How to Be a Locksmith in Virginia

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Locksmiths have been around ever since the introduction of mechanical locks. Locksmiths specialize in mechanical locks as well as electronic key card systems and advanced biometric locking systems. To be a locksmith in Virginia, you must become licensed and undergo specific locksmith training certified by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice.

Enroll in a locksmith training program certified by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (VDJS). The VDJS offers a list of accredited institutions offering locksmith training. As of 2010, five schools offer this program. While course training materials have been approved by the VDJS, tuition, class scheduling and online course availability will vary from school to school. In order to become a locksmith in the state of Virginia, you must complete the 25E Locksmith Entry-Level Program (18 hours).

Fill out the Initial Registration Application (form PSS_RA) to register as a locksmith. This application requires a $25.00 fee (as of 2010). You must submit this application within 12 months after completing your locksmith training. You may gain employment prior to sending in your registration application; however, the Virginia Department of Justice Services requires this application to be submitted within 120 days of your hire date.

Complete the Fingerprint Processing Application (form PSS_FP) and include the required $50.00 application fee (as of 2010). You must include proof of legal presence along with this application. The Department of Criminal Justice Services offers a complete list of acceptable documents. If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony you must include the Criminal History Supplemental Form (PSS_CHS) with the PSS_FP form.

Submit all of the aforementioned forms and documentation to:

Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services 1100 Bank St. Richmond, VA 23219

After receiving your application, the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services will notify you of their decision within 30 days. If approved, you will be a registered locksmith within Virginia.


If you plan on starting your own business as a locksmith, you must fill out forms PSS_LA, PSS_BD, PSS_IRC and PSS_FP. All of the aforementioned forms are available from the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services.


You must register within 120 days after being hired with a locksmith company. If you fail to do so, you may be fined and unable to register with the state of Virginia.