Get Quotes from Top Locksmiths in Boston, MA

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Lock Smith or Pop a Lock in Boston

Every year, Americans lose over 20 million keys and report about 2.5 million burglaries - 66% of which are home break-ins. These are emergencies that require a qualified locksmith to rescue the situation. However, before you hire anyone claiming to be a locksmith in Boston to replace a key, crack a safe, or upgrade a lock, ensure the professional is insured, holds the membership of the Massachusetts Locksmiths Association, and can answer the following questions satisfactorily:

Are You Licensed to Practice as a Locksmith in Boston?

Hiring the wrong locksmith in Boston can expose you to several risks, including a home invasion due to poor installation of windows and door locks, as well as a potential home improvement scam. To avoid these ugly experiences, residents of Boston must take their time to evaluate the individual they want to hire before signing any agreement with them.

Although there are no mandatory licensing requirements for locksmiths in Boston, professionals, including locksmiths who intend to use a name other than their legal name as a business name, must file a "doing business as" certificate with the Office of the City Clerk. This certificate is renewable every four years. Likewise, locksmiths can register their business with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. For more information concerning business requirements in the city contact the Office of the City Clerk at (617) 635-4601. Similarly, queries concerning business registration in the state can be directed to the Department of Revenue at (617) 887 - 6367.

In addition to registering the business with appropriate agencies, reputable locksmiths in the city also take their time and effort to complete relevant work-related training, obtain on-the-job experience and join professional associations like the Massachusetts Locksmith Association.

Before hiring a locksmith in Boston, you should always confirm whether the business is registered in the city or the state. You can ask the locksmith to provide their registration certificate and contact the office that issued the certificate.

You should also confirm what professional qualifications the individual holds. This is especially important in Boston where people claim to be locksmiths while only intending on scamming people out of their money. You can confirm a locksmith's professional qualification by asking the locksmith to provide proof of professional qualifications such as on-the-job experience, or a membership certificate with a reputable trade association.

Make sure you verify whatever is given to you as proof of professional qualification with the organization or association responsible for the membership certificate. In addition, you should check third-party websites such as Better Business Bureau, Google Review, and Yelp to see customer reviews about the locksmith's services and to confirm if any complaints have been filed against the locksmith in the past.

Do You Hold Any Certification as a Locksmith?

Locksmiths are not licensed in Boston. However, reputable locksmiths obtain voluntary certifications to demonstrate that they are not only credible but also committed to delivering quality service and upholding industry standards. Finding out whether your preferred locksmith is certified by a reputable trade association not only helps you hire a competent hand but also ensures that you do not fall victim to a home improvement scammer posing as a locksmith. Listed below are some of the major reasons why you should hire a certified Locksmiths:

  • They are better trained and more equipped than their counterparts
  • They are conversant with current industry trends, lock designs, and technological developments in locks and security systems
  • They are held to high professional standards, which generally makes them discharge their duties in the most professional manner
  • They are less likely to engage in fraudulent activities

Professional locksmiths in Boston are certified by the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA), as well as other recognized organizations like the Society of Professional Locksmiths (SOPL) and the Massachusett Locksmiths Association. Some of the certification programs offered by these organizations include:

  • Certified Master Locksmith Certification
  • Certified Automotive Locksmith Certification
  • Certified Professional Safe Tech Certification
  • Certified Master Safe Tech Certification
  • Certified Forensic Locksmith Certification
  • Fundamental Locksmith Certification
  • Registered Locksmith Certification
  • Certified Professional Locksmith Certification
  • Institutional Certified Professional Locksmith Certification
  • Certified Electronic Locksmith Certification
  • Certified Institutional Lockshop Manager Certification

Since certification is one of the few ways to determine who is fit for your job, it is not surprising that many people are willing to lie about their certification status to convince a potential client. As such, it is important to ask for proof of certification and verify the certificate provided by the locksmith before agreeing with them. You can verify a locksmith certification status by contacting the appropriate certifying organization.

How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Locksmiths in the City?

Professional locksmiths in Boston consider several factors when calculating the cost of their service. These factors include:

  • The nature of the services that will be rendered
  • The type of lock involved
  • The time of the day
  • The urgency of the job
  • The customer's location within the city
  • Trip fees
  • Their reputation

Professional locksmiths in Boston may charge anywhere from $45 to $120 per hour, depending on the aforementioned factors. Nonetheless, it is always a good idea to get and compare quotes for your required service from at least three different locksmiths in the city before selecting one for the job. This will ensure that you do not pay more than the average market price for the service.

While making sure that you do not pay more than what is necessary for a locksmith's service, always keep in mind that some dishonest locksmiths offer extremely low rates to make you hire them. In most cases, they plan to either raise the price of their service as soon as they begin working or simply disappear with your money without doing the work.

What Kind of Locksmith Services Do You Offer?

When searching for a locksmith in Boston, it is always important to have a clear idea of the exact service you need. This will help you choose a locksmith that specializes in providing the exact service you need. Professional locksmiths in Boston offer a variety of re-opening, installation, and repair services to potential clients in the city. These services include:

  • Installation of high-security locks
  • Upgrades to security locks
  • Copying and cutting keys
  • Replacement of a key
  • Re-keying
  • Repair of door and window locks
  • Service for building lockouts
  • Vehicle lockout services
  • Installation of electronic access
  • Selecting and installing safely
  • Repair and unlocking of safes

Regardless of the service you need, it is critical to ensure that your preferred locksmith provides a well-detailed contract before work commences on the project. A well-detailed contract will cover the scope of the work, the service cost, and the payment schedule, as well as any other guarantees or promises made by the locksmith. Before signing any contract with a locksmith, you should carefully read and understand the contract, and also find out the average market price for the service you need. This will help you to know if a locksmith is charging more than what is necessary for the service.

Listed below are average price ranges for commonly requested locksmith services in Boston:

Estimates for home/building locksmith services based on the type of service:

Key duplication
$8 - $25
House/building lockout
$45- $200
Door lock repair
$40 - $200
Door lock installation
$100 - $330
Key extraction
$40 - $200
Key replacement
$65 - $130
Rekeying house locks
$70 - $175
Safe opening
$140 - $450
Changing locks
$150 - $575
Filing cabinet lock replacement
$50 - $85
Mailbox key replacement
$50 - $95
Auto locksmith services
$20 - $350
Emergency services (in addition to regular charges)
$100 - $300
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Estimates for locksmith services based on the type of lock being installed/replaced (materials only):

Sliding Door
$17- $320
$23 - $65
$22 - $65
$27 - $80
$40 - $85
$60 - $95
$100 - $550
$90 - $240
$150 - $350
$180 - $275
$200 - $500
Grip Set
$235 - $580
$240 - $515
$300 - $500
Door latch guard
$47 - $150
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Estimates for locksmith services based on the locksmith's expertise/level of experience

Sliding Door
$20 - $320
$45 - $75
$72 - $105
$107- $165
Trip fees
$25 - $100
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Do You Provide Auto Locksmith Services in Boston?

Whether you left your keys in a locked car or for any reason you find yourself locked out of your vehicle, there is no cause for alarm. Hiring an auto locksmith can help you unlock your locked car but that is not all. Reputable auto locksmiths in Boston can also create new keys, remove broken keys from locks, and even replace both the locks on your car doors and entire ignition systems as well.

However, before hiring an auto locksmith in the city, it is critical to make sure that the locksmith you plan to hire specializes in the make and model of your vehicle. Note that you may also need a locksmith to unlock your motorcycle. In such situations, it is critical to ensure that the locksmith also specializes in unlocking motorcycles. This is particularly important because motorcycle keys typically use a different type of manufacturer coding than other keys.

Regardless of the type of auto locksmith service you need, it is critical to confirm whether your preferred auto locksmith offers only in-shop services or if they provide mobile service options as well. In addition, you should also find out the average market price for auto locksmith services in your area.

Listed below are services commonly provided by car locksmiths and motorcycle locksmiths in Boston, as well as cost estimates for these services:

Key duplication
$8 - $50
$40 - $150
Car lockout
$80 - $165
Key extraction
$45 - $200
Door lock repair
$45 - $175
Car ignition repair
$150 - $350
Changing locks
$50 - $175
Transponder key reprogramming
$50 - $225
Keyless fob replacement
$150 - $300
Key replacement
$70 - $285
Bike lock change
$70 - $150
Motorcycle key replacement
$85 - $120
Car door and truck lock repair
$50 - $250
Motorcycle seat lock repair/replacement
$10 - $40
Motorcycle steering/wheel lock repair/replacement
$18 - $50
Motorcycle gas cap lock repair/replacement
$11 - $25
Mobile services
$90 - $250
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Do You Provide Emergency Locksmith Services?

Home and property owners in Boston may require emergency locksmith services for many reasons, including :

  • Keys are locked inside the house or car
  • Keys have been misplaced
  • Keys were stolen
  • A key gets broken inside the lock
  • The home was burgled
  • To decode an electronic keypad lock
  • The homeowner forgot their safe combination
  • The access control system is malfunctioning
  • The homeowner is afraid that someone has access to home security

When searching for a locksmith in any of these situations, it is not enough to confirm if the individual you wish to hire is experienced and competent to do the job. In addition to this, you should also consider the availability and proximity of the individual you want to hire. After that, you should consider if the locksmith offers mobile services. These locksmiths typically operate from mobile workshops which allows for faster response, better accessibility to your location, and 24/7 availability.

If you are unable to locate a mobile locksmith in your area, you can contact local and national 24/7 locksmith services such as KeyMe, MinuteKey, and Mr. Locks to resolve your emergency. Some of these businesses allow customers to save digital copies of their keys online, making it easier for them to duplicate the key at any nearby self-service kiosk. It is important to note that using these types of services can expose you to several risks like giving access to digital copies of your key to strangers and giving sensitive information about your house.

You can find qualified 24/7 emergency locksmith services nearby via online directories provided by reputable organizations like the Associated Locksmiths of America and the Better Business Bureau.

Finally, you can also minimize the need for emergency locksmith services by taking the following actions:

  • Get spare keys
  • Use lockboxes to avoid lockouts
  • Keep proper track of all your keys
  • Install smart locks
  • Get locks that fit your lifestyle and familiarize yourself with their features
  • Properly maintain your locks

Do You Provide Smart Lock Services?

A smart lock enables a homeowner to enter their home or grant access to others without the use of a traditional key. Smart locks, unlike traditional keys, are usually wifi or Bluetooth-enabled devices that require an app, fingerprint, or a voice prompt for access and they are usually installed by professionals. Some Boston locksmiths offer smart lock services such as access control solutions, installation of multiple keyless entry options, auto-lock configuration, and synchronization with video doorbells.

Although more homeowners in Boston are replacing traditional keys with smart locks, it is critical to consider the comedy concerns associated with the use of smart locks. As of 2021, over 11 million households across the nation have installed a smart lock.

Pros of having a smart lock Cons of having a smart lock
Ease of entry Reliance on phones and networks
Convenience due to remote locking and unlocking Reliance on batteries that need constant recharges
Enhanced security and safety Susceptible to hacking
Protection from lock picking High cost of installation
Connectivity with the rest of your home smart devices

In any case, if your smart lock has been hacked or damaged, or you have been locked out due to a battery drain, ensure that the locksmith you intend to hire specializes in servicing the type of smart lock installed in your home. Find out whether the locksmith is conversant with the technology used by the manufacturer of the lock. Common technologies manufacturers use include:

  • A fingerprint sensor with biometrics for authorization to unlock the door
  • A mobile app as a digital key to unlock a door wirelessly
  • A programmable numeric keypad with a PIN code to unlock a door

Some manufacturers combine these technologies to provide multiple ways to unlock your door. The following are the top smart lock manufacturers in the United States:

  • August
  • Schlage
  • Luckily
  • Yale
  • Kwikset
  • Ultraloq
  • Level
  • Wyze

Do You Conduct Background Checks on Your Employees?

Reputable locksmith companies in Boston hire experienced, competent, and law-abiding individuals to protect their clients from out-of-pocket expenses, scams, or thefts that may result from hiring the company. To that end, some locksmith companies conduct a variety of background checks on prospective employees, including:

  • Criminal record checks: this involves contacting local, state, and federal agencies to find out if a prospective employee has any past criminal convictions or pending/ongoing court cases
  • Civil court checks: this involves going through local and federal court systems for any non-criminal suits, claims, or judgments involving the potential employee
  • Credit checks: this is an important background check and it involves going through the potential employee's full credit history. The credit history will include payment histories, bankruptcies, unpaid bills in collections, civil judgments, tax liens, and recent credit inquiries
  • Driving record checks: this is usually conducted if the potential employee will be operating a company vehicle when they are eventually employed. It involves confirming whether the employee has a valid driver's license, and checking if they have been involved in any road offense.
  • Drug screening: this usually entails administering a drug test to a prospective employee. Many professional locksmith companies in the city routinely conduct drug tests on new hires at regular intervals
  • Education and employment verification: here, the potential employee provides proof of education, employment history, and on-the-job experience and the company contacts the appropriate organization to verify each piece of information
  • International background checks: this includes conducting criminal background checks and verifying education and work experience for potential employees who have previously lived, studied, or worked outside the United States.

In addition to the aforementioned background checks, locksmith companies can also find out more about the individual they want to hire by:

  • Going through local police court and correctional facility records, and other available public records
  • Making use of reliable background check websites and services
  • Asking the individual for references of past clients that can vouch for the quality of their services and checking these references
  • Checking the locksmith online via websites like the Better Business Bureau, Yelp, Google Review, and other similar third-party review websites and social network platforms

Do You Provide a Warranty for Your Locksmith Services?

A warranty ensures that the service you receive will be done professionally and with high-quality materials. While warranties can be written, spoken, or implied, it is expected that a homeowner research the type of warranty being offered to them, as well as the terms, conditions, and scope of coverage before signing any agreement.

Professional locksmiths in Boston usually provide two kinds of warranties for their services:

  • Manufacturer's Warranties: this involves a promise that the product purchased for a job will perform exceptionally well, and if they do not, these warranties typically cover the cost of replacing such locks as well as any other materials used alongside. This type of warranty is usually valid for one year, and you may have to reach out to the product manufacturer directly if there are any issues with a lock that is under warranty.
  • Workmanship Warranties: these types of warranties protect the homeowner against installation errors made by a locksmith. It is a guarantee that locks will be installed or replaced professionally and in line with the recommendations of the product manufacturer. The validity of a workmanship warranty varies from one locksmith to another so you may want to confirm how long the warranty being offered will last from your preferred locksmith.

Though the specific terms and conditions of locksmith warranties vary from one locksmith to another, these warranties are generally voided under certain conditions, like:

  • The product was not installed according to the manufacturer's specifications
  • A locksmith or locksmith company other than the one who handled the initial lock installation or replacement works on the product
  • The product was damaged due to negligence, misuse, or vandalism
  • The product was damaged as a result of natural disasters

As a result, you should always read any warranties that you are given to ensure that you fully understand their terms and scope of coverage.

Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Locksmiths in New York City?

Locksmiths in Boston are not required to carry general liability insurance before they can provide their services to members of the public. However, every employer operating in Boston, including locksmith companies, is obliged to maintain workers' compensation insurance for both their employees and themselves if they are employed by the same business. This is to protect consumers from liabilities that may result from injuries sustained while a professional they hired is working on their project. In 2020 alone, at least 460 people were injured while working on mechanical doors, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In addition to mandatory workers' compensation insurance, reputable locksmith companies in Boston may choose to maintain general liability insurance to protect clients from unfavorable work-related circumstances, such as property damage or contractor errors.

Before hiring a locksmith in Boston, it is critical to confirm the company's insurance status. You can do this by asking the company's representative for proof of insurance and confirming the information provided by the appropriate insurance company.

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Locksmith in Boston

Complaints involving unfair or deceptive practices perpetrated by a locksmith can be filed with the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) and other state and local agencies like the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office and the Boston Department of Consumer Affairs.

Hiring a locksmith in Boston is not merely about finding out whether an individual is experienced enough to handle your project. It also involves finding an honest person who will not use or give out sensitive information about your locks to any other person. As such, it is always good to take your time to research the locksmith you want to hire before giving out any sensitive information. This is especially important in Boston where dishonest locksmiths often try to scam residents of the city who need locksmith services through several schemes and dubious tactics that include:

  • Using low-quality materials for the job despite charging the client for high-quality materials
  • Insisting on upfront cash payments before providing required services
  • Stealing client's private information and other valuables
  • Using official-looking bogus websites and low advertised rates to entice customers
  • Using high-pressure sales tactics to persuade customers to pay for unnecessary services
  • Leaving behind a shoddily installed or replaced lock after leaving a job.

In addition to finding an honest locksmith, it is also important to hire someone who is experienced in the repair, installation, and replacement of the exact type of locks you need. Every year, complaints concerning poor, shoddy, or misrepresented services consistently rank amongst the most common types of complaints made by consumers in the Boston area and across several other regions in the United States. Most times, homeowners do not realize the extent of the damage soon until they have to contact another locksmith.

Homeowners can protect themselves from incompetent hands and potential home improvement scammers by taking the following precautionary measures:

  • Lookout for company branding. Avoid any company that shows up in front of your door in an unmarked truck
  • Do not speak to anyone offering you locksmith services uninvited
  • Get recommendations on reputable locksmiths in the city from reliable friends, family, and organizations such as the Associated Locksmiths of America and the Better Business Bureau
  • Be wary of locksmiths that use pressure tactics when trying to sell their services to you
  • Always verify any professional qualifications your preferred locksmith is providing as proof of competence and credibility. You can do so by contacting the organization where they obtained the professional qualification
  • Always make sure that your preferred locksmith is properly insured before signing any agreement with them
  • Be wary of locksmiths that offer very low rates for their services. Always get and compare rates from up to three different locksmiths.
  • Be wary of locksmiths that use an 800 number instead of a local phone number, and never hire locksmiths that do not have a verifiable office address in the city
  • Do not make full payment except the service has been completed
  • Avoid locksmiths that insist on cash payments or debit card transactions.
  • Do not allow locksmiths to drill your lock, and be suspicious if they want to do this. Professional and legitimate locksmiths typically have the necessary skill set and tools needed to unlock doors without drilling into them.
  • Always ask for three or more verifiable references.

Victims of locksmith scams in Boston can report the incident to the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) by calling (617) 973-8787 or by sending an email. Alternatively, interested persons can visit their office at:

501 Boylston Street,
Suite 5100,
Boston, MA 02116

In addition to filing a complaint with the OCABR, victims can also report the incident to the Boston Department of Consumers Affairs by contacting their office at (617) 635-3834 or sending an email. Similarly, they can also file a complaint involving a bad locksmith with the Office of the Attorney General of Massachusetts by calling online or by calling (617) 727-8400

Note that reporting a locksmith to any of the aforementioned agencies is not a guarantee that victims will be duly compensated. As such, anyone who seeks full monetary compensation from a locksmith should consider filing a lawsuit against the company in an appropriate court. Interested persons can file disputes involving a total amount of $7,000 or less as small claims. Small claims are filed in Boston Municipal Court located at:

Edward W. Brooke Courthouse
24 New Chardon Street
6th Floor
Boston, MA 02114

Note that it is important to consult an attorney before filing any lawsuit in court.