial or contract bond, or both.

The key to finding a local locksmith

If you expect you’ll need a locksmith one day, consider finding a reliable one before something goes wrong so you can skip searching when time is of the essence. You have a few ways to find a local locksmith, including:
  • Referrals: You can ask your family, friends, and coworkers if they know of any trustworthy and reliable locksmiths in your area.
  • Local newspaper: Your local newspaper might also contain advertisements from locksmiths in your area.
  • Online: One of the easiest ways to find a local locksmith is to perform an online search.
  • Yellow Pages: You can also search the Yellow Pages of your local telephone book.
Once you find a locksmith in your area, make sure to ask some important questions before hiring them, including:
  • What are their hours of operation? While you hope you would not find yourself locked out of your home or car late at night, having a locksmith available 24 hours a day can give you peace of mind.
  • How much will the job cost? You should ask for upfront pricing. Usually this is in the form of an estimate over email or the phone. While an estimate is nice, keep in mind that unforeseen circumstances can sometimes cause the cost to go up once the locksmith arrives.
By doing your due diligence before hiring a locksmith, you can help protect yourself from shady business practices and inflated pricing after the fact.
By using only licensed, insured, and bonded locksmiths, you can rest easy knowing that they have gone through the process of getting the proper education and that their work is guaranteed if something does go wrong.
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How much is a locksmith?

Prices for locksmiths usually range from $85 to $175, though these prices will fluctuate based on your personal needs and if you hire the locksmith after hours. Still, knowing this price range can help you find a reliable locksmith who won’t charge you too much.

Can a locksmith make a car key?

Yes, an experienced locksmith will be able to make a new car key for you, even if you don’t have the original key. They may even be able to program a key fob for you. Just keep in mind that you will need to prove that the car belongs to you before they make a replacement key.

Do you tip a locksmith?

Usually, you don’t tip a locksmith. However, it’s a good gesture to tip a locksmith in certain situations. If you hire a locksmith for an after-hours emergency, it’s a good idea to give them around a $20 tip.
You might consider tipping in other situations, such as poor weather conditions or for especially difficult services.
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