Do Not Duplicate

Do Not Duplicate

We’ve all seen a key once in a while which is stamped with the letters, “DO NOT DUPLICATE.” Perhaps it is the key to a business or some other establishment. How binding is the ‘Do not duplicate’ admonishment? Is it illegal to copy such a key?

Well, no.

Some hardware stores will honor the ‘DO not duplicate’ stamp, however, according to the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA), “Orders for keys stamped ‘Do Not Duplicate’ or similar wording will be handled in the same manner as any unrestricted key.”

In other words, the very organization which strives to uphold security standards in the industry doesn’t recognize the stamp as legitimate, so locksmiths aren’t bound or restricted by the presence of the stamp on a key. The duplication of such keys isn't protected under any law, either.

So, what is the solution? There are several, depending on the circumstances and security needs.

Patented key control systems

One option worth considering is a patented key control system such as the Mul-T-Lock. These are restricted under U.S. patent laws. In other words, it IS illegal to duplicate those keys, which require both specialized tools and presentation of a Control Card, along with I.D. from the requestor before the locksmith can make a duplicate. The fine for failure to do so can be up to $10,000.

Smart locks and security

Another option, which is the one many homeowners choose, is a Smart lock system. They’re cheap and easy to use. By combining them with a Smart security doorbell camera like the Ring, a homeowner can see and control what is happening at their door.

Electronic access

Electronic access control, such as key cards, can give businesses the security and control they need to avoid security concerns brought on by ex-employees and unwelcome visitors. The flexibility of such a system makes it an excellent method for businesses which require then means to change who has clearance without having to monitor their premises constantly.

The ‘Do Not Duplicate’ key may have had a niche in lock security at one time, but it has now become passe as there are other systems which provide much more security and a greater degree of control without having to trust that the words on a key will be honored. Much like hoping a ‘Keep off the grass’ or ‘Wet Paint’ sign don't offer much in the way of recourse, the ‘Do not Duplicate’ stamp leaves a trusting lock owner in a vulnerable position. There are better ways to increase security for your home or business.

Kwikpick Lock and Safe offers FREE lockout service for children or pets. If you need locksmith services for your Surprise, El Mirage, or Phoenix home or auto, call today! Bill 623-300-1889.