Locksmiths; regulatory scheme for licensing by Criminal Justice Services Board. (HB462)

Introduced By

Del. Dave Albo (R-Springfield)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Department of Criminal Justice Services; regulation of locksmiths. Sets up a regulatory scheme for the licensing of locksmiths by the Criminal Justice Services Board. Read the Bill »

Outcome

Bill Has Passed

History

DateAction
01/04/2008Committee
01/04/2008Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/08 088293404
01/04/2008Referred to Committee on General Laws
01/16/2008Assigned GL sub: Professional/Occupational/Adminstrative Process
02/05/2008Reported from General Laws with substitute (18-Y 4-N) (see vote tally)
02/05/2008Committee substitute printed 081864404-H1
02/06/2008Read first time
02/07/2008Read second time
02/07/2008Committee substitute agreed to 081864404-H1
02/07/2008Engrossed by House - committee substitute HB462H1
02/08/2008Read third time and passed House (92-Y 7-N)
02/08/2008VOTE: --- PASSAGE (92-Y 7-N) (see vote tally)
02/08/2008Communicated to Senate
02/11/2008Constitutional reading dispensed
02/11/2008Referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology
02/12/2008Impact statement from DPB (HB462H1)
02/20/2008Reported from General Laws and Technology (13-Y 2-N)
02/20/2008Rereferred to Finance
02/26/2008Reported from Finance with amendment (16-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/27/2008Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/27/2008Read third time
02/27/2008Reading of amendment waived
02/27/2008Committee amendment agreed to
02/27/2008Engrossed by Senate as amended
02/27/2008Passed Senate with amendment (37-Y 2-N)
02/27/2008Senate amendment agreed to by House (72-Y 16-N)
02/27/2008VOTE: --- ADOPTION (72-Y 16-N)
03/03/2008Enrolled
03/03/2008Bill text as passed House and Senate (HB462ER)
03/03/2008Signed by Speaker
03/04/2008Impact statement from DPB (HB462ER)
03/04/2008Signed by President
03/12/2008Governor's recommendation received by House
03/12/2008Placed on Calendar
03/13/2008Enacted, Chapter 638 (effective 7/1/08)
03/13/2008House concurred in Governor's recommendation (89-Y 9-N)
03/13/2008VOTE: --- ADOPTION (89-Y 9-N)
03/13/2008Senate concurred in Governor's recommendation (40-Y 0-N)
03/13/2008G Governor's recommendation adopted
03/13/2008Reenrolled
03/13/2008Reenrolled bill text (HB462ER2)
03/13/2008Signed by Speaker as reenrolled
03/13/2008Signed by President as reenrolled
03/13/2008Enacted, Chapter 638 (effective - see bill)
03/14/2008G Approved by Governor-Chapter 638 (effective 7/1/08)
03/18/2008G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0638)

Comments

Stephen H. Wilkinson writes:

Locksmiths "deserve" to be regulated. Especially from the standpoint of criminal background checks. The general public would be horrified to know the background of some of the "locksmiths" that they allow to have access to the keys of their homes and businesses.

Andrea Sarate writes:

Although licensing is an important step in protecting the profession, this bill is poorly written and is ONLY designed to prevent competition by small shops. This bill should be opposed because it has been crafted by large lock shops and doesn't really address the realities of locksmithing.

It is important to note that NEITHER professional trade associations of locksmiths, the Virginia Locksmith Association nor the Tidewater Locksmiths Association, endorses or supports this bill. Both were given an opportunity to review and approve this legislation; both groups unanimously oppose it.

Daniel Sarate writes:

This bill fosters unfair competion.
Locksmithing as defined in this legislation is fine, however I find the list of exceptions to the requirement of of this bill, listed at the end of this text are outrageous. Either license everyone that performs locksmithing or do not license anyone. The bill, as it is currently worded, allows too many to pass without the regulation touching them and thus giving those excepted, the advantage of competing with the regulated individuals whose overhead is surely to increase with the enforcement of regulation. The license and regulation must be passed on to the consumers raising the cost of services and products to everyone.

Consumer protections already exist.
I believe if there were a public ground-swell for licensing we all would have heard about it. Any group of consumers will have those that employe another to do a particular task. Of that group some will have a bad or very bad experience. That is unavoidable regardless of the profession or trade or service. To those that have these experiences, remedies are in place to mitgate the consumers loss and punish the wrong doer. Crimes are punished and legal remedies exist and insurance is available. I do not think creating another impediment to building business in Virginia and or creating a larger government is helpful or needed.

Locksmiths are small businesses.
For generations the locksmith has operated business and protected their customers. During this time there have been some that have disregarded the public trust and have been punished or penalized for that breach. But generally as a group these business have been small businesses. Many family owned and operated. Some have grown to become larger businesses. Both situations are good for the communities they serve. The larger our communities the more Locksmiths will be needed. Let free enterprise continue and let the marketplace and the consumer continue to be self regulated.

Gary Ford writes:

Have you read the final Bill it has changed 3 times. email me I will send the correct Bill.

If would like a copy of the Northern Virginia If would like a copy of the Northern Virginia Yellow book under the heading Locksmith. I will forward it you, [email protected] It has 1200 phony names with different phone numbers. I know this sound strange but until you see it yourself it's hard to visualize. The consumer is getting ripped of every day. There are 3 million books published in just northern VA. that's 3 million times 1200 opportunities for the phony guy to get a phone call. Then add Richmond & Tidewater phone books the public is getting ripped.

A few locksmith want the PERFECT Bill or nothing at all. Some want this or that in the Locksmith Bill, me too, but it will not pass like that. The Delegates make the rules and if you want anything to get introduced to the House & Senate you had better listen to them.

Start with the facts No bill at all or a watered down BIll that keeps the Scammers out of Virginia

Brenda Ford writes:

I vote yes

John Styles writes:

The time has come where locksmith licensing and oversight has become necessary. How would you feel if you locked the keys in your car, called a locksmith to get you in. After quoting you $39 to open the car, she arrives, opens your car and tells you that will be $850. If you refuse to pay, she calls a tow truck to take your car away, putting a mechanic's lien against it? This is really happening in Virginia now.

If I get a haircut, the person performing the service has to be licensed. But people who break into homes, cars, businesses and safes do not have to be licensed and can well be criminals. That does not make me feel very safe. Locksmiths should be licensed.

-=john=-

Bradley Small writes:

This bill, as currently written (the version that passed commitee), affords blanket exemptions to certain classes of persons such that it already has built in loopholes. It carries too high of a cost, and affords little protection for the legitimate locksmith, or even the general public.

It will probably do little to stop the scammers anyway, but it will raise my (and other small shops') cost of doign business, and thus increase my customers' costs.

If the scammers are a true problem, and their business practices are in fact illegal, then the existing laws should merely be enforced, or campaigns should be undertaken to warn the public about them. It is coincidental that they are working under the guise of locksmiths, they could just as well perform fraud and unethical business practices in any other trade that comes out to a person's home or automobile.

Perhaps a law should be written that licenses all non-Brick-And-Mortar service professionals. Or make it a felony to advertise in the yellow pages withtout a true physical address. These would work to curb such "scammers" without costing me or other small locksmiths their livelihood.

Johnny Mayo CML writes:

Garbage in Garbage out.
Don’t have a panic attack. A bill written in panic is doomed to be revised numerous times until it satisfies the constitutional rights of everyone concerned, including the last one on the list, the Locksmith. So far the exceptions on the latest change, still benefit just about every business/person (Except of course, the Certified Locksmith) as long as they don’t call themselves a Locksmith, or perform the trade service, if it’s within the scope of the services they are providing. The only difference is the Locksmith would be paying for the right already granted to everyone else at no charge. The bill needs plenty of work. The Yellow Page sales force could use some reprimand and some serious help in ethics.
The panic started with the 1200 ads that were put out from companies that know how to use the media better than we could. These companies were following the law when they put their ads in the yellow pages. They had a perfect right to do it. They are not criminals yet but they are definitely practicing bad business. Consumers are unaware because they were not prepared for the ambush. Neither were we. Deceitful people have been around long before Jesus and are here to stay. They will always find another way to sell someone a roof or driveway paving job.
The media could be our biggest ally if utilized. The links I have received to the news clips are great and should be broadcast regularly. Public awareness is probably the biggest issue here and not solely a Licensing bill that could very well bury a Professional Trade that has in fact also been around long before hieroglyphics.

Much of the funding for the Licensing project could have been picked up from our National /Local Associations, Manufacturers, and Trade Suppliers. We got the moral support from all kinds of business entities because of inclusion (exceptions). We may have to go back and start from the source of the problem to diagnose properly and build a License from that. Start with few or no exceptions. Public Awareness, Advertising, Ethics, the Inherent Qualites of our Profession that assures the Consumer their Security/Safety, and the Certification in the Profession earned through rigorous training should be on top of the list of the battle plan. The Locksmith should be on top of that list of exceptions instead of being lost in the middle of the WORLD of EXCEPTIONS.

In the beginning there was our own National association. To insure public awareness, trust, we needed to become Certifiable as proof we are in fact true Locksmiths. Pass the necessary requirements to insure the public that we were qualified and legitimate. The trend grew to include levels of Certification and spread to different facets with more levels. Any one who got involved in this process not only did it to better themselves, they believed this membership would really, well, get rid of the scammers. The long reach public awareness promotions they put out in the media were going to show the public that being a member of this association was the only way a customer could be assured they were hiring an honest to goodness Locksmith. We were to get referrals when they got their many requests for where one might obtain a Certified Master Locksmith in their area. The public would be aware! They would call and verify that they were dealing with a real Locksmith by our credentials. How profitable an era was this? It worked so well?
I can count the times in the past twenty years customers have enquired about my credentials. Once.

I on the other hand go through a speech every time I get the chance about why they called the right number. I tell them about the organization/association that they never heard of. I still have those customers. It was me, and not the National association that made my customers aware.

Virginia Locksmith Association (local) has always done more with my membership fee than the National association ever has. The VLA should be charging a couple of hundred dollars for their membership. I would be more than happy to write that check to them rather than the National association.

Johnny

Wayne McDonald, CRL writes:

The locksmith license bill was originally introduced as a way to stop scam artists from performing locksmith services and ripping of the public; but, the bill includes so many exemptions to the licensing regulation that the only people who will be affected by it are the honest hard working locksmiths that provide a quality service for a price that they need to live. TV news reports say that the scam artists are illegial immigrants; so let's build a wall around Virginia. No that wouldn't work; the scammers would just drill the locks. Seriously, if they are illegal, then they need to be reported to the INS, let's use existing laws and get them deported.

Since that excuse didn't convince people, the latest rationalization for licensing locksmiths is that scam locksmiths are hurting the bottom line of locksmith businesses. The scams may hurt some business, but not all. I own a two man company and business is booming; I'm having a hard time keeping up with the work. If I can make a living as a locksmith in Northern Virginia with 1200 scam locksmiths listed in the Yellow Pages, why cannot the big locksmith businesses? (NOTE: The owners of two of the largest locksmith companies in Northern VA got together and hired a lobyist to work on getting the licensing bill introduced and passed.) Armed with that information, do you really think that they would be upset if the small locksmith businesses were forced to close due to lost income resulting from scam locksmiths?

So my question is why do they want locksmiths to be licensed? Is it posible that they want to add to the financial burden on the smaller businesses and help reduce competition? I'm just asking.

Get serious! This is America! Competition is what has made us a world power. If a business cannot compete; I hate to say, but let them close down or BETTER YET, join forces with each other and become a large business and pool their knowledge, resources and skills!

I ask that ALL Deletages vote NAY on HB462. We don't need another law that cannot be enforced equally and fairly! Maybe a licensing law can be written and properly regulate people and businesses that perform locksmith services.

Thank you for your consideration.
Wayne

Phil N writes:

Time for licensing!! Bring it on...If your business can't afford it, time to re-evaluate your business and make some tough decisions.

Consumers have no idea how unregulated this business is in Virginia, and it's time for them to know we are qualified professionals and can be trusted with information related to their security.

Troy Miller writes:

I feel this Bill is a disservice to all locksmiths. Although I support licensing, this Bill has too many exemptions. To say just get it passed and DCJS can make changes as we need them is false. The people who are sponsoring this Bill will not be there for us if it passes. Having a DCJS number stamped on my business card has no bearing on my qualifications as a locksmith. There are some who say if we cannot afford it, re-evaluate yourself. This Bill is written just for them. It is designed not to protect the public, but to help weed out competition, honest or otherwise. There is another motive behind this Bill and everyone who has read it knows it. If you are going to have a law licensing locksmiths, there shouold be NO EXEMPTIONS AND NO EXCLUSIONS. If one cannot handle that then maybe one should re-evaluate themselves as well.

Bradley S. writes:

Well it looks like it has passed the 2nd reading and has not been amended. Tomorrow is key, I hope this thing gets voted down!

Lindy Mayo writes:

There are 3 million times 1200 opportunities you could be the one answering the phone! Your argument is about business competition. Consumers are getting ripped off everday from all kinds of bad business. Take the Government for example. How much are you giving the Government system for all that you think you own.
It's not just a few that want and have a perfect right to want a PERFECT bill. A bill that insures the public interest, safety, and security. HB462 has none of these qualities thanks to exceptions that will inevitably put the public in more danger than they could ever imagine. The Delegates DO NOT make the rules. The constitution is the rule book here. What do schools teach these days? The sponsors might very well have created a National Security risk known as HB462 as written. Well done!

Bill Johnson writes:

The bill and it's revised bill fails to meet the requirement of law in order to become law. Specifically, Code of Virginia 54.1-100 states that the elements of that law must first be proven in order to enact a license upon any class of people in this Commonwealth. By common consideration of 54.1-100 if the state determines that a group of people need to be licensed after consideration of 54.1-100, THEN ALL SUCH PERSONS need to be licensed. There is no room granted within the law to exempt some or any of the intended licensees. HB462 and it's revision proposes to do exactly that. It proposes that some persons with locksmithing abilities are exempt from licensing wheras the majority of those who possess locksmithing abilities would be required to have a licence.

The law as proposed is unconstitutional, and will cause unfair restraint of trade which in itself is unconstitutional not only by state law, but federal law as well.

Bradley M. Small writes:

Just passed the house 92-7 for. This is a sad day :(

I guess it is time to start contacting our senators...

Bradley M. Small writes:

Ok, they do crossover on tuesdays. So next tuesday it will go to the senate. Once it is in the senate it will be assigned to committee. Similar to committee in the house, this is the place where we can make changes.

With the overwhelming support it had in passing the house, I can only assume it will do so in the senate as well.

Time to start contacting your senators with mail, emails and snailmails about this.

Know that ALOA has a site setup with a prewritten letter, and they will be getting inundated with those, since it is relatively anonymous and simple.

Make your voice heard and your opinion known.

My goal, personally, is to have either of the following:

Remove the exemptions completely.

or

Reqrite the exemptions such that they are restrictive to

1. Only tasks necessary to support the exemptee's primary trade. Only in support of products they sell. (Listed specifically or with this verbage.)

2. Only when performed by persons who are factory trained or otherwise properly trained. (I don't really care how someone defines this part)

This is relative to exemptions 22,24,25,26,27. I would love to hear some explaination about some of the preexisting ones such as #3 and #8.

If we are going to have a law/license, let's get it right the first time.

John Mayo writes:

Don't forget to vote NO on this site too for the bill as written.

John Mayo writes:

Copy and paste these addresses below to your browser to send e-mails to our Senators and Governor Kaine!

Ask them to read HB462 that will allow anyone NOT Licensed to Breach Security. Who can you trust now? The Locksmith was once a proud trade. This bill is degrading to how a Law is passed. All delegates who voted or sponsored this garbage should be ashamed that you never thought about the citizens you are representing. You have put them in harms way! It makes no sense!

http://warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.ContactForm

http://webb.senate.gov/contact/

http://www.governor.virginia.gov/AboutTheGovernor/contactGovernor.cfm

Max Kestner writes:

Too many exemptions to the bill. It's like a motor vehicle law that would state: A person can drive a tractor trailer without a CDL if the person does not call himself a truck driver.

Publius writes:

Here is our full analysis of the bill: General Assembly Analysis: Licensing the Locksmiths. The problem is that the bill has a good purpose to protect us, but they go after the wrong group. We should regulate criminals not the industry. Check out the post and comments including the Patron, Delegate Albo.

Real Locksmith CML writes:

Junk Site, Junk Pole, I voted 10 times.
WHAT A JOKE,
Don't waste my time about this bogus pole.

Real Locksmith CML

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Junk Site, Junk Pole, I voted 10 times.

You might have voted 10 times, but it only counted once. Each prior vote was simply replaced by your subsequent vote, leaving you with just a single vote counted, at 9:42pm.

Why vote ten times? Do you feel that you need to fabricate a majority opinion that doesn't actually exist?

Alison Hymes writes:

Virginia is going to license locksmiths before they license dialysis technicians??? I don't understand. I have had nothing but good experiences with locksmiths in Virginia, can't say the same for dialysis technicians who have one's life in their hands.

cindy writes:

Lets license legislators. Make them take a polygraph test prior to running for office. How about submitting to a background check? Locksmiths? Come on! I have been dealing with locksmiths for over 20 years. One of the few professions that has never caused me loss of sleep.

Stewart Brown, CML writes:

Well, we finally we might interject some professionalism into this industry! It's long overdue in my opinion, especially since every time the public hires a locksmith and hands over the keys or other security info it is taking on risks to life and property.

It is way too easy for people to drift in and out of this industry without having to commit to any standards of professionalism that protect the public and better the profession. Although I believe most locksmiths are an honorable crowd, still, it is too easy for the crooks to be out there running around with us. So it is way past time to clean up this industry.

The best arguments I've seen so far presented against the bill are that it hurts small businesses. What a sham!! The OPPOSITE is true!! Those who make such statements obviously don't understand how to succeed as a small business. Licensure doesn't hurt small business, it helps them!! Licensure helps small businesses by establishing some minimum standards. It helps you compete against bigger companies by placing you on a more equal footing in the eyes of the public - you are all LICENSED!!

I have experienced this directly. I started my business in my den, got my license and insurance, put out my shingle, and within a few years had my own professional shop and licenses for 6 states on my wall. I know for a fact that a license (or anything else that helps establish credibility) HELPS your effort to compete!!

So you people who are running small busineeses (and in my opinion that is almost all of us) go get your license, go get your insurance, your letterheads and business cards, and go after those big fish clients!!

But I can also imagine that there are some who aren't really interested in becoming propfessional locksmiths with professional credentials and a license. You may just want to piddle away your time in your spare bedroom. Maybe you work for someone else and this is just a sideline for you really, not really your main job. Well, maybe you should try another profession. Maybe you can practise brain surgery out of your bedroom. (or maybe not, LOL)

John writes:

Well written, but you missed the big picture, if the Phony Locksmith takes away the quick easy lock outs & rekeys the ones who suffer the most is the one man mobile locksmith. But they can't see that, the only thing they see is $1.58 a day and some paper work every two years, Oh yeah they are complaining that they will probably have to get business insurance now.

Locksmith’s should Serve and Protect the public first. The public deserves the protection of; Finger prints & Background check for all Locksmiths.

John writes:

PS, There are a couple of hundred Phony Locksmiths listed in the New Richmond Verizon book.
So everyone in Richmond call the news station and get the warning out there, Oh, Sorry I tried that and they did not want to run the story. Ok, it's up to the consumer to find the real locksmith when they need help. There are 40 real locksmiths in the Phone book & 500 fake ones GOOD LUCK RICHMOND.

Stewart Brown, CML writes:

The big picture? Auto lockouts are the big picture? Somehow I just don't see these fake locksmiths driving up in towtrucks or cabs to let people into their cars. Those businesses have license requirements also.

Well, I can sympathize some for the one man mobile operation. But really, in my view, trying to build a business based upon auto lockouts is kinda dumb if you want to be a successful locksmith and do interesting work and build your business. And is an auto lockout really "locksmithing" and is it something you really want to protect? What are you protecting, there is no real expertise in that, auto lockouts for the most part are one step up from cutting Kwikset keys. We do them like anyone else, but many times they are a nuissance, keeping us from getting more important work accomplished. All professions have exemptions for lower level functions. It doesn't take a doctor to deliver a pill with a cup of water - lower level personnel in the hospital can do that.

Instead of worrying about the bleeding away of any lower level work, we should be focusing on the increased work for small business in work that requires some real expertise and deals with real security. This bill will definitely do that.

As far as I'm concerned I wouldn't change a single word in the bill. Any weaknesses are on the fringes, the bulk of the bill has beef and will make a big difference. The DCJS does the best job of enforcement and licensing of any agency in any state I know, and I have had licenses in 6 states (GA, NC, TN, KY, MD, VA). The great thing about the DCJS is that all the enforcement is under one roof. Like a clearing house for all license requirements. Every time you get renewed you have to cough up proof that you meet the specs. And with insurance they require that they be named on the coverage so if some flake drops his coverage and the public is exposed, the DCJS is notified. Other agencies don't keep track of things like that. It's easy with other agencies to meet the requirements once for the license, then let everything lapse, leaving the public at risk.

I agree with you 100% about the need for fingerprinting and background checks. And today a friend in Richmond told me about the several hundred fake ads in Richmond now. He said a few of the Richmond folks were considering a class action lawsuit.

John writes:

Up date Jnk site Please, Bill passed Senate & House two days ago 2-27-2008

Waldo Jaquith writes:

The bill is quite clearly labeled as having passed, and the bill's status history reports in great detail precisely the manner in which it passed, complete with vote tallies and video.

MJS writes:

Just a thought on the Locksmith License Bill.
If all Locksmiths are to be Licensed, as it should be. Then the large Locksmith companies should pay for each employee noted to be a Locksmith under that particular Locksmith company name. Otherwise, this would not be equal treatment for Small Businesses such as mine.

JACK writes:

The story about locksmiths lying about their fee and then charging $850 to unlock someones car is just that a lie. I'm so sure that a locksmith is towing peoples cars away when they refuse to be robbed. John Styles is an idiot for attempting such a blatant lie. Locksmiths aren't doing this and it wouldn't prevail in court. Put the crack pipe down John.