Are you Californian looking to pursue a career in locksmithing? If yes, sit tight as I go through just about everything you need to know about running the business in California. The most important thing to take note of is that locksmiths in California are required to be licensed. This license is issued by the State of California’s Department of Consumer Affairs through the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services.

General Information

The very first thing to note is that there are two types of licenses — for business owners and employees. All locksmiths looking to work with customers must be licensed, and those who charge over $500 for a single job are required to obtain a license from Contractor’s State License Board (CSLB).

Business owners in California are required to register with The Franchise Tax Board and get a resale tax identification number. It’s also important to note that most jurisdictions require business owners to have a business license. Furthermore, a mobile locksmith working out of their home will also need to get special permission for a home occupancy business.

Licensing Requirements for Business

Every person, partnership or company looking to get a license as a locksmith in California must state who will run the business on a day to day basis. Moreover, every applicant must undergo a criminal history review by the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation. Also, a company that receives over $500 for a single job will be required to be a licensed contractor. It’s also important to note that the local government may require a business permit.

Licensing Requirements for Employee

Anyone looking to apply for registration as a locksmith employee must also undergo a criminal history background check through the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation. The individual will need to submit an application with a registration fee of $20, a $17 processing fee as well as a Live Scan Site processing fee (this should be paid at the Live Scan Site). Once the locksmith applicant is done, he must submit the application package to the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services in West Sacramento. The locksmith applicant will be issued a 120-day temporary registration after submitting the package; this doesn’t apply to individuals who have been convicted of any crime.

The Application Process

Every individual or company seeking to apply must submit an application along with:

  • $75 license fee
  • Two clear and quality passport photographs

The person will also need to submit a Locksmith Company Live Scan form that must be signed by the Live Scan Operator. Furthermore, each applicant is also required to pay a $32 DOJ fingerprint processing fee, $17 fingerprint processing fee as well as the Live Scan site processing fee. The package will then be submitted to the Bureau of Security and Investigation Services in Sacramento. An applicant seeking a license under a fictitious business name must provide an application that includes a certified copy of the fictitious business name statement filed with the County Clerk. This application can be found online.

Now, once the application has been reviewed by the Bureau and all necessary criminal clearances has been granted, you’ll be able to find the processed application on the Bureau’s website. The main locksmith registration will be sent to the applicant by mail within 10 to 15 business days.

Note: You should remember that California requires every locksmith to maintain a current license as well as a renewal certificate which must be clearly displayed at all times. Opening a physical office also attracts a $35 fee.




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