What is a ‘Do Not Duplicate Key?

Look at the key in your hand! Do you see anything written on it? Yes, DO NOT DUPLICATE! Great, that is a “ do not duplicate key”. We can already see what you’re thinking. Can I still have the key duplicated? The truth is there is no law related to it, and you will find it on many business keys. The fact is, it is not legally binding.

It’s a recommendation. Many locksmiths may refuse to cut one if it can be easily duplicated. Why mark a key with the description? The short answer is, it is more secure than a key with the non-marking.

More About “Do Not Copy” Keys

As you heard now, there is nothing illegal about cutting a key with this stamp on it. But if that key belongs to a registered master key system, the game changes. The only time you can duplicate it is to get it authorized. 

A restricted master key system comes with a registered design for ten years. After that, if anything happens to the key, a locksmith needs to get permission to copy it. You may find these key systems in commercial sectors or businesses.

Furthermore, the key comes with a protected patent and needs special tools to have it duplicated. Having this in place provides a secure key with a locking system. However, you cannot go online and just order it from anyone. You may see them in homeowner associations, tenants, or business corporations running a complex. So if ever you lose your key, you need to order it through them. The only time a locksmith can cut a key is when given permission by an authorized person. 

What About Other Keys?

Suppose you have a key without the “Do Not Copy” printed on them. In that case, it provides you as a tenant with false expectations regarding your security. Therefore, the next time you’re handed a key with the description, it helps to know if it is a registered key design. Another essential thing to keep in mind is that the patent is only good for ten years, and after that, it has no protection.

Furthermore, there is no legal reason for a company such as S.O.S Locksmith not to copy the key. Even if it has “Do Not Copy” on it. The key is still capable of reproducing as we have the correct equipment to do just that. So if you’re unsure that your basic design cannot be copied, contact us today, and we will help you find out.

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