Duplicate Keys: Can Locksmiths Copy Keys Saying “Do Not Duplicate”?

Fatima Buzdar

November 4, 2023

You may have come across keys stamped with “Do Not Duplicate” and wondered: can you copy a key that says “Do Not Duplicate”? Or perhaps you’re in a situation where you need to make a copy of your keys for your house or commercial property, but that seemingly daunting instruction is holding you back. In this article, we’ll dive into the world of “Do Not Duplicate” keys and legal standing, and what you can do if you find yourself needing to duplicate a “Do Not Duplicate” key.

What Are “Do Not Duplicate” Keys?

Keys engraved with “Do Not Duplicate” are typically used by businesses and landlords who want to maintain strict control over who can replicate their property keys. This is common in situations where keys are distributed to multiple people, such as employees or tenants. The non—legally binding engraved reminder serves as a deterrent to unauthorized key duplication.

Is it Illegal to Duplicate “Do Not Duplicate” Keys?

Despite the imposing appearance of the “Do Not Duplicate” engraving, there is no law prohibiting the duplication of these keys, even without authorization from the property owner. It’s important to understand that this engraving is merely a suggestion, not a legally binding restriction.

However, hardware stores and locksmiths may exercise caution when copying such keys, as they prioritize ethical standards and are concerned about potential liability issues.

Can You Duplicate “Do Not Duplicate” Keys?

So can you copy a key that says “Do Not Duplicate”? Absolutely!

While some chain hardware stores may not be willing to duplicate the key due to corporate policies to avoid potential liability, locksmiths are generally more willing to help you get your key copied.

When seeking the services of a locksmith, you may be asked to provide proof of authorization, such as the property owner’s contact information or other verifying details. Hence, it’s essential to have the necessary authorization to avoid any complications.

Like any regular key, locksmiths can easily duplicate a “Do Not Duplicate” key once they verify you, using special equipment such as key—cutting machines to duplicate the keys. The key—cutting machines replicate the contours of the original key onto a blank key.

How Do Unrestricted Keys Compare to Restricted Keys and High—Security Keys?

If you’re concerned about maintaining tight control over access to your property and want to prevent unauthorized cutting of your keys, “Do Not Duplicate” keys might not offer the level of security you desire, as they’re unrestricted keys. An alternative solution is to consider restricted keys, a type of key also known as patented or high—security keys.

Restricted keyways are typically protected by utility patents, granting exclusive rights to the key design’s manufacturer. Only the manufacturer, such as a locksmith or lock company, can cut the restricted key or provide authorization for creating a copy of the key. Any unauthorized duplication could result in legal consequences.

Additionally, restricted keyway locks often incorporate robust features, making cutting a restricted key difficult.

Need a Locksmith to Copy Keys or Install Restricted Keyway Locks? Get in Touch With Us Today

In summary, can you copy a key that says “Do Not Duplicate”? A locksmith can indeed cut spare keys for the “Do Not Duplicate” keyways, as there are no legal restrictions against it and merely provide a sense of security and discouragement. However, locksmiths and hardware stores may exercise caution and require proper authorization to duplicate a “Do Not Duplicate” key.

For effective security and control over access, consider using restricted keys. These keys provide legal protection against cutting the restricted key without proper authorization and advanced security features.

If you’re looking for a locksmith in the Greater Toronto Area for key duplication services or seeking high—security solutions, we’re here to assist you. We can cut new keys for your lock, as well as offer expert consultation to guide you in selecting the optimal solutions and provide exceptional high—security lock installations.

Reach out to us today, and let us help you safeguard your property!

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